The Chair's Introduction to the WVLA Annual Report 2018/2019
Our second year of operation has proved to be easier than our ﬁrst. As a Charitable Incorporated Organisation we are moving forward into the future with great hopes and plans for the expansion of the service we can provide. Hence we have sought to expand the opportunities for our local community of Whickham, Sunniside and Swalwell. Many of our ventures have been extremely successful. Other ventures have proved to be a learning experience as we move forward to provide a varied and inclusive service at the heart of our community.
Our volunteer team of fifty local people is our greatest resource. They remain highly committed and I am delighted to report hardly any resignations; our core team is well trained and very effective. This is gratifying and demonstrates the volunteers’ willingness to do whatever is needed to continue to serve our community. Local feedback on the volunteer team has been resoundingly positive as local people enjoy the welcome they receive and the great variety of activities we offer.
We are grateful to Gateshead Council Library Services for providing books and the ICT infrastructure. We are seeking ways to improve the service we provide through consultation with a range of professionals and other voluntary and community based organisations.
We have been successful in securing financial support to operate our library from Gateshead Council, Newcastle Building Society, Gateshead Council’s Community Fund and the Catherine Cookson Foundation. In addition we have engaged in a wide variety of fundraising activities to expand our income and the services we provide for our local community.
We have initiated a number of events and activities to engage with and support our local and wider population. These efforts will continue and we will continue to look for further ways to provide assistance to everyone but especially those in greatest need.
Communication, within our organisation and with the wider population, remains a challenge and this is typical of a voluntary association like ours. Initiatives are planned and will be brought forward subject to securing funding. Our website and social media page are developing and their usage is increasing. We are extremely fortunate to have the skill set within our volunteer group to achieve this in the near future.
Conscious that our library building is more or less the same as that inherited in July 2017, we have sought advice and are looking at ways to improve it and secure the necessary ﬁnance. This is an exciting opportunity and one which has gripped the imagination of our talented volunteers.
Our group of unlikely librarians have made great progress. Well done to all involved and I look forward to the future with great optimism.
WE ARE VERY PROUD OF OUR LIBRARY