Hunter Volunteer Centre

News and Events

Partnership to enhance capacities

The Hunter Council of Social Services (HCOSS) has taken the opportunity, offered by the Hunter Volunteer Centre (HVC), to share office space and link into its network of members and volunteers. Since November 2010, the Development project worker, Richard De Martin, is in charge of raising HCOSS' profile and increasing its membership.

According to Mr De Martin, HCOSS is a regional forum and facilitator body for the non-government community in the Hunter Region. For over 20 years, HCOSS has been offering assistance to not-for-profit organisations in communication, advocacy and development of sector capacity. Such help is provided as HCOSS liaises between community organisations and policy makers.

"As a regional peak body, HCOSS has had a significant role in regional representation of the local impacts of policy changes and continues to provide the scope and opportunity to follow through on key regional issues and concerns by making representation to key decision makers at all levels of government", Mr De Martin said.

Mr De Martin is also working on a series of events leading into the next NSW state election. The aim is to engage politicians in community issues and the involvement of not-for-profit organisations and service providers.

"The overall plan is to empower and inform individual workers and services in the sector to increase their capacity to campaign for improved government support and to improve their visibility and profile with politicians and the public sector", Mr De Martin added.

The current partnership between HVC and HCOSS aims to provide public and non-government organisations greater access to services and programs that enhance social and community capacities. The plan was suggested by the manager of HVC, Tony Ross.

"The aim is to develop a community hub, a collective of all the sector peak bodies, with the aim to build stronger and more resilient communities to deal with service delivery gaps and other existent issues", Tony Ross explained.

"I have only recently moved to HVC but have appreciated the friendliness and support of staff and volunteers particularly", Mr De Martin said. His role is funded until April 2011 and has been made possible by the Community Development Support Expenditure (CDSE) through Clubs NSW.