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13 April 2011

VCS Assembly News Update 13 April (Issue 62)

In this issue:
1. News
2. Dates for Your Diary
3. Funding News
4. Consultations
5. Compact
6. Career Opportunities
7. Important Reminders

1. News

Annual Report
The VCS Assembly Board has produced an Annual Report for 2010/11. The Annual Report details the work that has taken place since the last Annual Assembly in June 2010. A copy is attached.
pdfAnnual Report 2010-11 (511.03KB)

VCS Annual Assembly
The VCS Annual Assembly took place on the 7 April at Shrewsbury Town Football Stadium. The event was well attended and feedback positive. A webpage containing all presentations and a report of the event is currently being developed and an email will be issued with a link very shortly. Thank you to all of you who attended or sent messages of support!

Taste of The Town to Close
Jeff Hopkins, Chairman of the Taste of the Town Company (ToTT Co.), a local Not for Profit Company, announced the closure of the Company by the Directors, following the AGM on Wednesday 23 March 2011. A press statement is attached.
pdfPress Release TOTT (20.99KB)

Big Lottery Improving Futures Fund
Are you interested in putting a bid in for the Big Lottery Improving Futures Fund? Would you be interested in working in a partnership group to consider an application? Details of the fund are available from: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_improving_futures.htm

If you are interested in any joint work please get in touch with me by the as soon as possible and no later than the end of the day on Tuesday 26 May. The Assembly and Shropshire's External Funding Team are keen to coordinate a response from Shropshire, supporting a joint application (Shropshire will not be able to put multiple bids in - one coordinated response is required by the Big Lottery). Please email me, Sarah Dodds, on sarah.dodds@shropshire.gov.uk or telephone 01743 252740 by Tuesday 26 April.

Big Society Awards
Set up by the Prime Minister in November 2010 the Big Society Awards focus upon three specific areas:
?        Promoting social action
?        Empowering communities
?        Opening up public services
Nominations come in from the general public and the Prime Minister makes the final decisions about who to make the award to. Twelve winners are decided each quarter and then announced once a week throughout the year. The Award itself has several aspects to it. The winners each receive:
?        a plaque;
?        a signed certificate from the Prime Minister;
?        copies of the electronic awards logos to use on their websites and publicity materials;
?        an invitation to a twice yearly reception at No.10 Downing Street;
?        a press release that appears on the No.10 website and that the No.10 staff then circulate to the local and regional press in the winner's home area.
A flyer is attached and further details are available from:
pdfBig Society Awards promotional leaflet (413.93KB)

The Budget - News for Volunteer Drivers and Community Car Schemes
The Community Transport Association (CTA) is delighted that in his Budget today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has responded to calls from the CTA and Volunteering England, by extending the HMRC Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAP) rate for passenger payments currently in place for business employees, at 5 pence per passenger per mile, to volunteers. Therefore, with the 5p increase to the AMAP to 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles, this will mean that volunteers can now be reimbursed up to 50p per mile tax free, when carrying passengers. Keith Halstead, Chief Executive of the Community Transport Association UK said "The CTA is extremely pleased that the Chancellor has responded to our request to remove this barrier to volunteering. Thousands of volunteer drivers across the UK, and, more importantly, the communities that they serve through their social car schemes, will be delighted to hear this news".  Further information is available from the CTA http://www.ctauk.org/policies-legislation/media-news.aspx

More Budget News
The small donations scheme, which won't require supporting Gift Aid declarations to make a charity tax reclaim, will be open only to charities that have complied with tax rules for at least three years. Enabling legislation will be required, with a planned commencement date of April 2013, but there will be consultations on how the legislation will work later this year. See news article from ThirdSector: http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/article/1061979/.

Guidance issued on Charitable Incorporated Organisation model
Both the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and the Charity Commission have published guidance on the charitable incorporated organisation legal form. The Scottish version (SCIO) can be applied for from 1st April, while the legislation for CIOs in England and Wales has yet to be brought into operation. See Charity Commission news item at: http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/RSS/News/pr_cio.aspx.This includes two model constitutions for CIOs, the foundation model where the only voting members will be the charity trustees, and the association model for charities that will have a wider membership.

New Gift Aid Forms
HM Revenue and Customs has issued new Gift Aid forms, including the repayment claim form R68, which can be downloaded from their website: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/charities/gift-aid-toolkit.htm.

Process starts for processing money from dormant accounts
Co-operative Financial Services (which runs the Co-operative Bank) has been approved by the Financial Services Authority to establish the facility to receive monies from dormant bank accounts which have not been used for 15 years or more. The Reclaim Fund will then go to the Big Lottery Fund and eventually out to good causes - in England this is the pot for the Big Society Bank. Those who believe they may have lost touch with a bank account or savings should check http://www.mylostaccount.org.uk/.

Getting IT to help with monitoring and evaluation (from VolResource)
Charities Evaluation Services has produced a guide to help organisations select a suitable IT system or database to support their monitoring work, as they found that this was a key barrier to such work. The guide should help establish what you need from a system and focuses on low-cost, off-the-shelf database systems with a comparison table to clearly demonstrate key features. 'IT for Outcomes' can be downloaded via: http://www.ces-vol.org.uk/index.cfm?pg=416.

Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work (from VolResource)
The "first-ever internationally sanctioned guidance to statistical agencies for generating reliable, official data on volunteer work using a common definition and approach" has been produced in a final pre-publication version. Created by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies in cooperation with the International Labour Organization, 'The ILO Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work' can be found at: http://www.ccss.jhu.edu/index.php?section=content&view=9&sub=12&tri=106

2. Dates for Your Diary

VCS & Social Enterprise Engagement with the Marches Enterprise Partnership
This is a free seminar being held on Thursday 21 April, 2-4.30pm at the Leominster Bridge Street Sports Centre Full details are included in the attached flyer.
pdfLEP Seminar flyer (51.12KB)

West Midlands Supported Housing Network - Tuesday 10 May 9:30-3:30, Birmingham
The West Midlands Supported Housing Network invites you to their meeting where four Networks within the region will come together to meet and discuss Care and Supported Housing issues. This event is organised by the West Midlands Supported Housing Network (supported and facilitated by RAWM) and sponsored by Support Solutions.  The event will look at the effect of changes in housing benfits to the housing sector in the West Midlands and how the West Midlands Supported Housing Network (WMSHN) will tackle related issues. To find out more visit:http://protectingincome.eventbrite.com/?ref=enivte?amp;utm_source=eb_email&utm_media=email&utm_compaign=invitenew&utm_term=readmore

See and Hear Shropshire 2011
Wednesday 11th May, 10am till 4pm
Admission £1.00. The Sports Village, Sundorne Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 4RQ
Exhibitions, stalls, equipment, services & Information about Sight Loss, Hearing Impairment, Deafness, Deafblind. Services on display will range from: Sarabec, RNIB, RNID, Action for Blind People,  Optelec, Shropshire Council, Guide Dogs,  Low Vision Services, Hearing Therapists and many more. Please call Vicky on 01743 463517 (Voice) or email vtts@shropshire.gov.uk to book your place. See: http://www.bionicearshow.org/

Free Workshops for Fairtrade Campaigners
Bridges is holding two workshops to support local Fairtrade campaigners to work with schools:
Working with Schools
Wednesday 18 May - 7.30pm to 9.00pm
United Reformed Church, Shrewsbury
Achieve with Fairtrade
Wednesday 8 June - 9.00am to 12.00 noon
United Reformed Church, Shrewsbury
If you'd like to join one or both of these workshops please contact Davina Allen on Davina@shropshirebridges.org.uk or 01952 255526. For more information on the work of Bridges see: www.shropshirebridges.org.uk

10am-4.00pm, Weekend 11 and 12 June 2011
Minsterley Parish Hall

A wide range of suppliers and exhibitors to help local householders, and voluntary groups save money.

Visit and talk to local householders and business and see how energy efficiency works.

SPECIAL OFFER - FREE for Rea Valley residents
1.  Loan of a Smart Metre
2.  Household Energy Survey
Minsterley Parish Hall is on A488 approx 8 miles South West of Shrewsbury, with ample parking.  Refreshments will be available. The Fair and Open Homes are FREE to attend or to exhibit at. For more information contact Jean Garner, ReaVEN Telephone: 01743 791459.

Wyldwoods Event - Saturday 25 June 5pm - 11pm
A poster is attached inviting you to a barbecue organised by Wyldwoods. For more information see http://www.wyldwoods.co.uk.
pdfWyldwoods BBB&B Poster (1144.61KB)

3. Funding News

West Midlands European Network Update

DWP Work Programme - Successful Providers Announced
On Friday 1 April Minister for Employment Chris Grayling announced the results of the DWP Work Programme contracting process and who the preferred delivery partners will be. The organisations named as preferred bidders will now go onto contract signing and the Programme will begin in June when the first customers are referred from Jobcentre Plus. The contracts have been arranged geographically across 18 regions, with a total of 40 contracts being awarded. In total there are 15 private sector, 2 voluntary sector and 1 public sector organisations as prime contractors. Amongst the sub-contractors, there are 289 voluntary sector organisations. Successful prime providers for two package areas in the West Midlands are:

Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country               FourstaR Employment & Skills Ltd

                                                                                    Newcastle College Group


Coventry, Warwickshire, Staffordshire                   ESG

and the Marches                                                        Serco Ltd
The press release by DWP and the list of the Work Programme Preferred Bidders can be viewed at:

European Social Fund (ESF) delivery opportunity
Part of the Work Programme requirements includes the delivery of ESF funded services to an additional customer group comprised of people on Incapacity Benefits (IB) and people on Income Support (IS). IB/IS recipients will be able to access the Work Programme at any time via Jobcentre Plus on a voluntary basis. Following the DWP announcement, WMEN is exploring potential opportunities for the Third Sector to get involved in this new programme, to help prime providers in the West Midlands to achieve ESF targets. If you have previously worked with IB/IS customers, have a good track record and are interested in the above opportunity contact the West Midlands European Network. Telephone: 0121 683 8890. http://www.wmeuronet.co.uk/

Funding news provided by Gary Spence, External Funding Officer and Joe Bubb, Team Leader Funding & Programmes.

4. Consultations

Not this time.

5. Compact

Compact Case Studies now available
A new collection of case studies that highlight some recent examples of effective Compact working is now available from Compact Voice:

Essex: Procurement and the Compact
Essex County Council has recently revised its procurement policies. By removing barriers and levelling the playing field for voluntary and community sector organisations, they now follow both the letter and the spirit of the Essex Compact. This fits with work currently underway in Shropshire with a joint VCS Assembly and Shorpshire Council task group working to review current processes and develop a new Commissioning Framework. For details of the work being undertaken in Essex see:http://www.compactvoice.org.uk/resources/compact-work/improved-procurement-processes-essex-county-council

Compact Representatives Needed - Reminder
Are you interested in the Shropshire Compact? Would you be willing to act as a VCS Assembly representative on the Compact Implementation Group? The Compact Implementation Group is seeking two new VCS representatives to join the group and help take Compact implementation forward in 2011. The group meets approximately 5-6 times a year, with meetings lasting up to 2 hours at a venue in Shrewsbury. Travel expenses can be paid for volunteers. If you are willing to get involved please contact me Sarah Dodds (01743 252740 or email sarah.dodds@shropshire.gov.uk).

If you would like to become a Compact Champion please email me, Sarah Dodds, sarah.dodds@shropshire.gov.uk or telephone 01743 252740.

Have you got a Compact story? Email sarah.dodds@shropshire.gov.uk and share it with others.

6. Career Opportunities

Barnardos Job Vacancy
An advert is attached for a Project Worker. The post is full time (37 hours pw). Salary scale £22,443 - 28,922.  For a copy of the person profile, job description and application form, please visit the website www.barnardos.org.uk/jobs  Closing date for applications is Tuesday 3 May 2011.
pdfRecruitment advert PW2 Connect service April 2011 (102.55KB)

More career opportunities are advertised on the Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership website. Visit: http://www.shropshirevcs.org.uk/

Membership Development Officer's Vacancy at WMEN
WMEN has recently undergone organisational restructuring and is pleased to announce that an exciting opportunity has arisen to join the organisation. WMEN is looking for a part-time Membership Development Officer who will be responsible for developing strategies for membership engagement at WMEN and developing, managing and implementing a communication strategy for members. You will also develop/deliver appropriate and effective training and capacity building activities for WMEN members and identify future activities for WMEN to support the development of the business process. The right candidate should have knowledge and experience of European funding and understand current issues and debates relating to European Funding and how these impact on the Third Sector in particular. This post is funded by the European Regional Development Fund until 30 September 2011. If you have the necessary experience, knowledge and skills and are interested in applying for the vacancy, please refer to the attached Membership Development Officer Job Description and Person Specification for more details. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Thursday 21st April 2011. The completed WMEN Application Form should be returned by e-mail to geraldine@wmeuronet.org  Short-listed candidates will be contacted. If you don't receive a response by 28th April, your application has not been successful.
pdfMembership Development Officer - JD & PS (276.47KB)

West Midlands European Network

0121 683 8890

7. Important Reminders

News Items

Shropshire Council and VCS Assembly issue Joint Communiqu?
Shropshire Council and Shropshire voluntary organisations have produced a Joint Communiqu? detailing shared commitments. A copy is attached.

VCS Assembly - New Web Page
Papers for the newly established Joint Task Group (referred to above) and its sub groups are now available on the VCS Assembly website. Sub groups include the VCS Commissioning Group, Performance Group and Right to Buy and Challenge Group. Public access to the papers is important: primarily to allow all VCS Assembly members to access the papers and feed in any issues, as appropriate. Please get in touch if you have issues you would like to feed into these groups. The new web page is available at:

VCS Engagement with the Local
Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
West Midlands Rural Community Action Network have secured resources through RAWM for work to be undertaken to explore how the voluntary and community sector in the Marches area may be able to engage and influence the work and priorities of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Details of this work are attached.

No reminders this time.


Diploma in Training and Development - May-September
Please find attached information on the Diploma in Training and Development an Accredited Professional Development Award for trainers. The programme is being offered for the first time in Stoke on Trent at an introductory discount price. There is a further discount for voluntary and community organisations and self paying individuals.  The course will be held in Hanley at a central venue - we will confirm the venue once final numbers are known. Places are however limited so, if you want a place, please use the booking form attached. If you have any queries please email angelaevans@talktalk.net or phone: 07903 237723.
docBooking Form stoke (91.5KB)pdfDiploma Info Page Stoke (2) (43.16KB)


Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) Consultations
Proposals to introduce a Community Right to Challenge Closes 3 May 2011
Proposals to introduce a Community Right to Buy Closes 3 May 2011http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/righttobuyconsultation

Consultation on the advancement of amateur sport as a charitable aim
Deadline 31st May. See:

Please contact me if you have information you would like to share.

With best wishes


Sarah Dodds
VCS Assembly Coordinator
Telephone 01743 252740
Email: sarah.dodds@shropshire.gov.uk