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11 February 2011

VCS Assembly News Update 11 February (Issue 59)

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

Oswestry and Shropshire Citizen Advocacy - Volunteers needed
OSCA needs volunteers to support and represent people with learning difficulties throughout Shropshire. An advert is attached with details of how to get involved. Please support OSCA by making your contacts aware of the advert. For more information please contact OSCA on 01691 671700 or e-mail admin@citizenadvocacyshropshire.org.uk.
pdfOSCA Advert Jan 2011-1 (27.81KB)

Future Focus Publications
Future Focus is a series of introductory pocket guides to help organisations understand important trends that may impact on them in the future.  They are aimed at small and medium sized voluntary and community organisations but should be useful all groups and organisations interested in their external environment. There are eight guides:

  • Funding
  • Volunteering
  • Technology
  • Local democracy
  • Social attitudes
  • Demographics
  • Campaigning
  • Membership

To download copies of the publications visit:

Expanding volunteering and training opportunities for the unemployed
Unemployed people will be able to access thousands of new volunteering and training opportunities to help them take their first steps back into work - under new plans unveiled by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith. Under the scheme advisers from youth charity The Prince's Trust and other local government voluntary organisations will be located in Jobcentre Plus (JCP) offices to signpost jobseekers of all ages to volunteering and training opportunities in their area. Prince's Trust advisers and local volunteering centres will start to appear in Jobcentres in the next few weeks, with a national roll out from April. See: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/press-releases/2011/feb-2011/dwp016-11.shtml

Influencing, and understanding the government's Localism legislation
The two organisations soon to be merged as Locality, bassac and DTA, have produced a joint response to the government's Decentralisation and the Localism Bill. The legislation, which recently started going through parliament, will create rights for communities to buy, to challenge (on provision of services) and to build. http://www.bassac.org.uk/system/files/Locality%20briefing%20on%20the%20Localism%20Bill%20January%2031%202011.pdf

Localism Bill - New Guidance Published
The Department for Communities and Local Government has produced a plain English guide to the Localism Bill. For a copy visit:

Online database of 'reclaimable' land and buildings
A new online tool combining information from existing databases is intended to be operating by the summer to give a one-stop shop for information about empty land and buildings that communities could develop to improve their local area, under a Community Right to Reclaim Land. Official news item http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/1833082

New Mutuals Taskforce Announced
Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, has announced that Professor Julian Le Grand, professor of social policy at LSE, will lead a new Mutuals Taskforce, which is to include Patrick Lewis, partners' counsellor at John Lewis and Peter Holbrook, chief executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition. The taskforce will support employees working in public services who wish to form mutuals as part of the "right to provide" initiative. Maude made the announcement in Swindon this week, as he and Charlie Mayfield chairman of John Lewis Partnership, met staff planning to form a Big Society mutual to join up adult and social care services in Swindon. The minister also announced a second wave of nine mutual pathfinders including Stockport Further Education College and Blackpool's Nurse-led Therapy Unit. He said 'public service entrepreneurs' had the ability to transform public services into a vibrant and innovative sector:

Sector task force on early years services (from VolResource)
Charity chief executives body ACEVO has set up an Early Years Taskforce "to articulate a clear direction of travel for Early Years services and explore the role of the voluntary and community sector within this". It will feed into the Department for Education's Early Years policy statement (due March/April). See ACEVO web page at: http://www.acevo.org.uk/Page.aspx?pid=2373

A review of the developing community shop sector (from VolResource)
The Plunkett Foundation has published results from "the most comprehensive survey into the health of the community-owned shop sector ever to be undertaken". Seen as a leading success story in social enterprise, at the beginning of 2011 there were 251 community-owned shops. Download 'Community-owned village shops: A better form of business' from:

2. Dates for Your Diary

Free Money Master Class Building sustainable, unrestricted income - 16 February
Telford and Wrekin Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) is organising a Free Money Masterclass at the Holiday Inn in Telford on the 16 February (9.30-12.30). Gareth Edwards will deliver the training and present an opportunity to think creatively about new ways to fund raise and  sustain your work. Please see the attached poster for details. (Cost for non CVS Affiliates is £20 - money well spent!) Please contact Maureen/Lois on 01952 291350.
pdfMoney Masterclass (90.49KB)

Equalities Seminar - 17 February
A free seminar is being held for carers, employers and anyone interested in finding out more about the new Equalities Act. The seminar introduces new rights for carers, protecting them from being discriminated against because of their caring role in the workplace and in the provision of goods and services. It will discuss how employers can protect themselves against directly or indirectly discriminating against carers and how carers can ensure they are protected by the law. It will be held here at the Community Council of Shropshire from 6.15pm to 7.45pm on the 17 Feb. More details in flyer attached.
pdfDiscrimination flyer2 (8) (35.49KB)

Developing Your Brand and Image - 30 March, London
On the agenda:
* Bringing your brand and business strategy together
* When and how to re-brand
* Using brand to boost fundraising
* Checking the health of your brand
* Building brand communities online
* Using public perceptions to inform strategy
* Monitoring your brand online
* Crystallising your vision, mission and values
* Using mobile apps
* Getting staff onboard
Book a place at: http://www.charitycomms.org.uk/Brand_Conference

3. Funding News

February Funding News
Gary Spence, External Funding Officer at Shropshire Council has published the February edition of his newsletter. In the update there are details of:
- New grant search feature for local sports clubs and groups
- HLF Young Roots - fund under subscribed
- Capital grants for recycling businesses and re-processors (through WRAP)
- Awards for music festivals
- National Churches Trust - repairs to places of worship
- Swimathon Foundation
With thanks to Gary Spence, External Funding Officer and Joe Bubb, Team Leader Funding & Programmes

4. Consultations

Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) Consultations
Three new consultations have been recently launched. Published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), the consultations consider important topics such as the right to buy assets, the right to challenge underperforming service delivery, and which data will be published from local authorities.

Proposals to introduce a Community Right to Challenge Closes 3 May 201

"The Community Right to Challenge enables [civil society organisations] to express an interest in running a service, which may trigger a procurement exercise relating to the provision of relevant authority services on the authority's behalf."
Proposals to introduce a Community Right to Buy Closes 3 May 2011

"Community Right to Buy will ensure that community organisations have a fair
chance to bid to take over assets and facilities that are important to them. These facilities could include their village shop or the last remaining pub in the village, their community centre, children's centre or library building."
Code of recommended practice for local authorities on data transparency  Closes 14 March

"Transparency through publication of open and reusable data should act as the trigger enabling local tax payers to see how local authorities are using public money. It also shines a spotlight on waste, establishing greater accountability and efficiency, open up new markets and improves access for small and local businesses and the voluntary sector."

5. Compact

Compact Champions Network Meeting
The next meeting of the Compact Champions Network has been planned for 2pm on Wednesday 23 March 2011. The meeting will consider the new National Compact, Public Sector changes and spending cuts, the role of Compact Champions and local Compact delivery. To book your place at the meeting please contact me, Sarah Dodds (01743 252740 or email sarah.dodds@shropshire.gov.uk).

Compact Representatives Needed
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).

Compact Annual Report 2010
The Annual Report for the Shropshire Compact is attached. This sets out some of the progress that has been achieved against key Compact issues and highlights some of the concerns that have been raised during more recent months. If you have any issues you would like to highlight please contact me using the contact details below. The process of gathering concerns and issues and working to address them is a crucial part of Compact working - please don't hesitate to suggest where improvements need to be made and any ideas for further building strong working relationships across the voluntary and public sectors.
pdfCompact Annual Progress Report 2010 (133.75KB)

National Evaluation of the Compact
A summative evaluation of the Compact, the framework for partnership working for government and the voluntary and community sector in England, first signed in 1998 and recently twice updated, has been commissioned by the Commission for the Compact. The evaluation will produce a report which explores the development and implementation of the Compact over time, assesses its impact in key areas and forecasts its likely future role in a changing environment. Guided by a reference group and in consultation with key stakeholders, the evaluation will be a focused synthesis of published and unpublished material. The evaluation report will be published by the end of March 2011. The evaluation will be carried out for the Commission by Practical Wisdom R2Z Research Consultants.

Compact Links to New Cuts Website
Compact Voice is working to make links to the recently launched website that aims to build a nationwide picture of how government spending cuts are taking a toll on the voluntary and community sector. Previously mentioned in this newsletter, the site gives voluntary and community organisations the opportunity to share their concerns about funding cuts and how they will impact on their ability to deliver vital services. www.voluntarysectorcuts.org.uk 

It is a joint project bringing together the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), Volunteering England, the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA), the National Council of Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS), Compact Voice and the nine Regional Voluntary Networks from across the country (Regional Voices).
All of the data captured will be public, so that groups can use the information in their campaigning and policy work, and citizens can see the real impact on voluntary organisations in their area.

If you have information to share concerning cuts I would be really grateful if you could provide information to me at the VCS Assembly. This will help us build up a local picture and share the information with Board members and representatives who work to support the sector through partnership arrangements.

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

Chief Executive, Age Concern Wolverhampton - REMINDER
Please see attached details of a vacancy available with Age Concern, Wolverhapmton. Please note that applications should be made by email only. The information pack is available from mail@acwolverhampton.demon.co.uk. CVs are not accepted. Closing date 3pm 14th Feb 2011.
pdfAC Wolverhampton CEO Advert V3 (61.87KB)

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

7. Important Reminders

News Items

Active4Health Launched Across Shropshire County
A new initiative has just been launched by Shropshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT) which provides information and support for local people who are looking to become more active and improve their overall health and wellbeing; helping to make it that little bit easier to at least stick to one New Year's resolution. Contact Miranda Ashwell by email Miranda.ashwell@shropshirepct.nhs.uk or go to the website: www.shropshire.nhs.uk/active4health

Please see full press release on the VCS Assembly Website.

Pride of Shropshire Awards 2011

The search begins once again today for the "Pride of Shropshire" . . . people, communities or organisations that go the extra mile, without seeking reward, to make the county proud. This year, judges are again looking to crown an overall champion, who will be selected from the winners of nine individual categories. Please consider making a nomination. Visit the following web page for more information. http://pride.shropshirestar.com/

Reviive wins reuse project of the year award
Social Enterprises South Shropshire Furniture Scheme (SSFS) and Shropshire Housing Alliance (SHA) have scoped this year's Presidents Award at the FRN's (Furniture Reuse Network) Annual Conference. The award is for innovation and partnership working and was recognition of a five-way partnership with the two social enterprises, Veolia Shropshire, Ludlow College and THINKWATER. Reviive CIC was set up last October with household items being taken from the nearby Recycling Centre on the Battlefields Business Park in Shrewsbury. Reviive sells a range of low cost, eco chic, reuse furniture and household items. Reviive on Battlefield Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury is now open Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am - 4pm. For more information please contact Jean Jarvis on 01584 877751 or email jean@furniturescheme.co.uk Or visit the SSFS and Reviive websites: www.furniturescheme.co.uk    http://www.reviive.co.uk/

The Census in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin            
Update January 2011 From Alistair Bates, Census Area Manager.
The 2011 Census will take place on 27th March 2011. Alistair Bates is the Census Area Manager for Shropshire and for Telford and Wrekin. He wants to meet with community groups and workers to give more details about the Census process and the help and support available to ensure that everyone is able to complete their form. He can be contacted by e-mail at f102@census.gov.uk or by telephone on 07801 331358.
More information about the Census can be found on www.census.gov.uk

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.


Digital Switchover Grants Scheme
The Digital Switchover Help Scheme is available to support people who are:
7             are aged 75 or over; or
7             get or could get Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance or mobility supplement; or
7             have lived in a care home for six months or more; or
7             are registered blind or partially sighted.
VCS groups and organisations in Shropshire interested in finding out more about the grants scheme can contact Clare Huckett at Gloucestershire Rural Community Council. Clare is the DOL Lead Organisation Project Manager. Email: clareh@grcc.org.uk. Phone: 01452 528491. There are a number of documents relating to the grants scheme so these will be made available on the VCS Assembly website from Tuesday 1st February see the latest news page at: www.2shrop.net/shropvcsassembly

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'. http://www.bsee.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/7130/Make_a_difference_in_your_community.html


Invitation - Wrekin Museum Partnership
Wrekin Museum Partnership (WMP) has the pleasure of inviting you to its 2011 Annual General Meeting on 18th February at 7:00pm at Wellington Civic Centre; Meeting Room. If you are in a group or organisation which would like to have a small display at the meeting, please contact Joanna Deacon on 01952 222636. Email: ec.wmp@googlemail.com

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:

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 next meeting is being held on:
7                     Wednesday 16 February at 7pm at Holiday Inn, Telford
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.

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!

Bus Strategy for Shropshire 2011- 2016
Bus Strategy for Shropshire Council 2011-2016. The Strategy and details on how to respond to the consultation can be viewed at:

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.  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:
http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/traveltransport.nsf/open/2A79133CD32676E98025709E002EEF2BFor further information on the LTP please contact Jan Cook. Telephone: 01743 253066l ian.cook@shropshire.gov.uk

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

With best wishes

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