Support offered to Falkirk charities and voluntary groups

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The new chief at Falkirk’s voluntary centre says it needs to be more “visible” to be able to help more charities and community groups.

Karen Herbert, who has taken over from former chief executive Kenny Murphy at CVS Falkirk, is planning to use her background in social enterprise and IT to get her organisation’s message out there so groups know where to go when they need help.

CVS is an umbrella organisation for the voluntary sector, providing support to charities, community and, increasingly, groups delivering health provision through NHS Forth Valley.

While she is still finding her feet in the Falkirk hotseat, Mrs Herbert has already identified areas she feels the organisation needs to improve in order to move forward and ensure the third sector has the support it needs locally.

“We’re going to try to be a lot more visible,” she said. “How we achieve that is going to be an ongoing process really. We’ll try a lot of things and see what works, but certainly using a lot more social media.

“I’m a huge champion of social enterprise, I think it’s a brilliant business model, but not to the exclusion of everything else. Not every organisation can be a social enterprise. It’s a great way to do business and more people starting in business should think about going down the social enterprise route.

“My ambition for the organisation is that we do more for more organisations out there. A lot of people don’t know that we’re here. A lot of the organisations that we could be helping don’t know we can help them. I want us to reach out further and engage more before they get into a crisis.

She added: “In the current economic climate there are a lot of charities and community organisations getting into financial difficulties. We haven’t got money, but we can direct them to where money is and we can help them re-format long before they get into a crisis.”

The 56-year-old has certainly the right credentials for this challenging job. As well as being an accountant and IT specialist she first volunteered as a 19-year-old and started the successful ‘Suited and Booted’ social enterprise. She is also currently doing a post graduate masters in social enterprise.

For more information on CVS call (01324) 692000.