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  1. August 25, 2017 13:24

    Great summary Mark. It would be helpful to mention the role of CVSs and infrastructure specifically. Where we are properly resourced this activity is our day job and we try our very best whatever capacity we have. Obviously there are links in what you mention but we always need to make the specific role we have visible. Also for those who then say, but our CVS isn’t doing this my response would be join the board or help make sure there is a grant for it to do so. An independent and trusted voice that isn’t a competitor for service provision is critical.

    • August 25, 2017 13:44

      Cheers Ben – I agree completely – the role of local infrastructure organisations is key – I’ll try to pick this up in another blog – I try to keep the blogs to 600/800 words so there is always stuff missed out. But just to affirm – role of infrastructure orgs v important

    • March 4, 2018 07:17

      I think you have made a very good point there – some cvs’s have had to start providing services to make the books balance and have found themselves in competition with the very organisations they are there to support – a real conflict of interest emerges & mistrust takes over. It is so very tricky for CVS’s – commercial nouse not always as strong on the boards of vol sector orgs but reckon it’s vital.

      • March 4, 2018 10:24

        Good to hear from you Wendy – I agree there is variation in the quality of Councils of Voluntary Service – in part of the reasons you say – financial pressures and pragmatic responses to these. But also of course because these are small organisations with quite a big variation in capability. I also think that their main commissioners – local authorities usually – often lack the capability to be clear about their role and what they should expect from them. Having said that there are some hopeful examples of really good CVS’s – in Sheffield for example my personal view is that Voluntary Action Sheffield is going through a bit of a resurgence with a clear view about its role and practical support to the local VCS.

  2. August 31, 2017 13:39

    Thanks for the reply Mark. I know you’re a fan and supporter, much appreciated in these times!

  3. March 4, 2018 07:11

    We have been working on this for the last five years in Barnsley – https://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/uploads/attachment/585/heading-upstream.pdf and our reflections are that you basically have to co-create what works almost in each community. We have some approaches that are borough wide like social prescribing but this is organised on a common geography ( our 6 Arrea Councils ) alongside many other services eg stronger communities teams, Neighbourhood nursing, Neighbourhood policing and GP networks etc . Our area councils and Ward alliances invest in community activities which supports vcs development ++ and we’ve seen 16% increase in new groups forming. Strategic intell profiles at localities blended with a feel for helps us focus resources and challenge existing providers to reshape their offers – social prescribing only works well in Barnsley because of the £2.1 million local authority has invested in capacity building ( this doesn’t include cost of area teams ) however it’s squeaking now so work to do with stp to consider where additional investment needed before SP is expanded further.
    Long response !

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