A CHARITY hub which supports groups and volunteers throughout Barnsley has announced ‘healthy’ end-of-year figures for its first year in operation.

Barnsley Charity Voluntary Service (CVS) was formed last year from a partnership between Voluntary Action Barnsley and Priory Campus in Lundwood, officially launching in January this year.

The new service was formed ahead of the redevelopment of County Way, the site of The Core building in which VAB was formerly housed, as a new business hub.

The service had a busy first year, with 1,196 enquiries from people wanting more information about volunteering.

From these, 445 registered to become volunteers, with 801 others clocking up 4,861 hours of voluntary work through the Employer Supported Volunteer programme, which helps employers find opportunities for staff to volunteer on company time.

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The group estimates a value of £65,678 has been returned to Barnsley through its volunteers’ work.

John Marshall, chief executive of Barnsley CVS, said: “It is encouraging to see that individuals and groups are approaching us in such large numbers. Our staff have the expertise to help in a range of ways so charity and community organisations can benefit our town.

“There were lots of changes to the organisation last year but these figures show that the hard-working staff didn't let that distract them. Day in, day out, they are working hard for the charities, community groups and volunteers of Barnsley.

“We might have a new name but we are built on foundations deeply rooted in the community. We will all be looking to achieve even more in the coming year to support, strengthen and grow the charity, community and voluntary groups in Barnsley.”

The organisation, based in Queens Road and Priory Campus, provides advice, help and training - in everything from legal requirements and accountancy to general support - to charities and organisations.