The Voluntary Sector: adding a certain Spice

David Russell, Head of Policy, Spice

Most people in our communities do not spend time pondering public service reform and which organisation or service is funded from which source. They want healthy and happy lives for themselves and the people they care about. For us this is a key to how we plan and design our work and is central to the way we aim to work with public services and would like public services to work with us. Continue reading

The role of the VCSE sector in co-producing new models of health and care

Sandra van der Feen, Health Policy Officer, London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC)

In June this year, I produced an article following on from our Whole Systems Change: co producing new models of health and care event in April. The event highlighted how co-production could bring about more effective partnerships between the sectors and potentially more funding opportunities for the VCSE sector. One of the issues raised was about the lack of funding going to the VCSE sector when GPs prescribe a patient or carer to a VSCE social prescribing project. Continue reading

Feedback from the final VCSE Review event

Alex Fox, CEO Shared Lives Plus and Chair of the VCSE Review

At the final VCSE Review consultation event this week, we heard from national charities that are struggling to navigate an increasingly devolved health and care system. Despite being ‘national’, often these are small charities whose work is focused on particular health conditions or addressing health inequalities experienced by particular communities. Continue reading

Strategic approach to commissioning for prevention

Sian Lockwood, CEO Community Catalysts

I thought that the best way to illustrate the way in which imaginative commissioners are drawing upon the gifts and talents of local people to deliver preventative services for people with health needs is to tell the story of one inspirational community entrepreneur, John Baly. Continue reading

Need to invest for change and survival – State of the Third Sector in the North East

Jane Hartley, Chief Executive, VONNE

The latest findings

The latest report from the Northern Rock Foundation Third Sector Trends Study provides a digest of findings on the state of the third sector in the North East. It began as a longitudinal study in 2008 and has continued to review progress since then. Continue reading

InterAct: a VCS/ NHS partnership supporting children of parents experiencing mental illness

Mandy Bell, Development Lead, Gloucestershire Young Carers

When your steering group comprises of senior managers from the NHS and a VCS organisation alongside a parent and two unrelated teenagers, you know that you are on the right track to understanding need and how to respond to that need from pretty well all angles. Building a partnership between a small independent charity, a large bureaucratic NHS Trust and adult and young service users takes time and a great deal of determination from all involved but when it works, the combined wealth of knowledge, experience and skills can move mountains. Continue reading

Ways to Wellbeing

Alex Fox, CEO Shared Lives Plus and Chair of the VCSE Review

It says a lot about people who work in the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector that, when asked to decide which of the VCSE review topics they wanted to focus on at the Voluntary Sector North West session this week, delegates quickly decided they wanted to talk about ‘what our sector needs to do to change’, rather than what might need changing about other sectors. Continue reading

Feedback to Alex Fox at ACEVO’s Health & Social Care Conference, 21 October, Leeds

Mark Winter, Director of ACEVO Solutions

As part of the VCSE Review consultation process, we have arranged for people who are interested in hearing from Alex Fox, the VCSE Review Chair and CEO of Shared Lives Plus, to attend the ACEVO Autumn Health and Social Care Conference in Leeds, for free.

This short day conference on the 21 October is a perfect opportunity to consider what this parliament has in store for third sector organisations working in health and care and the conference will focus on the critical role of the third sector in helping to drive changes across the health economy. In this context, Alex Fox will be providing an update on the VCSE Review consultation and will be seeking feedback from attendees. Continue reading

Building long term and holistic outcomes into statutory systems

By Paul Streets OBE, Chief Executive, Lloyds Bank Foundation

At Lloyds Bank Foundation, we support charities working with people facing multiple disadvantage. For these people, holistic interventions are central to long term success and we regularly see what this looks like through the charities we support. Room to Heal in London, providing holistic support to refugees and survivors of torture, is one such example whose success has been recognised through our Charity Achievement Awards this year.  As their application said: “It didn’t take us long to realise that it is futile offering counselling to someone who has no bed for the night, no lawyer to fight their case, or no money to buy food. Our therapeutic and casework teams work hand in hand to support each individual through the unique, myriad challenges they face.”  Treating people as individuals, rather than statistics means they do not easily fit into a box. Service providers need to be able to adapt to emerging needs and tailor their support for the individual. As a funder, this is something we look for in the charities we support, but in statutory systems this has proved much harder to achieve. Continue reading

What we’ve heard so far

Alex Fox, CEO Shared Lives Plus and Chair of the VCSE Review

Since August we’ve been busy meeting with the VCSE sector to gauge your views on our consultation questions.  Across the country at face-to-face meetings, in online events and through our two consultations we’ve heard some really thoughtful contributions.  We want to share here some of the key messages we’ve received so far.  Remember, there’s still time to contribute views and shape the future of health and social care as the consultation closes on 6 November.  Continue reading