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As you know, Newcastle CVS has been successful in securing the infrastructure support contracts for Newcastle and Gateshead for the next three years. This means that we can continue to support voluntary and community organisations in both areas and seek to meet the many needs of the sector.

The contracts from both the local authorities require us to offer a different service to that we have offered previously – we have to focus our work on more direct support to smaller organisations around funding and governance.  And we will develop networks, training and different ways of working to help make organisations become more resilient and sustainable.  Of course, we will still be offering representation and advocacy for voluntary and community organisations and reflecting our sector with and to local public sector partners.

These changes mean we have to work differently and create at least four new infrastructure roles with different scopes and responsibilities to the roles we have today. At the same time we have to remove four infrastructure roles that are no longer viable given the new requirements.

In going through organisation transition, our priority is to treat existing staff members who are directly impacted fairly and with respect.  To that end, we have been going through a process of conversations, consistent with the requirements under law, which have included offering existing staff new roles within the team.  We have done this with discretion, mindful of the reasonable needs each staff member has for privacy.  In each case, the members of staff have declined those and, with a heavy heart, we accept their decisions.  This means we will being saying goodbye to three valued members of staff - Martin Gollan, Pam Jobbins and Louise McGlen. Together they have worked for the organisation for many years and made a huge contribution to our sector. We will miss them.

The careers of all three have been dedicated to serving the voluntary sector – and doing that now and in the future means Newcastle CVS needs to able to continue to change.  If we do not, we will not be able to help the people who need us most today and in the months and years to come.