We have been busy over the last few weeks preparing for our AGM and pulling together all the stories, events and highlights from the last 12-months for our annual report.  It is always amazing to look back and see what has been achieved and lives that have been transformed.  We have a lot of CHADD heroes doing some amazing work.  Wonderful too to see all the partners we work with in the housing and voluntary sector in Dudley.

It’s been a tough time for the voluntary sector in Dudley recently with a lot of organisations losing funding and income that keeps their work – and ultimately our communities – surviving and thriving.  At CHADD we are very much involved with our local voluntary sector, working closely to deliver services together and to make a difference to our tenants and service users.  Our work is fairly evenly split between frontline services for people at crisis point and preventative work that enables people to maintain independence and continue to live well – preventing that crisis.

We rely on other partners to help us with befriending, day centre services, wellbeing programmes and the like, to provide the added value that can help keep isolation and loneliness at bay.  To hear now that many, if not all, of these services may well have to close is really worrying.  Dudley Council have had tough decisions to make and have supported and protected the sector well over many years.  But there is no denying that the impact of the funding cuts will be felt acutely by our community and by vulnerable people.

In the midst of all this there is some glimmer of hope – Dudley CVS are supporting and encouraging collaboration and innovation.  CHADD is part of the group coming together to see what we can achieve to offer whole-life support for people in Dudley.  In addition, a small group of us have started Dudley Soup with the first soup event on Sept 27th – find out more here: Dudley Soup.  Check out this new initiative A Place To – @aplaceto_ and all that is happening in East Coseley on Twitter @East_Coseley.  A lot of these things have come about through CoLab Dudley – @colabdudley and some CVS heroes – Lorna Prescott, Donna Roberts, Nikki Burrows and many others…..Dudley CVS, and all of us together, are rolling up our sleeves, finding inspiration and triggering lots of innovation.

I just hope we can find a way to keep and retain the brilliant work delivered by so many in the voluntary sector.

Speaking of heroes, we are sharing Maz’s story below.  Maz was one of CHADD’s volunteers at our Women’s Refuge service in Dudley and actually this year is now a paid member of staff.  She is inspiring others and together with her team helping to transform lives.  Overall our domestic abuse team have worked with nearly double the number of people than previous years which shows the challenges faced by victims and how we are meeting this head on.

This is what we do, what the voluntary sector and the housing sector do so well…..


Anna Gillespie – Chief Executive

Faces of CHADD – Maz


Maz at New Beginnings Refuge

“I came here in 1989 as a resident and I was here until 1991.  I lived here with my 2 children, and I had a lot of help.  I needed support with a lot of things, with my health and children.

When I moved out it was scary but the staff were all there for me all the way through when I wanted to talk. 

I came back as an unofficial volunteer, being here made me feel safe.  It straight away was the first place I ran to if I had a problem.  I became an official volunteer 6 years later, but I never went away, they can’t get rid of me!  Now I have a contract and I get paid to work here.  It’s boosted my confidence.

When I came in 1989, I didn’t think I’d still be here, but I don’t know where I would have ended up.  Now I talk to the other women living here and I think it helps them, I understand where they are coming from.

I still just feel like a volunteer helping.  I enjoy what I do.”