2022 is now at a close, and what a year it has been for us here at Devon Voluntary Action! In line with our desire to create positive social change, we have * in order to deliver a number of projects that support individuals and groups as they build healthy, vibrant communities across Devon.  

As we entered 2022, we had just undertaken our largest ever piece of work after securing £1 million on behalf of Devon’s Voluntary and Community Sector from Devon County Council’s Covid Outbreak Management Fund. Working alongside four main partners, we were able to use this funding to facilitate an extensive programme of activities which helped ensure the sector could continue to deliver high-quality services despite the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of this funding, in the early months of 2022 we were able to distribute financial grants to seventy-eight local groups – many of which work with clinically vulnerable individuals and may have otherwise struggled to restart activities without our assistance – whilst other partners offered financial advice, helped make digital technology offered accessible, and provided support to young people and those that could experience discrimination.

In 2022 we were also lucky to experience the exponential growth of Devon Connect – our recently launched online platform providing Devon’s Voluntary and Community Sector with a single digital space where people from across the county could promote community events, find volunteering opportunities and become more involved in their local communities. Since its launch in December 2021 Devon Connect has continued to expand, and now has over 2500 members; Exeter Connect and Torbay Development Trust have also become our partners in administering the website, with the latter choosing to merge their previous online platform, *, into Devon Connect. As such, throughout 2022 Devon Connect has become a central part Devon Voluntary Action, and in the first half of the year, we even hosted a number of online workshops to explain Devon Connect functions for those keen to join the platform!

In the wake of Devon Connect’s successful growth, we made the resultant decision that Volunteer Connect Devon, our other long-running online platform, would close in the latter quarter of 2022. When we compared this website to Devon Connect, we realised it was not only receiving comparatively less traffic, but also offers a more limited range of activities and is a less intuitive platform. Volunteer Connect Devon officially ceased activity on 30th November 2022, and we encourage anyone that used to use the website to instead sign up to Devon Connect.  

We look forward to providing more support to Devon’s local communities in 2023.

Devon Voluntary Action