Devolution, Our Devolution: Perspectives on the Meaning of Devolution for Voluntary and Community Groups
3 December 2014
Devolution in England is happening now. We want the voluntary and community sector to play a key role in developing the thinking around what a good model of devolution looks like and how it could work best for the communities we represent.
This report contains thirteen different perspectives from across the North West and further afield to give us all food for thought on what devolution could mean and the role of the sector. Click here to download a copy.
The Implications of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for the VCS
30 September 2014
Thisreport, commissioned by Liverpool CVS United Way, explores the implications of city region working, and specifically the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, for local voluntary and community sector groups:
The Future Role of the VCS in the Cheshire and Warrington LEP
2 July 2014
VSNW and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) were commissioned by Learning Together Cheshire and Warrington (LTC&W) to explore the role of VCS organisations in the future of the Local Enterprise Partnership.
The report draws together evidence and case-studies about the sector's impact and potential in four thematic LEP delivery areas:
employment and skills, and
This report will be of use to LEPs thinking about how they work with the sector and to local VCS lead agencies, especially those developing Lottery match funding proposals (all five in the North West). The report includes recommendations for how LEPs can work with the VCS to generate greater economic and social development.
‘Thriving Places’ is VSNW’s and CLES’ campaign to develop a progressive and socially just vision of the voluntary and community sector’s role in local economies and the life of local places.
VSNW and CLES have established five areas of action: 1. We need to make a strident case for recognising the sector's current and potential role in thriving places 2. The sector needs to be bullish 3. We need to take the argument to inert thinking and prevailing orthodoxies and create the conditions for fundamental change 4. The sector needs to look at itself 5. We need to be clear about why this is the best way forward from an economic perspective
Success Stories: highlights from C&YP NW network members (November 2013)
27 November 2013
This report highlights success storiesfrom Children & Young People NW network members from the last 18 months. These include winning strategic representation on Health & Wellbeing Boards and Apprenticeship Hubs, campaigning for families, buidling successful consortia that win contracts, strong and effective local infrastructure work, providing support for community group take-up of graduate placements, CCG grants, award successes, youth work and nuclear business, young people lobbying for young people (Youthforia!), and evaluating the impact of respite services on parents.
VSNW works on behalf of its members and the wider voluntary and community sector in the North West to ensure the sector can play a full part in shaping the future of the North West. We have had another successful year, even in the face of reduced resources, and you can read all about it in our annual review.
'Building a Strong Local Healthwatch': the role of the VCS
24 February 2013
Local Healthwatch (HW) organisations will be in place by April 2013. The report draws together the knowledge, experiences and contributions that voluntary sector organistions who attended a workshop on 17th January 2013. The aim of the workshop was to look beyond Healthwatch organisational structure issues to how the voluntary and community sector can maximise its contribution to Local Healthwatch organisations.
Regional Voices has been working with the Local Government Association and the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement on a programme of work funded by the Department of Health to identify and share learning between local Healthwatch pathfinders and to identify the challenges and support needs for future local Healthwatch development.
This report highlights both some key elements considered to be essential in creating an effective local Healthwatch organisation and also some of the challenges that were highlighted through interviews with a selection of voluntary and community sector (VCS) and LINK representatives.
VSNW recently held meetings with the Department of Health Officials to which a small number of LINk hosts were invited along with LINk representation and their Local Authority Healthwatch Lead. The main aim of the discussion was to discuss potential organisational form for Local Healthwatch and what would and would not be acceptable. Those invited had specific model ideas they wished to discuss and this led on to a wide ranging discussion of issues surrounding the establishment and role of local Healthwatch.
Open for All? The Changing Nature of Equality under Big Society and Localism
17 January 2012
Research into the impact of Government policy on Equalities Groups in the North West finds that:
1. Reforms have come at a cost
2. New forms of representation are weak and exclude equalities groups
3. Spending cuts are damaging voluntary sector capacity to deliver big society
4. The new policy framework is liable to reinstate old patterns of exclusion and discrimination
5. Implementation is disproportionately harming the most excluded
6. The capacity of equalities groups to participate and hold public bodies to account is heading towards a point of critical failure.
Still delivering for England's North West: VSNW Annual Review 2010-2011
28 October 2011
Our 2010-11 annual review sets out how we have continued to support the voluntary and community sector in the North West in policy areas such as health, learning & skills and equalities. Our work in representing the sector, gathering information and supporting networks has continued despite the reduction in regional bodies and the current political environment.
The Implications of Government Policy for Equality Issues
26 May 2011
Produced as part of the Equality, Big Society and Localism Research Project commissioned by the NorthWest Infrastructure Partnership (NWIP), this think piece includes an exploration of the implications of The Localism Bill, Big Society, The Local Growth White Paper, and the latest Welfare and Health reform proposals.
Getting the Localism Bill Right (May 2011), VSNW’s guide to the Localism Bill, highlights six key areas of the Bill and proposes six principles that could be used to shape and define “Localism”:
► Principle 1: "That Localism is open and inclusive for all local people" ► Principle 2: "Communities should have a say in making decisions that affect them" ► Principle 3: "Local services should be shaped by and accountable to local communities" ► Principle 4: "That Localism promotes a caring and broad sense of community" ► Principle 5: "That the assets of the state are owned on behalf of our communities" ► Principle 6: "That Localism builds local strength without becoming solely inward-looking"
The Regional Compact commits the regional public and third sector agencies to developing a better working relationship based on stronger shared understanding and shared principles, commitments on both sides that include addressing key areas of joint work:
►Equality and Diversity
►Funding, Commissioning and Procurement
►Monitoring and reviewing the regional compact
►Mission, values and strategic objectives ►Work building strong working relationships with the VCS in the North West ►Work building strong working relationships with key regional public sector agencies ►Work to tackle the impact of the recession ►Support for VCS Health and Social Care groups ►Details of trustees, staff, members, and funders
Volunteering Fund Success Stories in the North West
Two of the six case studies looking into how voluntary organisations can be sustainable are from Blackburn with Darwen. These provide valuable lessons for thinking about the future direction of the sector in public service delivery.