South Hams Community Action, previously South Hams CVS, has celebrated yet another stellar year of helping volunteer groups across the area.

South Hams Community Action promotes and supports voluntary and community work across the South Hams. Providing training, development and volunteering support, networking opportunities and enabling groups and communities to have a voice and not be left behind.

Cllr Dan Thomas, South Hams District Council, spoke at their AGM committing the councils support for community and volunteer organisations saying: “Our community and voluntary sector have demonstrated time and time again its ability to quickly respond in support of residents. This was demonstrated through the pandemic response and the current cost of living crisis. 

“The Council are currently consulting on its draft aims and ambitions for the next four years. At the heart of our ambition is to work closer with community and voluntary groups to understand the challenges they face but also working with South Hams Community Action to identify areas where we can work together in the interest of South Hams residents.”

In the last year South Hams Community Action has distributed over £12,000 to make sure volunteer organisations can still provide their invaluable services through the cost of living crisis. They also provided over 100 organisations with development support and advice on legal structure, governance and fundraising.

They have five social prescribers who work closely with South Hams and Mewstone Primary Care networks to help reduce the demand on local GP surgeries. Their health and wellbeing team is able to spot gaps in provision which can then be passed onto those who take forward their needs. Over 200 people were helped by their social prescribers and signposted to over 200 volunteer and community organisations.

South Hams Community Action also led the way in providing support for Ukrainian refugees who were relocated to Devon. They helped Ukrainians to participate and smoothly integrate into their new communities. They also organised a jobs fair where over 30 Ukrainians signed up for job searches to seek employment.

Moving forward the group will seek to build even closer relationships to the voluntary sector   and is well placed to continue promoting community action to help those in need across the South Hams. To do this they will establish community builders to focus on helping organisations helping those who are socially isolated.