Public Consultation - Voluntary Sector Funding

We have recently learned that Derbyshire County Council is proposing to end their funding to voluntary services across the County. It is potentially devastating news for us at New Mills & District Volunteer Centre and other voluntary organisations and community groups across Derbyshire, as well as the hundreds of lonely, isolated and vulnerable people that we all support in our communities.

A 12 week consultation began on 28th May 2024 called ‘End of discretionary grant funding’, which is open to a response from anyone who lives in Derbyshire. We need as many as people as possible to respond to this consultation, to let the Council know that they should prioritise support that tackles loneliness, isolation and wellbeing.

Derbyshire County Council are in challenging financial times and need to consider how to prioritise spending on services they are required to provide by law, against those that are optional or ‘discretionary’ – this includes some voluntary services, some of which are delivered by New Mills & District Volunteer Centre and our partners across High Peak.

The proposal is to stop adult social care grants, which would affect grants totalling just over £722,000 across 30 community and voluntary groups. A further 20 groups would be affected by the proposal to stop corporate services and transformation grants, totalling just over £333,000. These amounts combined are less than 0.13% of Derbyshire County Council’s total annual budget. This small cut won’t solve the Council’s deficit but will significantly impact on our communities by destabilising key voluntary sector organisations and the people they support. These short-sighted cuts are also likely to have huge consequences in the long term, costing multiples of the amounts they are trying to save due to increased pressures on Adult Social Services and other statutory services.

New Mills & District Volunteer Centre currently receives £21,873 from these grants to run our volunteering offer as well as small contribution to our Befriending Project and Friday Lunch Club which we have to annually find additional funding to enable us to support the community.

However without the infrastructure grant, it would be very difficult for us to:

  • Provide volunteering opportunities in the New Mills and District area, meaning the potential loss of wellbeing opportunities and outlets for hundreds of people.
  • Recruit and support volunteers for our other projects such as transport to medical appointments, minibus shopping, befriending and all of our social groups. Last year we supported over 300 volunteers.
  • Support other groups and organisations with their volunteering needs. We currently work with many of the local charities and organisations to fill their skills gaps and provide a vibrant, fulfilling experience to New Mills residents.

Volunteering has been central to our organisation for decades and is vital in being able to deliver the rest of our services, meaning that we would be required to reconsider how we can deliver our services. We know that this relatively small investment into voluntary services across Derbyshire provides a vast amount of cost savings across statutory services, and the loss of this critical infrastructure will cause irreversible damage to communities. The voluntary sector across Derbyshire provides vital services that bolster Derbyshire County Council’s statutory requirements and we have proven many times, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, that we are well positioned to support the people who need it, when they need it.

We believe that there is a better way to go about this and want to encourage the local council to work with us to make the best long term decision for all involved. We need your voice to be heard about these cuts and how they might affect you too! The Council seem to be clear about what their intentions are. If we have any chance of changing their mind, we need as many people as possible to complete the consultation.

Please take 5 minutes to read the information on the Council’s website and then complete the consultation. Paper versions of the consultation are available to people who do not have access to a digital device by either calling 01629 533520 or you can complete a digital version at the Volunteer Centre.

To go straight to the consultation (it takes less than 5 minutes):


The above graphic has been produced by the Derby and Derbyshire Infrastructure Alliance (DDIA) that New Mills and District Volunteer Centre are members of. It details some of the support we as infrastructure organisations have provided to volunteers, individuals and group throughout the county. As you can see we reach a good number of people throughout the county with minimal investment from Derbyshire County Council. 


Registered Charity: 1097655 – Registered Company: 4666277