CWVA’s support in a number of different areas has helped Record LERC to widen its vision and offer, according to its Manager Eric Fletcher.
Record is the local biological records centre for the Cheshire, Halton, Warrington and Wirral areas, providing a facility for biological data to be stored, validated and used. It brings biological records, the needs of the community and a range of organisations together as a single source of information.
The not-for-profit charity has been a member of CWVA for some time now and Eric could not be more grateful for the support he and Record have received.
“Regardless of how much we work with them, the team is genuinely helpful,” he said.
“It gives you that faith in humanity as what CWVA offers shows you society has that social aspect, caring for others in the community.
“CWVA excels in its ability to help and support people and that comes from the staff and their own personal passions.”
Record is largely run by a team of volunteers, with only a couple of employed members of staff, so the support with volunteer recruitment has been particularly important.
“People with a range of different abilities volunteer with us and they can come in from one day a week, to four days a week, to a couple of hours a week,” Eric explained.
“Through the link with CWVA, we have built a partnership with the University of Chester and engaged with the work-based learning students have to do as part of their studies.
“We have expanded our offer and looked at what we can do to create better quality roles for volunteers.
“There is sometimes a stigma around volunteers that they can only do menial tasks, but that is definitely not the case and we have had some volunteers in quite senior roles.
“CWVA has helped us widen our vision and offer and have more of a two-way relationship with our volunteers, making sure both we and they are getting plenty out of their roles.”
CWVA’s SkillShare project, which matches charities with businesses to provide support in specific areas, has also helped Record significantly over the years.
“I would not want to make it sound like the other services we have received from CWVA have not been as good, but SkillShare has been really important at some difficult times,” Eric commented.
“SkillShare has taught us a lot and there might be some misconceptions where people think businesses will come in and just tell you how to do something.
“For us, it has been all about using that learning and mentoring and then adapting it so it is relevant to our charity.
“You sometimes just need somebody who has been there and done it to talk you through something and show you how to get from one stage to another.
“I think you can underestimate the skill that Joanne Walton (CWVA’s Business and Charity Coordinator) brings to the table as there are very few times when the SkillShare partnerships are not bang on.
“The partnerships have done exactly what we wanted them to and the SkillShare project has been a massive help to our charity.”