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17 August 2010

VCS Assembly News Update 17 August July (Issue 49)

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

pdfVCS Assembly News Update 17 August (78.54KB)

1. News

VCS Assembly Review Survey
The VCS Assembly Board has been working with the Infrastructure Support Project Group to consider Infrastructure Support in Shropshire. At the last meeting of the Board it was agreed that further consultation with VCS Assembly members was needed and that the Assembly could benefit from a review process. This is particularly essential given the current threats and opportunities affecting the VCS. (For example Public Sector funding cuts and Government's emphasis on working with the VCS supporting to deliver its vision to create the Big Society). Your views and ideas are vitally important in this process.  Please could you complete an on-line survey by Thursday 9 September. Please follow the link below.

Do you work with Shropshire's most vulnerable communities?
If you are working to support vulnerable communities in the following areas of Shropshire please let me know using the contact details at the end of this bulletin:
-         Oswestry
-         Market Drayton
-         North East Shrewsbury
-         Ludlow (East including Sandpitts)
Key public sector and VCS organisations hope to come together to share information and focus on how combining skills, resources and knowledge could improve service delivery and outcomes for Shropshire's most vulnerable people and localities. Your group or organisation could benefit from being involved in a number of ways: increasing your profile, opening up potential commissioning opportunities and making new links and networks. Don't miss out! Please contact me by 10 September with details of where you are working and the type of service, project you are delivering.

Working with Children - can you be a VCS representative?
Members of the VCS Assembly are invited to come forward to sit as representatives on Shropshire's  five Children's Centre Advisory Boards (AB's) that are developing across Shropshire. Although Shropshire Council has long stated its commitment to working in partnership with the VCS (and membership of current groups demonstrates a high level of VCS involvement), this is now supported by Statutory Guidance for Children's Centre's, ensuring that involvement is not just voluntary but supported by national guidance.

The meetings will be held 4 times a year and each board will cover a number of Children's Centre areas and broadly cover the old district boundaries i.e.  NW, NE, Central, SW, SE.  The boards have a challenge and support role for the Children's Centre's.

Do you have an interest in Children's Centres and the work of Advisory Boards?
If yes, contact me (Sarah Dodds) using the details at the end of this bulletin.

Do you have the skills that mean you could chair one of these Advisory Boards? 
Do you have an understanding of services for the under 5's?

Are you able to attend 4 meetings a year and have some communication with the Children's Centres Coordinator in between meetings?
Are you confident in your ability to chair multi-agency meetings that would also include parent representatives?
If you feel able to take up this role as Chair, support will be offered to help you fulfil this important role. Please contact me (Sarah Dodds) using the details at the end of this bulletin.

Would you like to get involved in Local Steering Groups for Extended Services?
There are now 11 steering groups.  These cover both Children's Centres and Extended Schools and provide an opportunity for information sharing around developments, networking and identification of joint working opportunities.
Please contact me (Sarah Dodds) using the details at the end of this bulletin.

If you work to deliver services for children or have links to extended schools services and children's centres please consider getting more involved. Public services face a considerable time of change and VCS input and leadership will be vital in working in partnership to ensure we have the best quality services for local people.

Million Makers competition
The Million Makers competition is a photo competition established to raise money for the Prince's Trust and as a result help young people in the West Midlands. There are some great prizes and the 12 best pictures will be published in a calendar that will be on sale in the autumn - all in aid of a great cause.  The closing date is 1st October 2010. Please refer to the attached flyer for details.

pdfPhoto competition (235.54KB)

Infrastructure Partnership Newsletter
The August newsletter of the Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership is now available and a copy is attached. More information is available on the website. Visit: www.ShropshireVCS.org.uk

pdf4th August 2010 SIP newsletter (564.96KB)

CRB checks - do you need support?
Shropshire Housing Alliance is looking to expand its group of organisations currently within its CRB Umbrella. If you know of any groups or organisations who might be looking for a CRB processing service please contact Linda Boulton, CRB Processing/Admin/Finance, Shropshire Housing Alliance. Direct Line: 01691 672689 Fax: 01691659656 Email: l.boulton@shalliance.org.uk

pdfCRB Poster (178.64KB)

ContactPoint is decomissioned
ContactPoint was switched off at noon on 6 August 2010. Ministers decided to switch off ContactPoint and permanently and decommission the database, in line with the long-standing policy commitments of both Coalition parties. Since 16 June 2010 the Department for Education has considered the scope for a new approach to support key practitioners to help protect vulnerable children from harm.  Frontline practitioners need to be able to provide support for the most vulnerable children when they move across local authority boundaries or access services in more than one area.  Experience shows the potential value of a quick and reliable means of discovering whether another professional has worked with such a child. Ministers do not consider that ContactPoint is the answer.  They have decided to explore the practicality of a national signposting approach, which would focus on helping a strictly limited group of practitioners to find out whether a colleague elsewhere is working, or has previously worked, with the same vulnerable child.   In light of the above, Shropshire also ceased the use of its Local Index on Friday 6 August 2010.  As an alternative, Shropshire is currently coordinating a system to check whether or not a CAF has been undertaken, who the Lead Professional is and potentially which other practitioners are involved.

Census 2011
As part of the preparation for next years Census which will take place on Sunday 27th March 2011, Alistair Bates has taken up post as the Area Manager for Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. He will be responsible for working with the two local authorities, voluntary groups and other organisations to support the operation of the Census.  He is available to talk to groups about the purpose of the census, details of how information is gathered, kept secure and then used for future planning of services. He may be contacting specific groups in the future about how to make sure that everyone has as much information as possible. Alistair can be contacted at F102@census.gov.uk

The Census will be looking to appoint a large number of staff within the area over the next few months and the first jobs will be advertised from 20th September. There will be more details about the recruitment process in the next edition and is available on http://www.censusjobs.co.uk/


2. Dates for Your Diary

Low Carbon Homes - Open Day
On Saturday August 21st this year, seven homes in and around the Strettons are opening their doors to share a variety of ideas on energy efficiency and low carbon living. The ideas range from innovative approaches to insulation, electric bikes and cars, rainwater harvesting to solar water and photovoltaic panels. Information about the open day is attached.

 pdfLow Carbon Open houses (28.87KB)

Courses at the Gateway
Three courses are being held at the Gateway that offer to provide some valuable skills. Information on each of the following courses is attached:
Working from home - 1/2 day, 9.30am-12.30pm 29 September
Introduction to Project Management - 1 day 20 October
Introduction to Public Speaking and Presentations - 2 days 24 Nov & 1 Dec

docJG Work from Home 10 (684KB) docJG Public Speak 10 (684.5KB) docJG Intro PM 10 (683KB)

ESF training workshops
All VCS Assembly Members are invited to the planned ESF training workshops this autumn. The content of these workshops result from a workshop held by the Shropshire Voluntary Sector Training Providers Consortium in February and an earlier ESF event in Ludlow in November 2009. Although funded through ESF Technical Assistance the workshops will cover much broader issues. The workshops are being run by two very experienced trainers and I am sure you will find them very productive and practical. Please contact Rachel Lacey at Shropshire Council at your earliest convenience to secure/ confirm your place! Use the contact details in the attached document or email rachel.lacey@shropshire.gov.uk

 docFUNDING FITNESS autumn workshops (66KB)

'Developing Mutuals and Co-operatives
Title: Developing Mutuals and Co-operatives: Investigating New Models for Public Service Ownership &  Delivery
Date:     26th October 2010
Time:    10.40am-3.15pm
Venue:  Westminster
Cost:      £225 per place or £175 for two or more places
To find out more visit: http://www.westminster-briefing.com/?p=15554

ACEVO Conference - 16 September
An ACEVO Conference named Stronger Together? - Working Effectively and Tackling New Challenges in Partnership is taking place on 16 September in Leeds. The Conference will be focusing on; working with the private sector to deliver services, sharing resources through collaborations or mergers and leadership skills for effective engagement. A flyer with full details is attached. Bursaries are available.

 pdfACEVO conferencepdf (206.27KB)

Working with the Whole Family: Developing the vision for young carers

Birmingham, Jury's Inn, 17th September
The aim of the conferences is to ensure service managers, policy leads and senior practitioners involved in providing parental substance misuse and mental health services, are equipped with the latest guidance and are able to identify and respond to wider family issues where children and young people are in a caring role. These free events will offer delegates the opportunity to hear about the latest government policy from key senior officials and see a range of good practice. Workshops will showcase areas such as, developing joint working protocols, safeguarding, whole family assessments and   establishing thresholds. Please see attached a conference information booklet containing a draft programme and details on how to book you place.

3. Funding News

August External Funding Update
The funding update for this month is attached and includes:
- A BIG success for the villages of Gobowen, St Martins and Weston Rhyn (a potential £1 million funding package for these Shropshire communities).
- Shropshire Partnership External Funding Strategy - the latest position.
- Big Lottery Fund update (a round up of useful information from the largest lottery fund).
-Shell Springboard Fund (award scheme for businesses involved in greenhouse gas emissions reduction).
- Transversal programme (new rounds for this European study visit scheme).
- The Idlewild Trust (details of forthcoming deadlines).
Some of the links in the pdf may not work. If you have any problems please try the following:

pdfEFU63 Aug 10 (60.01KB)

My Life My Choice - Stronger Communities Funding
My Life My Choice in Shropshire is delivering the Transformation of Adult Social Care. The Stronger Communities element of the programme is ensuring that work around community capacity building is integrally linked to the transformation work. The Stronger Communities Project is seeking to identify best practice in building sustainable and inclusive communities. It will promote awareness and understanding of the benefits of strong, inclusive communities that actively support, involve and enhance the contribution of all local citizens, and specifically those individuals who are currently, or who are at risk of being, socially excluded.

Shropshire is part of the Department of Health (DoH) Building Community Capacity project. The DoH and Shropshire Council have made funding available (£20,000) to the Stronger Communities Project Group to support activity that demonstrates how we can strengthen communities and enhance current service users' capacity to take part in the things going on around them that they are interested in. Please see the attached document for details.

 docFunding Guidelines Stronger Communities 2010 (199KB)

Growing Business Awards
The aim of the Growing Business Awards is to celebrate the achievements, innovation and entrepreneurialism of UK businesses. The awards comprise 11 award categories, which include the following:
- Green Business of the Year.
- Customer Excellence Award.
- Global Outlook and Expansion Award.
- Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
- The Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs.
Applications are invited from independently-owned companies that have less than 1,000 employees.  Entry to more than one category is permitted. Winners will receive a certificate and television, radio and press coverage.  The Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs offers a cash prize of £50,000. The deadline for receipt of applications to the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs is 3 September 2010 whilst the deadline for all other awards is 17 September 2010. Follow the link for more information: http://gba.realbusiness.co.uk/how_to_enter/

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


4. Consultations

Local Transport Plan
Shropshire Council is currently developing a new Local Transport Plan. The document will outline the 15 year transport strategy for Shropshire. All VCS Assembly members are invited to attend an all day consultation event on the new Local Transport Plan on Thursday 9 September 2010 from 10am-4pm at the Greenhous Meadow Football Stadium, Oteley Road, Shrewsbury. The event is your opportunity to let the Council know your ideas and priorities for transport in Shropshire and to help develop the strategy. To book a place contact Anna Morris, Assistant Transport Planner. Tel: 01743 253017. More information is available on: http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/traveltransport.nsf/open/2A79133CD32676E98025709E002EEF2B


5. Compact

"Cuts-watch" programmes and resources
Many national bodies have launched 'cuts - watch' websites to monitor the impact of the recession and work to ensure the Compact principles are applied throughout the challenging times being faced by public sector services. Sites include:
ACEVO http://www.acevo.org.uk/Page.aspx?pid=1982

NCVO http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/advice-support/coping-with-cuts

NAVCA http://www.navca.org.uk/localvs/cuts/Home.htm

Shropshire Compact Champions Event - NEW DATE
A Compact Champions session will be held on the afternoon of the 28 September. The event will take place in Shrewsbury and will allow Compact Champions to get the latest information, raise any issues they may have and discuss common issues and concerns. If you would like to become a Compact Champion or book a place at the event 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. Important Reminders

News Items
Social Enterprise Support Hub
If you are based in Herefordshire, Worcestershire or Shropshire and work with a social enterprise you may want to learn more about the hub. Contact Amy at brap on 0121 456 7403 or email: amyw@brap.org.uk

VCS Assembly New Member Packs - Now Available!
Membership of the Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly is free of charge to all local voluntary and community groups. Do you know of other groups and organisations that would benefit from becoming a member? Information can be sent out by post or email. If you would like new member information to pass onto your contacts please contact the VCS Assembly Coordinator (either me, Sarah, or Elaine Griffiths) using the contact details at the bottom of the page.



Philpotts Fund: Working with older people
The Philpotts Fund is still available for groups working to improve the lives of older people (with particular emphasis on the Monkmoor area). Contact Age Concern Shropshire Telford & Wrekin on (01743) 233123 and ask for an application pack.
Shropshire Museums Development Project, Small Grants Scheme
To find out more email the Museums Development Officer at Shropshire Council. Email:judith.karena@shropshire.gov.uk
Grants available through
Shropshire Community Recycling Network 2010-2011
Please contact Rosemary Collie, SCRL Co-ordinator. Telephone. 07792 687903. Email:  rosemary@furniturescheme.co.uk.


Equalities Workshop - 28 September 2010
An Equalities workshop is being organised to facilitate the consultation element of Community Services Equality Impact Assessments. VCS Assembly members are invited.  Please contact Gillian Herdman, Performance Unit, Shropshire Council Community Services Directorate by Thursday 12 August.  Telephone 01743 255 831 or email gillian.herdman@shropshire.gov.uk

2010 MAT Development Days - Book now
Multi-Agency Team (MAT) Development Days are local events bringing together a wide variety of agencies and schools within a MAT area.  Each MAT Development Day is different; they are developed locally to explore and provide information about local, county-wide and national topics. 
The event includes presentations, interactive activities, updates on local and national developments and opportunities to network with local practitioners.     
MAT Area: Shrewsbury
Thursday 30 September 2010, Guildhall, Shrewsbury
MAT Area: Market Drayton 
Friday 8 October 2010, Bradbury Hall, Tilstock
MAT Area: Bridgnorth and Craven Arms      
Wednesday 13 October 2010, Westgate, Bridgnorth
MAT Area: Oswestry           
Monday 18 October 2010, West Felton Village Hall, Oswestry
To book a place call 01743 254419 or email mapadmin@shropshire.gov.uk

The Third Sector In 2010: Current Challenges, Future Opportunities - London
Title:  The Third Sector In 2010: Current Challenges, Future Opportunities   
Date: Tuesday, 30th November 2010
Time: 10.00am-4.30pm (including networking lunch)
Venue: TBC, Westminster, London
Cost: £225-£395 for one place, dependent on sector (discounts for more than one place)
To find out more and book a place visit: http://www.westminster-briefing.com/?p=13783

Free Funding Workshop - BOOK NOW!
To assist the capacity of the third sector to take-up ESF funding opportunities, a series of free workshops will be held across the sub-region. Workshops will be held in Shropshire on, 23rd September and 5th October. Email: joe.bubb@shropshire.gov.uk.


Homelessness Strategy Consultation
Consultation will close at 5pm on Friday 15 October 2010.

Department of Health Consultation
This is the first of 5 consultation documents expected from the Department of Health. The closing date for is 11 October.  Visit:

Back issues of newsletters can be accessed from: www.2shrop.net/shropvcsassembly

Got a good news story, job advert or idea you want to share with others? Let me know!

With best wishes

Sarah Dodds
VCS Assembly Coordinator and Compact Officer
Telephone 01743 252740