Accountants Richard Place Dobson have been appointed as auditors to the new Sussex adult education charity Aspire Sussex.
Aspire has offices across the county, including one in Horsham’s Drill Hall in Denne Road, and was formed from the highly effective West Sussex Adult & Community Learning Service and is the first local authority adult education department to become a registered charity.
Sam Boulton, Aspire’s marketing manager, said: “Charitable status gives us more opportunities and access to additional funding.
“This, in turn, supports a more robust fee policy and ensures we meet our commitment to providing affordable courses for everyone.”
Its new status also means that Aspire is no longer confined to West Sussex and the charity is ‘looking forward to expanding its offer to other areas’.
Aspire Sussex operates from ten locations across the region including Crawley, Horsham, Burgess Hill, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, and Midhurst and offers more than 2,000 learning opportunities annually.
Courses are tailored to the needs of the local community and included in their offer are free English and maths qualification courses so everyone has the opportunity to gain these essential skills. Other courses include arts and crafts, fitness, computers, languages, cookery, health and beauty plus lots more.
The quality of Richard Place Dobson’s bid for the accounting and auditing services proved a key factor in the firm winning the work with the Finance and Audit Committee as a whole agreeing on the appointment, said Aspire’s
Janette Pearce, finance manager, said: ”We were impressed with their proposal and it was evident that the team had significant experience of working with charitable organisations. We feel confident they can provide the specialist advice and assistance we need as a new charity planning to expand our education delivery.”
Darren Harding, who heads up the charity division for Richard Place Dobson, said: “We are delighted to be working with Aspire and look forward to assisting with their growth and development over the coming years, in our capacity as their auditors. We relish the challenge of being involved in advising such a new and pioneering entity.”