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14 January 2011

VCS Assembly News Update 14 January (Issue 57)

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

New Year's Honour for Jean Jarvis
Jean Jarvis, Chief Executive of SSFS, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year's honours list. It is testament to Jean's inspirational leadership of the scheme over the past 10 years and her services to social enterprise across the UK. South Shropshire Furniture Scheme, lead by Jean, has grown from a volunteer run small re-use organisation to a successful showcase social enterprise employing 25 staff, training over 150 people a year and with over 90 hard working volunteers. The growth of SSFS has meant Jean is now an indomitable force in social enterprise on a national scale. In 2007 Jean was appointed by the Cabinet Office as a social enterprise ambassador. The ambassadors have been described as '30 of the most inspirational social entrepreneurs in the country'.  The recent 'Seeing is Believing' initiative, saw Jean work in partnership with Karen Lowthrop from Hillholt Wood using their own social enterprises as examples of best practice and inspiration to show the Ministry of Justice and senior civil servants how the third sector can help prisons and other institutions become more sustainable. Jean said "I am thrilled to receive this honour and very proud. I believe passionately in social enterprise as the business of the future and I'm so glad it has gained recognition in this way. I feel that this isn't just an honour for me but also for the staff, volunteers and board of SSFS who are dedicated to the work we do to alleviate hardship and provide a whole range of opportunities to local people".

Through the Doorway to Healthy Living - Spring 2011
Through the Doorway to Healthy Living has published the Spring 2011 Events Programme. A copy is attached. Look inside for lots of activities that will help participants lead a healthier lifestyle, meet new people and have a bit of fun. Most activities are only £2.50 per session (or pay in advance for £20 per term). A few activities are totally free and some have free cr?che places available. Activities start week commencing 10 January unless stated otherwise. For more information about Through the Doorway or to book places:
Tel: 01948 841466, Email: ams@doortohealth.fsnet.co.uk
pdfThrough the Doorway Spring 2011 (194.5KB)

Volunteers wanted!
Alzheimer's Society are keen to recruit (on an unpaid basis) some new volunteers to help out with street collections in the Shrewsbury and Telford areas and other volunteering work as required from time to time.  For further information/discussion, please contact Maureen Heath, Administrator, or Lyn Langdon, Support Services Manager, on 01743 341800. Email maureen.heath@alzheimers.org.uk or lyn.jones@alzlheimers.org.uk.

A Letter to VCS Assembly Members from A4U
Dear Colleague
Please find enclosed a copy of our latest Annual Review, outlining our achievements during the year, which I hope you will find of interest.
A4U provides information, advice, advocacy and support to people with disabilities and/or long term medical conditions, their families, carers and Health & Social Care Professionals. Our expertise lies in helping disabled people to challenge decisions affecting living independently in the community.  We offer a nationally accredited legal advice service including representation at tribunal.  Our other services include Counselling and Foot Health Care. 

As a consequence of the global recession we have noticed an increase in enquiries of a more complex nature but are aware that our limited funding arrangements with stakeholders are insufficient to meet the demand and we are continually looking for new sources of funding.

If you do require further information about the service we offer or would like to make a donation, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Yours sincerely

Marion Youens
pdfA4U report (7243KB)

News from Business Link
The New Year has brought with it an announcement that all Business Link services will close by 25 November 2011. The service will be replaced by a national website and contact centre, business coaching, a national mentoring network, and a streamlined 'Solutions for Business Support' portfolio. Please see http://www.businesslinkwm.co.uk/ for more information.

Decentralisation and Localism Bill - Briefings
Further to the information provided in the last email news on the Decentralisation and Localism Bill. Some useful briefings have been published. NCVO has a briefing on the government's Decentralisation and Localism Bill, which is intended to enable a significant shift of power from central government to local government and communities. The briefing focuses on the relevant areas most likely to impact on the voluntary and community sector.

RAWM has published a briefing on the Decentralisation and Localism Bill setting out implications for voluntary and community groups. See:

Big Society Bank
Civil Society Media has reported that talks between high street banks and the government regarding the creation of the Big Society Bank have broken down. The set up and operation of the Big Society Bank will rely heavily on the cooperation of the banks as they will need to provide access to dormant accounts.   The government is hoping to persuade them to make voluntary donations in exchange for tax breaks.  http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/finance/news/content/7944/15bn_big_society_bank_fund_hangs_in_balance_as_banking_talks_fail

Government help to break barriers to community initiatives (from VolResource)
The government has launched a 'barrier busting' service "to help volunteers, community groups and social enterprises overcome bureaucracy and get things done in their neighbourhood". If the local council can't or won't help tackle regulations and rules getting in the way of a good idea, a request can be made for help from central government to get rid of barriers by going to http://barrierbusting.communities.gov.uk/.

Social Enterprise Coalition Publishes New Report
The Social Enterprise Coalition has published a research report which says that a number of obstacles are stopping some social enterprises from branching out into different sectors and geographical areas through franchising and partnership working. Download 'Growing social enterprise: research into social replication' from:http://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/pages/socfran.html

News on the Community Organisers Programme (Big Society
Third Sector magazine reports that the government is intending to provide two million pounds in start-up funding for its new community organisers programme and will expect the delivery organisations to raise about ten million in order for it to continue. Under the programme, the government intends to train 800 new community organisers by 2012. They will be responsible for supporting and encouraging voluntary action in their local areas. See: http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/rss/article/1048014/.

Research Project Launched
NCVO, the Institute of Volunteering Research and Involve are running a joint two year project researching civic engagement or volunteering which forms a very large plank in the Big Society agenda. See: http://pathwaysthroughparticipation.org.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2010/11/Strengthening_Participation.pdf

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and the VCS
RAWM has issued a briefing relating to the involvement of the VCS in Local Enterprise Partnerships. See:  http://www.rawm.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/BRI_DEC2010_%2009%20strong%20local%20economies%20PART%202.pdf

2. Dates for Your Diary

Knowledge and Nosh 2011 - FREE Breakfast Briefings
The Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership's Volunteering Team hosted by the Community Council of Shropshire have organised another programme of free breakfast briefings for 2011. The sessions run from 8.30 am - 10.30 am, breakfast is included and booking is essential. See details below:

Tuesday 1 February 2011 - Ellesmere Boat House
Thursday 3 February 2011 - Church Stretton, The Longmynd Hotel
Wednesday 9 February 2011 - Shrewsbury, Lord Hill Hotel
Wednesday 16 February 2011 - Much Wenlock, The Gaskell Arms

Monitoring and Evaluation
Tuesday 15 February - Ellesmere, The Boat House
Monday 28 February - Bridgnorth, Parlours Hall
Friday 11 March - Church Stretton, The Longmynd Hotel
Tuesday 15 March - Shrewsbury, Lord Hill Hotel

Contact: Lisa Darkin.
Telephone: 01743 342 177 or Email: lisa.darkin@shropshire-rcc.org.uk

NHS Consultation - Keeping it in the County
Shropshire's NHS is keen to hear your views on proposals to change the way some services are arranged between the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital at Telford.

The purpose of the changes is to make sure patients receive safe, high quality care and that our two hospitals can continue to provide services to the people of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Mid-Wales.

Your views are very important to us. Please come along to one of our meetings on:

?                     Thursday 13 January at 7pm at Shrewsbury Town Football Club

?                     Thursday 20 January at 7pm at Oswestry Memorial Hall

?                     Wednesday 9 February at 7pm at Craven Arms Community Centre

?                     Wednesday 16 February at 7pm at Holiday Inn, Telford

If you can't attend one of these events, then there are alternative ways you can tells us your views. For more information about the consultation and how to get involved, follow the link on this page.

The consultation will run from 9 December 2010 through to the 14 March 2011.
pdfkeeping-it-in-the-county.poster.jpg (1222.75KB)

Infrastructure Partnership Training Opportunity
Does your paid or voluntary role involve training and supporting volunteers?

If so, then the Level 3/4 Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) for staff and volunteers in the 'third sector' qualification may help you in this role!

PTLLS for Volunteer Managers
Funding secured from the Capacitybuilders Volunteer Management Programme for the Community Council of Shropshire to deliver this training in conjunction with Walford & North Shropshire College to support fifteen Volunteer Managers to undertake PTLLS. All

course and certification fees will be funded by the programme, which aims to increase the skills and knowledge of Volunteer Managers in Shropshire. Candidates will need to provide an overview of how they are involved in the management of volunteers (i.e. induction, training or support of people in their volunteering role).

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

31st January to 21st March 2011

The course will be held at the Community Council of Shropshire, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury. Each session will be held on a Monday morning from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Please visit:
Contact: Maxine Betts Maxine.betts@shropshire-rcc.org.uk or phone 01743 360641

Enterprise Conference in Worcester
Friday 28th January 2011, 9.00am - 3.30pm, St Peter's Church, Worcester

Don't miss this opportunity to reserve your place at this year's exciting Worcestershire Social Enterprise Conference supported by Worcestershire County Council. Visit www.unlocking-enterprise.com where full details of this event are shown.

Empowering the Voluntary Sector Events
The Empowering the Voluntary Sector programme is running its popular master classes for voluntary sector organisations in 2011. These events focus on managing a dispute, legitimate expectation, the Single Equality Act 2010 and challenging tendering decisions.

The master classes will take place in the following locations:

?                     Manchester, 3 February 2011

?                     London, 22 February 2011

The cost per person, including lunch and resources is £40.
Details and booking forms can be found on:http://www.navca.org.uk/events/evsmaster.htm
For more information contact Terry Perkins on 0114 289 3972 or terry.perkins@navca.org.uk

Addressing Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
You may have seen the widespread media coverage following the conviction of Abid Siddique and Mohammed Liaquat, two of the leading perpetrators of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) identified in Derby's Operation Retriever. The Government has now announced that there will be a nationwide investigation into CSE. The Social Enterprise arm of Safe and Sound Derby, the Charity that helped trigger Operation Retriever, runs training courses for people working with children, young people and families with the aims of raising awareness of the issue and helping them to identity the indicators and to know how to intervene, when necessary. Please visit the website for details of courses and events www.justwhistle.org.uk.

3. Funding News

External Funding Update
Gary Spence has published the January External Funding update, which features:
- Changes to the Reaching Communities Fund
- Reminder of the approaching People's Millions deadline
- Football Foundation (Grow the Game) funding for projects that seek to increase participation and volunteering in football
- Ideas Fund Innovators - awards scheme of young people with innovative arts projects
- People's Postcode Trust - small grants for a range of community based projects
Email gary.spence@shropshire.gov.uk for more information.
pdfEFU68 Jan 11 (49.33KB)

Short Breaks Funding
Local authorities and the voluntary and community sector provide a range of short breaks services for families - including overnight stays, day trips with groups of children, fun activities in the community and one-to-one support. Providing short breaks gives families much-needed help and respite support so they are not forced to rely on often costly emergency intervention when the pressure gets too much. Funding provided for short breaks will be delivered to local authorities through the Early Intervention Grant. The Government will be providing £198 million, £202 million, £206 million, and £210 million for short breaks over the next four years. This figure includes the previously announced recycled Child Trust Fund money of at least £20 million each year. To help improve the way short breaks are provided, the Government has also announced £40 million of capital investment in 2011-12. In addition, the Government has recognised the important work of the Family Fund Trust in supporting low-income families with disabled children, and has confirmed at least £27 million of funding for every year of the spending review for grants to families to help them meet the additional costs of caring. Regulations have been laid in Parliament to introduce a duty on local authorities from April 2011 to provide a range of short breaks to carers of disabled children, and to publish information to parents about what they can access.

Baxi Community Challenge - Deadline 28 February
Do you know of a worthy cause looking for some help? Maybe it's your local village hall which needs a new water heater or the scout hut which is in need of a new boiler. Building Services & Environmental Engineer (BSEE) has teamed up with Baxi Commercial Division to offer one person the chance to help out their local community in the 'Baxi Community Challenge'.  Baxi Commercial Division offers one of the broadest ranges of commercial condensing boilers and commercial condensing direct fired water heaters available in the UK. Over the years they have been approached by a number of severely cash strapped worthy causes asking for a donation of a product for installation in a building or refurbishment project being undertaken for the benefit of the community concerned which is why they have joined forces to make a difference in 2011. The Baxi Community Challenge is easy to enter, simply send in details of the cause which you think would benefit from the help of Baxi Commercial Division by the end of February. Entries are not restricted to registered charities, any small community projects can enter. For example, renovation projects for scout huts, club halls, WI, a village museum etc. The finished project will be featured in a later issue of BSEE.

With thanks to Gary Spence, External Funding Officer and Joe Bubb, Team Leader Funding & Programmes

4. Consultations

Bus Strategy for Shropshire 2011- 2016
Shropshire Council will face some difficult decisions in the short and medium term as financial pressures increase on the budget for the provision of supported local bus services.  This will affect the delivery and sustainability of bus services in all areas of the County.  Shropshire Council must ensure that the money it has available is targeted at bus services which are essential in enabling people to go about their daily lives. The bus strategy defines the principles and priorities on which the local bus network will be provided over the next 5 years and meets the Council and Communities objective of a flourishing Shropshire. Shropshire Council is consulting with people across Shropshire about proposed changes to local bus services.  These changes are laid out in the Bus Strategy for Shropshire Council 2011-2016. The consultation will be undertaken during January to March 2011.  Comments from the consultation process will be considered in the final Bus Strategy which will be submitted to the Council in April 2011. The Strategy and details on how to respond to the consultation can be viewed at: http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/transportconsultation

In addition Shropshire Council is holding a series of consultation events where council officers will be available to answer any comments on the bus strategy and record any comments in response to the consultation.  Please find provisional dates of these events below.  It is unlikely that these dates will change but please instruct any one wishing to attend to keep an eye on local press.
pdfRoadshow Dates 2011 Consultation (13.39KB)

Local Transport Plan for Shropshire Consultation
The bus strategy forms part of a wider Local Transport Plan (LTP) which covers all aspects of Transport and Highways.  The Council is currently consulting on a new LTP which sets out our policies and priorities for the next 15 years.  You can get involved by:
Completing a simple web based survey on spending priorities available now at:  http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/transportconsultation

Commenting on the draft LTP which includes area based strategies, which will be available in mid January at:http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/traveltransport.nsf/open/2A79133CD32676E98025709E002EEF2B

For further information on the LTP please contact Jan Cook. Telephone: 01743 253066. jan.cook@shropshire.gov.uk

Wheelchair Accessible Taxis - Consultation
Shropshire Council's Licensing Department is currently revising its policies for hackney carriages and private hire vehicles.   As a result of previous consultation exercises, there is now a proposal that all new hackney carriages should be wheelchair accessible and that existing saloon-type vehicles continue to be licensed until the end of their operational life.

The decision to propose the above policy was taken after consideration of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 which states that public authorities, when carrying out their functions, must take into account peoples disabilities, and the Equalities Act 2010 (which comes into force in April 2011) that requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct and the need to advance equality of opportunity. 

At present the Council has 147 hackney Carriages, 38 (25%) of which are wheelchair accessible.  In addition there are 500 plus private hire vehicles.  The proposed policy would not be applicable to private hire vehicles.  

Officers at Shropshire Council would be very grateful if you provide your views on whether you consider that the proposed policy would adequately meet the requirements of the access groups of Shropshire.  Do you consider the policy should go further or should it be more relaxed?

Your thoughts would assist the Council members in making a final decision on this matter.  Please either e-mail licensing@shropshire.gov.uk or send your written representation to:

Carol Foster, Licensing Team Leader, Shropshire Council, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 6ND. By 31 January 2011.

New measures of national well-being
The Office for National Statistics is developing new measures of national well-being to cover the quality of life of people in the UK, environmental and sustainability issues, as well as the economic performance of the country. A consultation on what matters most in people lives and what is important for measuring well-being is running to 15th April: http://www.ons.gov.uk/about/consultations/measuring-national-well-being/index.html.

Charitable Giving Green Paper
A 'Giving Green Paper' outlines the government's initial ideas for building a stronger culture of giving time and money. Proposals include a Community First Fund for local savings schemes in the most deprived areas that provide small grants "well into the future", and a Volunteer Match Fund to double up private donations to voluntary projects. The government is seeking a broad discussion on the topics in the paper in advance of the White Paper (setting out firm policy) to be published in spring 2011.http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/giving-green-paper

Deadline for comments 9th March.

5. Compact

Compact Voice To Expand
Compact Voice is to recruit two new members of staff after the Cabinet Office increased its funding for the next four years. The organisation, which is based at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and represents the voluntary sector on the Compact, will receive £350,000 in 2011/12, rising to £358,000 in 2012/13, £368,000 in 2013/14 and £378,000 in 2014/15. It received £307,627 for the current financial year and a total of £915,979 for the last three years. Two new part-time members of staff will provide expertise outside London. Tom Elkins, manager of Compact Voice, said the increase should be viewed in the context of a "significant reduction in overall spend on the Compact following the announcement that the Commission for the Compact is closing".

National Focus on Decommissioning Good Practice
In March 2010, the National Audit Office (NAO) launched an online guide aimed at local public sector commissioners: "Successful Commissioning: How to secure value for money through better financial relationships with third sector organisations" (www.nao.org.uk/successfulcommissioning). The NAO is now looking to update this with a practical chapter on how to plan for and manage the de-commissioning of public services delivered by civil society organisations (CSOs) so as to achieve value for money. The NAO has commissioned the Office for Public Management (OPM), in partnership with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), to research and produce evidence-based practical guidance on the risks to value for money to consider when planning, implementing, finalising and evaluating the de-commissioning of public services delivered by CSOs. The project will involve talking to a range of stakeholders in key roles including commissioners, procurement and legal staff and representatives of CSOs and service users. As part of the research, Compact Voice is looking for examples of good practice in de-commissioning services. Contact: V?ronique Jochum at NCVO, veronique.Jochum@ncvo-vol.org.uk, 020 7520 2482

Compact Voice - New Website
Compact Voice has changed its website. See: http://www.compactvoice.org.uk/

National Compact Published - Reminder
A renewed Compact, the agreement which governs relations between the Government and civil society organisations in England, has been published by Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society and Simon Blake, Chair of Compact Voice. The new Compact aims to create the right environment for partnership working. To download the Compact and supporting documents visit:

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

Oswestry Youth Caf? - Funding/Project Manager
£ 25484     Pro Rata    16 hours per week
Do you have experience raising funding and enjoy working with young people?
Versatile enthusiastic individual required to raise funding for our voluntary youth facility and manage the day to day activities. The post is funded for 12 months (dependant on 3 monthly performance reviews). Full CRB disclosure required. For full details and job description contact:
Oswestry Youth Caf?, Queens Building, Oswald Road, Oswestry, Shropshire SY11 1RB
Telephone: 01691 656559. Email oyc@hotmail.co.uk to request an application pack.
Closing Date   31/1/11
pdfOYC Project Manager JD - 10 (27KB)

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

7. Important Reminders

News Items
See previous editions of the newsletter at: www.2shrop.net/shropvcsassembly

See previous editions of the newsletter at: www.2shrop.net/shropvcsassemblyEvents
Shropshire VCS Annual Assembly - REMINDER
The 2011 Shropshire Voluntary and Community Sector Annual Assembly will take place on 7 April. Please pencil the date in your diary!

NCVO Annual Conference 2011- 1st March, London- REMINDER
The conference will cover:
™ How your organisation can carry out its mission with potentially reduced resources.
™ What new skills are most relevant to your role.
™ How you can ensure financial and operational stability for your organisation.
™ How to find new contacts who will help your organisation prosper.
™ Where you fit into the Government's Big Society and localism agendas
Keynote speakers include the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Sir Stuart Etherington. There will be a full workshop programme addressing topics such as funding, change management, governance, open data and more.
Book online at: http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/training-events/annual-autumn-conferences/ncvo-annual-conference-2011

See previous editions of the newsletter at: www.2shrop.net/shropvcsassembly

Please contact me if you have information you would like to share with Shropshire's voluntary and community groups and organisations.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

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