Introducing Claire Penny, our new Executive Officer

ClaireI'm Claire Penny and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Executive Officer of Volunteer Centre Borders (VCB).

I am thrilled to be here and excited about the many plans and ideas we have for the future at VCB. I have over 20 years' experience of working in both the voluntary and statutory sectors, most recently as Funding Officer within the Communities & Partnerships Team at Scottish Borders Council.

The value of the Third Sector in the Borders is immeasurable. Its role of developing responsive services and giving support, options, opportunities and a voice to people who often have the least power in society is beyond measure. Third Sector organisations, charities and volunteers, whatever their shape and size, do such important work and make a positive difference to people's lives and communities in the Borders.

I know that many voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises have been facing extremely challenging conditions in recent years. And at the same time, the needs of our communities and the problem of inequality are increasing. This only serves to highlight the consequences of reduced resources and has us ask the question; how can the Third Sector increase its impact to meet this growing demand?

I'm very clear that we can't stand still! The world has changed and people have more choices than ever before to become involved in any number of important local causes.

There is a great team here at Volunteer Centre Borders and I want to build upon the team's wealth of experience and expertise as we continue to develop volunteering across the Scottish Borders. We are embarking on such an interesting and challenging time for our organisation – and the Third Sector as a whole. I also look forward to building and maintaining constructive, meaningful relationships with stakeholders and statutory bodies, both locally and nationally, that will prove to be mutually beneficial.

However, I would like to hear from you. What do you want from Volunteer Centre Borders? What are your needs and your concerns? How can Volunteer Centre Borders help you to achieve your aims and goals?

I look forward to continuing to work with you all to help make the Borders a thriving, inclusive place for everyone.

Claire Penny, Executive Officer
Volunteer Centre Borders