17th June 2011

VCS Assembly News Update 17 June (Issue 66)

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

Shropshire Children's Trust Voluntary and Community Sector Summit
Shropshire Children's Trust Voluntary and Community Sector Summit (sometimes referred to as the Children's Summit) was initially established to improve opportunities for voluntary and community organisations to participate in the working of Shropshire Children's Trust and wider children's services.  The Summit membership consists mostly of not-for-profit organisations that provide services for children, young people and their families. The Forum meets at 4 - 6 times a year and members communicate electronically on a regular basis to keep up to date. Members of the Summit are conscious that with these changing, and challenging times there may be groups and organisations who would like to join and have a link to the Assembly. Please see more details attached and contact Elaine Griffiths on 01743 252275 or at Elaine.Griffiths@shropshire.gov.uk  or Hilary McGlynn on 01939 236181 McGlynn.H@shropshirelg.net

pdfChildren's Summit (60.13KB)

VCS Assembly Recession Survey - Now Out
Since 2009 the VCS Assembly Board has led work to monitor the impact of the recession and undertaken an annual survey. It is really important to communicate current issues and pressures and I would be very grateful for your input. This year the survey has moved to an on-line version in the hope that this will make it easier and faster to complete. I would be very grateful if you could complete by following the link below.

Support the Hardest Hit Campaign
Please add your voice to the Hardest Hit Campaign against Disability Cuts, by taking 2 minutes to complete the Disability Network's survey. Click on www.shropshire-disability.net and you can access the survey near the top of the Home Page. For further information about the Hardest Hit Campaign go to
http://thehardesthit.wordpress.com/protest-online/. Please copy SDN on any emails via info@shropshire-disability.net  Fore more information on the work of the Network contact Dave Hewetson, Shropshire Disability Network Tel: 01743 247019 Mobile: 07972 254010.

Shropshire Disability Network's Latest Newsletter
Here's the link to the June issue of the Shropshire Disability Network newsletter, YourVoice. http://shropshire-disability.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/YOURVOICE-FINALS-310511.pdf

Women's Aid Helpline
The Domestic Abuse Helpline managed by West Mercia Women's Aid, available to victims in Shropshire can, on occasions be quite busy. As a result VCS organisations wishing to refer are encouraged to use an email referral form as well as the phone line (see referral form attached). The Helpline e-mail is: helpline@westmerciawomensaid.org

docAgency Referral Form for Helpline (142.5KB)

Official launch of the Marches LEP
The Marches LEP has been officially launched and its Prospectus unveiled at the House of Commons. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, hosted the reception which was well-attended by representatives from the local authorities, business boards, and members of the advisory groups. The Marches LEP structure will include an Advisory Group of individuals with deep knowledge of specific subjects that can help companies expedite expansion with the speed they need. Steve Miller has accepted a role as lead for the Tourism Advisory Group. Steve is the Chief Executive of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and his experience in relation to tourism and culture will be invaluable as the LEP's work progresses. Mandy Stoker, will take the lead on the Environmental Technologies & Services Advisory Group. Mandy is not only the chairwoman of the Marches Environmental Technology Network but also a founding director of environmental consultancy E4environment in Shrewsbury. The Social Enterprise Advisory Group will be led by Jon Argent, of Halo Leisure, which provides leisure centres for Herefordshire Council. Also with regard to the LEP structure, there is a Public Sector Executive Team in place, comprising two senior officers from each of the three authorities providing steerage and guidance to the main board.
Jacqui Casey, seconded from Shropshire Council will take the role as Executive Co-ordinating Officer. For further information on the work of the Marches LEP go to www.marcheslep.org.uk or email enquiries@marcheslep.org.uk

Exercising compulsory purchase powers for community
Government guidance to local authorities In England on compulsory purchase orders has been re-issued with a new appendix relating specifically to requests from voluntary and community organisations. Planning Minister Greg Clark sees this as potentially helping community groups save much-loved local assets such as historic pubs, seaside piers or precious market halls. See: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/1918989

New interest group for VCS Work Programme sub-contractors
Sector umbrella body NCVO has launched a special interest group aimed at representing the hundreds of voluntary and community organisations that act as sub-contractors in the government's new Work Programme for the unemployed.

Objectives for government's Civil Society Strategic Partnership programme
The organisations receiving government funding under the Office for Civil Society's strategic partnership programme have been given a detailed set of objectives. The list contains 14 outcome priorities. They include tracking the progress of the big society, helping the sector and communities to better understand opportunities and creating more public service mutuals.

Council transfers of assets to communities on the up
In a recent survey almost half of local authorities in England said they expect the transfer of assets to community organisations to increase in the coming year. About 1,000 asset transfers are already under way. The survey is part of the two year evaluation report of the Asset Transfer Unit, 'Car Parks and Castles: Giving Communities the Keys'. See: http://www.atu.org.uk/Document.ashx?ID=321

Removing barriers to volunteering and community action
The Guardian's Voluntary Sector Network has summarised key issues from a recent conference. See:

The Government's Localism approach under attack
The Communities and Local Government select committee has produced a scathing report on the Coalition's localism plans. It said:
"The government has not produced a compelling vision of what its imagined localism future will look like and the functions and responsibilities of the players within it. Greater clarity and certainty is needed." See:

More Transition Fund money given out
A further £81m from the £107m Transition Fund has been paid to over 700 charities, bringing the total now distributed to £97.5m. The rest of the fund will be given out by the end of the summer.

2. Dates for Your Diary

Advocacy, Psychosis and Recovery, Monday, 27th June 2011
Venue: Meeting Point House, Walker Room, Telford, TF3 4HS
Time: 9.45am session OR 2.15pm session
You are invited to an event with Shropshire Independent Advocacy Scheme's Patron on 27th June 2011 (please see the attached flier). Contact Sarah Beech, SIAS Administrator & PA to CEO - Wendy Brook Shropshire Independent Advocacy Scheme, The Marches Unit, Shelton Hospital, Bicton Heath, Shrewsbury, SY3 8DN. Tel: 01743 361702 email: Sarah.Beech@siasonline.org

pdfVIP Invitation - RSVP (3288.95KB)

Open Eco Homes July 9 & 10 2011 
Nearly 30 homes will be taking part from in an Open Eco Homes weekend organised by Bishop's Castle's Household Energy Service on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July, located from the Gravels Bank area north of Bishops Castle down to Presteigne by way of Montgomery, Clun and Knighton. The homes will be open from 10-4 each day and all are taking part because they have something special to share about saving energy and therefore money, and, importantly, about reducing carbon emissions. The Open Eco Homes weekend gives everyone the chance to get practical advice on systems, products and installers direct from the householders and to learn from their experience about practical solutions to particular problems. Directions on how to reach all the houses will be available on the HES website www.h-e-s.org/page/ecohomes/ or from the information hubs in each town.  These will be Decorative Antiques, Church Street, Bishop's Castle, Tower House Gallery and Cafi, High Street, Knighton, Caractacus, Market Square, Clun and The Workhouse Gallery in Presteigne Industrial Estate.  Open Eco Homes weekend 2011 will be a chance to see a wide range of interesting answers to the question "But what can I do in my own house?" from the people who have found out what works for them. For more information, contact Prue Dakin on 01588 630683 or pruedakin.hes@gmail.com

'New You' Activities
Are you stuck in a rut?  Would you like to be more confident?
Do you want to discover a healthier and happier 'you'?
The Rockwpring Centre, Ludlow is hosting a week of activities starting Monday 11 July from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and every day until Friday 15 July. Full details are contained in the attached documents.

pdfWhat is A NEW YOU (846.57KB)  pdfLUDLOW NEW YOU FLYER JULY 2011 (673.07KB)

Training on Child Sexual Exploitation Prevention, Protection and Investigation
Multi-agency, whole-day training (Levels 1,2,3 & 4)
In May, the Children's Minister Tim Loughton announced the development of a new national action plan to tackle the sexual exploitation of children. Although this plan is still under development, it has been made clear that it will focus on a number of priorities: 1) Raising awareness and understanding of CSE; 2) Effecting better prevention; 3) Promoting early detection; 4) Supporting victims; and 5) Prosecuting perpetrators.  Training courses are being held for people working with children, young people and families, to address these priorities, in accordance with the new national action plan.
York                 21 June
Liverpool         28 June
Reading           5 July
Wakefield        7 July
Portsmouth     12 July
Peterborough  14 July
The price per delegate is £125.00 + VAT but discounts are available for group bookings, social enterprises and registered charities. To book follow the link below:

The Third Sector in 2011: Funding and Delivering the Big Society
Tuesday 5th July, 10.00am - 4.15pm - Westminster, London
Special VCS Rate - £150 per place.
This Westminster Briefing Conference will give delegates from all sectors an opportunity to discuss and be informed on the next stages of practical implementation of the Big Society, and the role of the third sector and the state within this. Participants will also examine the future funding circumstances in which the third sector will operate, considering the scope and suitability of different revenue streams both old and new. In addition, case studies and workshop sessions will give delegates ideas and examples to take back to their organisations. For full details about the conference visit the web page link below.


NCVO/VSSN Researching the Voluntary Sector Conference 2011
7th and 8th September 2011
The 17th annual two-day research conference will bring together practitioners,academics and policy makers to discuss the research that they have undertaken or are currently doing. The conference is an opportunity for nyone interested in Voluntary sector research to network, find support and advice, and devleop their research. This year the conference will take place at NCVO in London. See the following web page for details and how to book: http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/researchconf11#what

3. Funding News

Broadband connection for community access
The latest round of the BT Community Connections scheme has opened, providing 12 months' worth of a BT Business Total Broadband Advance internet connection. It is open to groups which help the community access the internet and improve people's ICT skills. A BT business landline is required. Apply by 15th September.

Funding news provided by Gary Spence, External Funding Officer at Shropshire Council and the West Midlands European Network.

4. Consultations

Implementing the charitable legacies incentive
HM Revenue and Customs is consulting on the proposals around implementing a lower rate of inheritance tax when leaving 10% of an estate to charity, as announced in the Budget earlier this year. Responses will be used in developing the detail of the policy for encouraging charitable legacies. Deadline 31 August.

5. Compact

Welcome to Vicky Redding
Vicky Redding has recently been appointed as the new regional Engagement Development Officer for Compact Voice (West Midlands). Vicky is based at Compact Voice in London but will be providing support to local Compacts in our area. Email: vicky.redding@compactvoice.org.uk

Compact Voice Responds to Best Value Consultation
Compact Voice responded to the government's Best Value Guidance consultation, which was issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government.  The draft guidance was produced in response to Eric Pickles' speech at the NCVO Annual Conference, and makes welcome reference to recognising and honouring commitments established in local Compacts.  Download the response to the consultation below.

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

Rape Counsellor
A paid post is available for 2 days a week in Shrewsbury/Telford with Axis Counselling. Must be fully qualified.  Experience of working with victims of rape and sexual trauma is essential.  Please write to Mrs E.A. Morgan CEO, Axis Counselling, Fletcher House, 15 College Hill, Shrewsbury, SY1 1LY outlining your experience and including a CV. To discuss pay or availability please telephone 01743 232834.  The post is open to female applicants only under the Sexual discrimination Act 1975 Section 7 (ii) (c).

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

7. Important Reminders

News Items
Connect Seeks Volunteers
Connect is a new inclusion service run by Barnardo's Shropshire Project in partnership with Shropshire Council. For more information contact Clare Griggs, Children's Services Manager, Barnardo's Shropshire project Tel 01743 248094.

Changes to Shropshire Council's First Point of Contact
During May a new service was launched for new customers wanting to find out about adult social care in Shropshire. Now people are advised to phone a new number 0345-678-9044.

Government funds for sector support
The government has published its Giving White Paper, setting out plans to boost the giving of both time and money. See: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/giving-white-paper

Not this time.

Inspire Shropshire Conference
Friday 24th June 2011
This event looks at achieving success in social enterprise and offers a full day programme of workshops, advice surgeries, exhibitors, resources and speakers. For more information email James Cooper via james@furniturescheme.co.uk or call 01584 874922.

'Are we ready for localism' Conference
Wednesday 29th June 9.30am - 4pm
This conference is being jointly organised by the Community Council of Shropshire and the Association of Local Councils.

VCS Assembly Workshop
Friday 8 July 9:30am to 4pm, Shropshire Council, Shirehall, Shrewsbury. Please see attached.

pdfInvitation VCSA Workshop 8 July 2011 (78.8KB)

Low Carbon Homes Open Day
Saturday 9 July 2011 10am - 5pm
For more details contact Jon Cooke, Chair of Stretton Climate Care. Email: jonann.cooke6@btinternet.com See www.strettonclimatecare.org.uk

Trustees' Week 2011
This year's event will run from 31st October to 6th November. See Charity Commission news item at: http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/RSS/News/pr_trustees_2011.aspx 

Survey on support for social enterprise in children/youth sector
on resources for community energy action

New Compact Case Study Published
Compact Voice has published a new example of Compact at Work, this time exploring how partners in the Humber sub-region came together to compare and learn from each other's local Compacts. See:

Compact Voice responds to NHS Consultation
Compact Voice has produced a response available from:

As usual please send details of any events, news items and other opportunities you would like to share with others.

Best wishes

Sarah Dodds

VCS Assembly Coordinator
Telephone 01743 252740  
Email: sarah.dodds@shropshire.gov.uk
Website: www.2shrop.net/shropvcsassembly