For over 15 years, the voluntary and community sector have been able to access free or subsidised training in Cornwall thanks to funding via the Objective One and Convergence programmes. This third and final tranche of funding, which includes the ESF-funded 'Upskilling the VCSE Sector' allows many organisations to access free training for their staff and volunteers.

But what happens when it comes to an end?

That was the thinking behind our new 'Volunteer Cornwall Academy' which we officially launched on Tuesday 25th April at our Acorn House office in Truro. We know that the need for training wont go away - in fact, those organisations that don't invest in their staff and volunteers risk falling behind in an ever more competitive sector. But if charities and community groups are going to have to pay for training, they are going to want more than just a session in a classroom.

That's why we created the Academy - to offer more than just training. It is a network or alumni of people who have undertaken training with us and are prepared, in the best traditions of the sector, to offer help and support to their fellow charity workers and volunteers. It will allow you to crowd-source advice and support from your peers as well as tap into the knowledge and experience of Volunteer Cornwall staff across the organisation. And best of all, it's free!

Membership is free-of-charge to anyone who undertakes training with us and means we don't just train you and wave goodbye but continue to offer help and support for as long as you need it.

You can read more about the Academy and the benefits of membership on our webpage or call 01872 266987

Just some of the people who dropped in today to help us launch the Volunteer Cornwall academy