It was great to recently meet with the team at Torfaen Voluntary Alliance and to thank them for their tremendous work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Alliance, usually referred to as TVA, made a huge difference across Torfaen during the lock-down through its partnership work with its member organisations.

It developed innovative ways to ensure it could continue to support a wide range of charities, voluntary groups, social enterprises, individuals, volunteers, communities and partnerships across the constituency, all of which helped ease the burden of the pandemic on the people of Torfaen.

I have forgotten how many times I referred constituents to TVA during the pandemic but they were a real lifeline to many.

They made a huge difference to individuals and communities throughout Torfaen and for that I am hugely grateful. That was why I was really glad to meet up with the team at its offices in Pontypool and to thank them in person for all their hard work.

And it was clear at that meeting that the hard work hasn’t stopped.

TVA is looking to see how it can work harder to support community based organisations, groups and social enterprises in Torfaen. The range of support it offers includes helping third sector organisations secure funding and it also provides advice on, governance and structures, charity law registration and constitutions.

As the County Voluntary Council for Torfaen, TVA is a member of Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) which, together with the other 18 CVCs across Wales, advocates for the third sector. TVA also helps promote and facilitate volunteering and capacity building and operates as a conduit between statutory bodies, other agencies and the private sector.

TVA chairman Professor Malcolm Prowle is keen to see its work expand and hopes that in the future TVA will be able to promote third sector involvement in key areas including social care of the elderly, adult mental health, children and families, climate change, crime prevention and economic development.

I am really pleased to see that the annual Torfaen Community and Volunteer Awards, co-ordinated by TVA, have opened for nominations.

The awards aim to recognise the outstanding commitment of volunteers, community groups, organisations, and businesses within the communities of Torfaen. It is a great way to acknowledge the commitment of volunteers and a great way to say thank you.

Thank you TVA for all your good work and for organising the community awards so the good work done by others can also be recognised.