Supporting Infrastructure

Providing support to the VCSE sector is core to what we do.  

This includes channelling information between VCSE organisations and local & central government agencies; providing a network of communication for sector organisations; and bringing together representatives from VCSE organisations to allow them to identify their policy and funding needs.  

As the regional voluntary sector network for the North West, VSNW’s supporting activity is more multi-faceted than that which might be expected of, for example, a local CVS.

Local and individual

Via our membership we are in contact with over 22,000 groups in the North West. Our members are local, specialist, and equalities networks and infrastructure agencies.

1,000 people subscribe to our monthly bulletin, which updates recipients on VCSE news in the North West, surveys, consultations, events, training, jobs, and briefs them on policy. We also publish a health bulletin, which briefs subscribers on the latest news and policy in health and social care.

We produce timely briefings on government reforms, policy, and a wide range of topics of interest to the sector. We also work with local infrastructure organisations, particularly supporting their development, structures, and engagement at strategic levels.

We host several events every year, which can range from training courses in small localities, to our Annual Conference which attracts groups from across the North West.

Sub-regional: Cheshire & Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire & Liverpool City Region

Much of our work is at this level, following the geography of the public sector and local authorities.  This includes supporting partnerships of local organisations, such as VS6, or the GM VCSE Devolution Reference Group. We have strong working relationships with the key VCSE organisations in these regions, and our activity is varied, reflecting the diversity of the North West in general. 

North West

We work closely with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), Network for Europe, I4P and key regional structures and agencies like the North West Leaders Board (on which we sit), Public Health England North and North West, North West Employers and Health Education North West. We deliver aspects of Care Quality Commission work in the North West.


Nationally, we are a Regional Voices partner, who are in turn a VCS Strategic Partner with the Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England. Through Regional Voices we connect to devolution discussions across the North, Midlands and South of England and connect to the National Growth Programme Board.

We also work as part of a consortium called Voluntary Voices which consists of ourselves, National Voices, Volunteering Matters and NAVCA.

In addition, we manage a contract with the Care Quality Commission to support sector involvement in improving the quality of local health and social care services.