Sadness as Corby volunteer hub announces closure

Corby Voluntary and Community Services based in the former TA Centre has provided support for a range of the town's charities over the years

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 5:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th August 2021, 5:16 pm
Corby Voluntary and Community Services in Elizabeth Street

Corby' s volunteer centre has announced it is shutting its doors next month after a difficult year.

Funded by the local authority, Corby Voluntary and Community Services has provided support to the town's many organisations since 2005 and runs the town's car pool and ShopMobility services.

Based in the former TA Centre in Elizabeth Street, CVCS has rooms for hire and in the past has helped a range of groups to navigate the charity and voluntary sectors, providing support, advice and information to help develop services in the town and signpost to funding streams.

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The centre was the site of a protest in 2009 by the Communication Workers' Union

But the former territorial army building has now been sold by government quango Homes England and looks set to be bulldozed to make way for housing.

The closure means that the future of ShopMobility and the Corby Car Pool are in the balance, although efforts are under way to keep them going.

The car pool has been running in the town for more than three decades. Dedicated volunteer drivers give up their time to get people to and from hospital and clinic appointments.

A statement from the CVCS board of trustees said: "It is with much sadness that we have to announce the closure of Corby Voluntary and Community Services from 30th September.

"As you will probably be aware, we have been facing tremendous difficulties over the past year with the pandemic, the TA building being sold and the sad loss of our treasurer, coupled, crucially, with an inquorate board for significant periods of time. This has made the struggle to remain relevant within the community and to keep our services running an insurmountable task.

"We would like to thank all our members of staff for their years of service and support, especially since the beginning of the year. We have all worked long and hard to try to weather a succession of tough events but, ultimately, the task was beyond our capabilities.

"We would also like to thank all the other people who have made CVCS a great place over the years – the organisations who have rented space, the volunteers who gave up their time to help both us and a myriad of other community organisations and our service users. You were all part of our CVCS family and we will miss you all.

"This means that ShopMobility will no longer be available after August 24. We are trying to keep the vital service that is Corby Car Pool running in some way but this is by no means guaranteed.

"Volunteering services are available from Community Action Northants."

A spokesman for North Northamptonshire Council said: “The council is very sorry to see such a long established organisation, which has provided essential services to vulnerable people, closing in the town.

“To protect these vital services, in the interim and up until March 2022, in agreement with CVCS the council will transfer the grant funding to Groundwork Northamptonshire, which is based in Corby, so the services can be continued.”

After the announcement was made on social media last night, local people said they would be sad to see the centre close.

Councillor Lyn Buckingham said: "So sorry to hear this. A sad day for Corby. Thank you all to everyone for everything."

Dennis Binks, who was part of the original TA unit based at the building and whose voluntary groups over the years have been based at CVCS, said: "What a terrible shame for Corby. Thank you for all your years of devotion."

Manager Mags Maguire said: "My heart is broken."

Former councillor Julie Riley said: "I am so very sorry to hear this . A huge thank you for all your hard work and strenuous efforts to keep this invaluable service going .

"It's a sad day for Corby."