A TEMPORARY organisation to replace the now-defunct Harrow Association of Voluntary Services - which closed under a cloud in March - will be launched this week.
The two-days-a-week interim service to support voluntary and community groups will operate out of the association's former premises in Pinner Road and representatives are invited to an open day on Wednesday, September 21, between 1pm and 4pm to meet the new staff.
Councillor David Perry (Labour), Harrow Council's portfolio holder for community and cultural services, said: "The council wants to do everything it can to help the thriving voluntary sector support themselves and that includes putting in place a service where these groups can turn to for help and advice.
"This interim arrangement will provide essential support services as the sector develops a long-term solution."
The replacement service will be funded by Harrow Council but run by a consortium of the Councils for Voluntary Service (CVSs) in Hillingdon, Ealing and Hammersmith.
Mr Perry said: "The three CVS organisations bring a wealth of expertise and we are grateful for their support at this time."
The interim service will operate until March 2012 by which time a more permanent successor will have been found, and will help groups write bids for funding, providing training and workshops, and assist these organisations with their information technology.
Ted Hill, chief executive of Hillingdon CVS, said: "We are pleased to offer our support to Harrow’s community and voluntary groups.
"We will work closely with local organisations and the council to create a permanent replacement in the borough."
HAVS was wound down by its trustees in the spring when it became clear that despite intervention by the council to try to help reform the umbrella organisation, "underlying problems remained" according to council leader Councillor Bill Stephenson at the time.
Consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers investigated the charity's books in June 2010 following concerns raised during an audit of the 2008/09 accounts and found an illegal bonus scheme had been in operation and had been hidden from trustees.