IMG 0026The Forest Voluntary Action Forum (FVAF) celebrated a successful year with members and supporters at its Annual General Meeting at St Annals House on November 10th 2017. Chair, Bob Rhodes, and Manager, Chris Brown reported an immense expansion in the range and quality of services offered to voluntary and community groups in the Forest of Dean.

They also detailed the development of FVAF’s strategic commitment to be present in all key Forest settlements and to prioritise work which supports and encourages community resilience. Mr Rhodes, in outlining the outcome of FVAF’s strategy review, said that this is essential given society’s increased dependence upon public services over recent decades, a concurrent failure to nurture and sustain the ‘core economy’, and the consequent marked impact of austerity and extensive public service cuts.

IMG 0021Summing up, Rhodes said that FVAF aspires to be a catalyst for promoting, supporting and better understanding how to build and sustain resilience in local communities. “We believe that real solutions reside in giving attention to the nurturing of connected and interdependent communities which are supported by public services that understand their role as complementary to, rather than replacing, the core economy”.

Following the formal business, a full meeting got stuck into a Community Action Forum led by guest speakers, Louisa Addiscott from Ynysybwl Regeneration Partnership and Colin Richings, Homecare Lead at Monmouthshire County Council.

IMG 0008One consequence of the vibrant conversation was the decision to hold quarterly ‘resilience’ forum meetings to keep the issue alive, problem solve, and share successes. Everyone is invited to join in. Keep an eye on www.fvaf.org.uk for news, dates and venues. The need to recruit to FVAF’s good natured and committed Board of Trustees was also put powerfully to the meeting. Interested individuals who have energy and enthusiasm for FVAF’s mission and vision are invited to contact Chris Brown at 01594 822073.

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