Event Influences Leicestershire Together Priorities
Members of Leicestershire’s VCS Strategy Group attended the Leicestershire Together challenge process session on 31 January.
This session looked at the work of the VCS Strategy Group and other partnerships including Safer Communities, Stronger Communities, Sport and Physical Activities and the Working Together Group.
The aim of the challenge process is to ensure that the Partnership is meeting it’s priorities, and that the various partnerships are working effectively together. Attendees also included councillors and officers from the various partnership members.
Becky Nixon, Deputy Chief Executive at VAL gave a presentation about the work of the VCS Strategy Group and the role that the VCS has to play in meeting the needs of people in Leicestershire over the coming months and years.
The presentation emphasised:
- The VCS is well placed to deliver services, and we want to be involved at all stages of the commissioning process including service design and evaluation. In particular we would like to identify outcomes that the VCS is best placed to deliver and design interventions to these ourselves rather than just bidding to deliver services designed by commissioners. There is also a need for commissioners to be clearer about link between strategy and delivery and in what is available to be delivered.
- The value of the VCS, including volunteering, is 5-7 times that of local public sector investment, and there is a need for public sector partners to work with all of the VCS and not just the parts that it funds.
- The VCS has various roles across the different areas of work, the most common are as delivers of services; providing self-help and peer support, including through volunteering; supporting vulnerable people to access public services; providing positive social, learning and physical activities; enabling people to be involved in and shape their communities; working with people who are vulnerable or disadvantaged to stop them needing public services. The VCS can also lever in resources for projects, for example through trusts and foundations or through the private sector.
- VAL has been doing some work with the VCS to identify the areas in which the VCS thinks it has a contribution through our Future Focus event and Planning for Community Impact. This project will continue, with the next step being to identify some specific projects to work on this year, for example helping older people to live more independently, increasing people’s mental wellbeing, or supporting young people in the transition to adulthood.
- Meeting the needs of people as a result of welfare reform challenges is a big issue at the moment, and needs the VCS and public sector to work together to meet the challenges.
In each of the other discussions the role of volunteers and communities was raised as being essential to deliver the outcomes.
The VCS Strategy Group will consider the issues coming out of the Leicestershire Together Challenge process and its next steps at its next meeting.
See more at:http://www.valonline.org.uk/news/featured-news/2013/feb/influencing-leicestershire-together039s-priorities