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£50,000 investment and new boss for North Wales charity

Tom Barham - pictured with chair Sandra Donoghue - has joined as chief officer.

A COMMUNITY charity recruited a new Chief Officer following significant investment in a rural town centre.

Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC) will unveil a £50,000 revamp of the popular Naylor Leyland Centre in Ruthin this month.

Match-funded by the Welsh Government’s Community Facilities Fund, the Well Street landmark has had a complete overhaul including internal redecoration, carpets and flooring, IT, electrics, and a refurbished exterior.

Meanwhile, the nearby Grade 2-listed Market Hall is also undergoing a transformation and will open as a community market later in the year.

DVSC has taken on administrative, creative and enterprise staff to add to their team, and with Tom Barham now in place as Chief Officer, the future is looking bright.

With years of experience at North Wales Police, Bangor University, and the veterans’ charity Alabare, the father-of-two is well placed to take the organisation forward.

“Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council has a brilliant track record of supporting the voluntary sector across the county and an incredible team here in Ruthin who are eager to see the Naylor Leyland Centre reopen this summer,” said Tom.

“We are looking ahead with confidence having made great strides during the pandemic to upgrade our facilities and refocus DVSC’s vision to support charities, community organisations and social enterprises.”

He added: “We operate across the whole of Denbighshire, but these iconic buildings in Ruthin are great assets for the community post-Covid, with large meeting spaces for local groups and charities to congregate safely.

“We want to amplify the amazing work of community groups in Denbighshire and the activities and support they provide, and this gives us a stronger platform to do that.”

Chair Sandra Donoghue, from St Asaph, said the coming months will be pivotal for the charity.

“The last year has been very challenging, and like all services we were in uncharted territory, but DVSC is well placed to have even more of an impact going forward with Tom at the helm,” she said.

“There are good times ahead, we have a strong, proactive board who are deep-rooted in the community and keen to build a legacy for future generations.”

Former MP for Delyn Sir David Hanson and ex Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane are among those to have joined the Board, which also includes local businesspeople.

“I’m pleased to see Tom join DVSC at such an exciting time – there are real challenges to support voluntary organisations in Denbighshire, especially after the last year and Covid-19 events, but the new leadership team look forward to that and will be working hard,” said Mr Hanson.

“I’ve joined DVSC to support that work as it’s important that a wide North Wales experience is given to the Chief Officer – it’s going to be a busy and productive time.”

Mr Ruane added: “We are blessed with a rich network of voluntary organisations in Denbighshire. They are the building blocks of our civic society, and many have been severely challenged by Covid.

“Tom has shown great vision, energy and capacity in the few short weeks he has been in place. He will now lead a team which is dedicated to reinvigorating our voluntary sector in Denbighshire post-Covid.”

Funded by Welsh Government, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), DVSC delivers third sector support across the region through volunteering, training, guidance and advice, by offering grants and funding support, and networking to help influence public services.