1 July 2011

VCS Assembly News Update 1 July (Issue 67)

In this issue:

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

Print Version
pdfVCS Assembly News Update 1 July 2011 (166.06KB)

1. News

VCS Assembly Recession Survey - REMINDER
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.

Shropshire Connect Service - Leaflets now available
Barnardo's has been commissioned to deliver a new inclusion service for children with additional needs/disabilities aged between 4 and 18 years old. This new service has featured in previous editions of this newsletter. Promotional information is now available in the form of leaflets and many organisations may find this helpful. Volunteering opportunities are also available. To request copies of leaflets or to find out more please contact Vicky Campbell, telephone 01743 248094 or email the Barnardo's Shropshire Project at: Shropshire.project@barnardos.org.uk

Elsewhere relationships with public sector worsen
A survey of members of the local sector support body NAVCA has found that chief officers have rated relationships with their local authorities and primary care trusts as worse than a year ago. See Civil Society Media news port at: http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/9864/

The survey report is available from:

I hope you don't feel this is the case in Shropshire. We have more partnership initiatives between the VCS and Shropshire Council than ever before and a strong commitment by local public sector partners to work together. If you are facing problems or have concerns let me know and I will do my best to help! (Use the contact details provided at the bottom of the page).

Mapping Big Society - Shropshire in top 5
A new report from localism think tank the New Local Government Network (NLGN) published on the 29 June shows which areas of the country are most ready to benefit and which are most at risk from the Government's Big Society agenda. The report shows that:

  • There is no strong link between a community's wealth and its 'Big Society' resources, with some deprived areas comparatively rich in community wealth. A poll of local authorities suggested that even in areas facing the steepest budget reductions, ingredients of the Big Society are often strong.
  • In new heat maps illustrating Big Society resources, Barking & Dagenham and Harlow councils are least well placed to benefit from the Big Society, with the South West and North of England regions faring strongest.
  • Communities faced with 'double deprivation' - those lacking both financial wealth and community resources such as volunteering - should be targeted for extra help to cope with the withdrawal of traditional state services
  • In a boost to the Government's agenda, new polling by Ipsos Mori shows that there is an untapped well of people willing to get more involved in community work through staffing libraries, sharing skills or mentoring children.


A map of areas across England giving their "Big Society score" is available on The Guardian's Datablog. Sorting the data by score shows that Shropshire has the 5th highest Big Value Score. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jun/29/big-society-data-mapped

What is Open Data and what does it mean to you? (From NCVO)
Governments and international institutions are beginning to publish the raw data that they hold about their work in a way that can be freely reused. Open data is now being made available on everything from government expenditure to crime and transport. Programmers and activists are collaborating to build online tools that reuse and visualise open data. It promises a new era of radical transparency and accountability as citizens and interest groups put this data to use. For more information see:

A paper system to replace cheques?
Third Sector magazine explains how a paper system which is more like electronic bank transfer could be the answer to the "inevitable" abolition of cheques. Once the clearing system closes, cheques would be too expensive to use, while a new paper form could have Gift Aid options built in. See:

National Community Organisers recruitment begins (from VolResource)
The recruitment process for the first 30 senior community organisers under the government's Community Organisers programme has started, Locality has announced. Once in place at eleven 'kickstarter' organisations around England, they will be trained by Re:generate.

Health and safety for lone workers
A new briefing named 'Health and Safety for lone and remote workers' has been published. See: http://www.voluntaryarts.org/uploaded/map19289.pdf

A standard for sustainable development of communities
A new British Standard for the sustainable development of communities has been created by the BSI Group with input from universities and government departments. It is designed primarily to be used by communities working on grassroots initiatives, to help people focus on collective action, evaluate their progress and be more accountable for their activities. BS 8904 is in draft form and out for consultation. BSI is hoping for comments from local councils, charities, social enterprises and individuals by 31st August. http://drafts.bsigroup.com/Home/Details/794

Guide for inspiring communities
The government's Communities Department has produced a tips and advice guide "designed to help encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to get further involved in local life". The guide is sub-titled 'A practical guide to delivering local campaigns to change behaviour and benefit young people', and draws on experiences from the Inspiring Communities programme. Download 'Inspiring Communities, Changing Behaviour'

Leadership tools to turn challenges into opportunities (from VolResource)
Chief executives group ACEVO has produced 'Leadership in Challenging Times: A Toolkit for CEOs', with case studies from third sector leaders who have tackled a variety of challenges, along with practical management advice. In pdf, 1.13MB from http://www.acevo.org.uk/document.doc?id=1566

Working in a social enterprise (from VolResource)
The Social Enterprise Coalition has published a guide for people wanting to find out more about working in social enterprise, with the stories of people who have made the move plus useful resources. 'Enjoy what you do: Work in social enterprise' is in pdf, 993KB, via their publication page http://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/pages/publications.html.

Risk management for small charities and new trustees (from VolResource)
The Charity Commission, the regulator of charities in England and Wales, has produced a web section on risk designed specifically for small charities. Aimed at small or newer charities, and for trustees just starting out, the three pages cover ten useful questions for avoiding problems, simplified risk management for small charities, and signposting for further information/help on topics from charity law to health and safety.

Rural heritage and community planning
English Heritage has produced 'Knowing Your Place: Heritage and Community-Led Planning in the Countryside' in partnership with Action with Communities in Rural England. The guide is designed to complement and add more detail on heritage to the community planning toolkit provided by ACRE (http://www.acre.org.uk/our-work/community-led-planning) and is available at http://www.helm.org.uk/communityplanning.

2. Dates for Your Diary

Carers Workshop - 15 July
The Community Council of Shropshire has teamed up with Chaddislode House to offer a workshop for carers on ways of managing stress and anxiety. A flyer is attached with full details.
pdf3 W's flyer for Shrewsbury (212.17KB)

Through the Doorway Summer Programme
Please see attached the summer programme from Through the Doorway to Healthy Living. This includes a new slimming group in north Shrewsbury called Slim and Trim. The aim of this group is to help people make long term changes in their eating habits and each session consists of 45 minutes of help, information and advice on healthy eating for weight loss, combined with a 45 min gentle exercise class designed as an introduction to those who are currently sedentary and to help tone them up. This course is being run by a fully qualified dietician, so you can be assured that the information is accurate and appropriate and is certainly not based on anyone's biased or 'fad' diet 'miracles'. Given the obesity epidemic, I am sure that you all know at least one person (and probably dozens) who would benefit from this course, so please disseminate this information at will. Booking is essential.  To make bookings please call on 01948 841466 or email: ams@doortohealth.fsnet.co.uk
pdfThrough the Doorway THL Summer 2011v2 (756.46KB)

pdfThrough the Doorway THL Flyer (951.77KB)

Engaging vulnerable young people: what works?
In response to recommendations from recent case reviews, a new half-day training course has been developed to help improve communication and engagement with vulnerable children and young people. Based on the recent experiences of Safe and Sound Derby and other expert practitioners from around the UK, this course will enable delegates to:

  • Understand why vulnerable young people are often difficult to engage
  • Confront some of the stereotyping that creates barriers to effective communication
  • Explore why some young people are especially difficult to engage
  • Be aware of good practice, and other helpful links and resources
  • Identify ways to engage with hard to reach young people
  • Plan how to transfer their learning into practice

The course is being run at the following venues and dates:
Manchester: Holiday Inn Manchester Central Park - Tuesday 19 July (Morning and Afternoon sessions)
London: Holiday Inn Brent Cross - Wednesday 20 July (Morning and Afternoon sessions)

The price per delegate is £99+VAT including refreshments on arrival and break time.
To book your place, please click on this link: http://www.justwhistle.org.uk/events.php
(scroll down to the event).

WMEN Training Programme, Summer 2011
Between July and September WMEN will be running a series of workshops designed to help you apply for European funding and, once you've secured your funding, to manage it successfully. Based on feedback from members, workshops have been planned for Birmingham, Black Country and Stoke.  Each workshop will address a different aspect of managing of European funding, from writing successful bids and requirements for record keeping to planning your succession strategy. Please find a list of workshops below. 
Writing Better Bids
With scarce resources it is important to be able to write high quality funding bids. This workshop will help you to understand what is required when putting your proposal together.
General EU Record Keeping
This workshop is an introduction to managing European projects and will help you identify which records to keep and how they should be presented.
EU Record Keeping for Audit
This workshop will help you understand who audits your project for ERDF and why.
Succession Planning
Succession planning is a vital part of a healthy effective organisation and this workshop will help you to look to the future and plan accordingly.
For information on all courses see:

NCVO Trustee Conference  - 31 October 2011
Booking for the VCVO conference has now opened. In an environment where innovative and enterprising solutions are more important than ever, it is clear that good governance and leadership is crucial for creating successful and sustainable organisations. Join us at this year's Trustee Conference to discover the latest thinking, practical tools and support to help you and your trustee board better respond, adapt to and drive change.
Visit: www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/trusteeconference2011 or contact Sue Beckett on 020 7520 3153, susan.beckett@ncvo-vol.org.uk

3. Funding News

CAF launches new social investment fund
The Charities Aid Foundation has launched a new social investment fund, the CAF Social Impact Fund, where people can invest their "charitable capital" to provide loans for charities. https://www.cafonline.org/my.../social.../caf-social-impact-fund.aspx

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

4. Consultations

Current Shropshire Council Consultations

  •  Local Transport Plan - consultation ends 29/07/11 
  •  Review of Polling Districts, Places and Stations - ends 5/8/11
  •  Review of Oswestry parish boundaries - consultation ends 15/9/11
  •  Traffic Regulation Orders - ongoing

For details please see:

Bus Strategy
The Bus Strategy for Shropshire 2011 - 2016  consultation has been included in previous newsletters. The consultation process is now complete; the final report which was approved by Cabinet on Wednesday 11 May can be viewed at: http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/transportconsultation as well as a summary of the forthcoming changes to services. Adopting the changes within the strategy will have implications for a number of local bus services in Shropshire although Shropshire Council has been able to maintain some services which had been previously proposed for withdrawal.  The first and most significant of these changes; the removal of subsidy from Sunday and Evening bus services will be applicable from Sunday 17 July.  Arriva have had to make the difficult decision to close the depot on a Sunday as a result of this action.  Therefore there will be no services commercially provided or subsidised operating on a Sunday or bank holiday. Should you require any further information regarding these changes please do not hesitate to contact the Passenger Transport Team on 01743 253013 or email mailto:passtrans@shropshire.gov.uk .  For details of all bus timetables in Shropshire please contact Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or visit http://www.traveline.info

VAT on cost sharing arrangements
A consultation on how the European VAT cost sharing exemption might be used in the UK has been started by HM Revenue and Customs. The government says it would like "the views of a wide range of businesses and organisations - particularly those in the education and charity sectors - that have VAT exempt or non-business activities and want to set up cost sharing arrangements." If implemented the exemption could remove the VAT charge which has got in the way of charities from gaining efficiencies by sharing costs with each other. Civil Society media news item at:

Responses by 30th September to:

5. Compact

Shropshire used as National Case Study
Compact working in Shropshire has been highlighted as a national good practice case study. The work and involvement of elected members is seen as a success story. A link to the article is included below. Compact implementation work continues through a number of partnership groups and projects and work with Elected Members is continuing with a VCS Assembly and Elected Member briefing planned on 21 July.

Herefordshire's Compact out for consultation
This week sees the launch of a consultation on the new Herefordshire Local Compact.  The Local Compact affects all community and voluntary organisations in Herefordshire. It sets out the terms of the relationship between the public sector and third sector organisations in the County and provides the framework for all future negotiations and joint working, including funding and procurement. See:

Survey of local Compacts
Anyone with a knowledge of their local Compact is encouraged to take part in the first annual survey on the state of all local Compacts across England. Compact Voice wants to identify where they are working well and where improvement is needed. Local Compacts could be a key to maintaining strong relationships with local authorities, helping services remain intact and flourish. The VCS Assembly Coordinator will provide a response but if you would also like to take part you may find the survey at (open until 12 July):

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

No opportunities this time.

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

7. Important Reminders

News Items

Shropshire Children's Trust Voluntary and Community Sector Summit
Shropshire Children's Trust Voluntary and Community Sector Summit would like to invite other VCS groups and organisation to join. Please see more details attached and contact Elaine Griffiths on 01743 252275 or at mailto:Elaine.Griffiths@shropshire.gov.uk   or Hilary McGlynn on 01939 236181 McGlynn.H@shropshirelg.net
pdfChildren's Summit (60.13KB)

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 http://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.

Official launch of the Marches LEP
The Marches LEP has been officially launched and its Prospectus unveiled at the House of Commons. For further information on the work of the Marches LEP go to http://www.marcheslep.org.uk/ or email enquiries@marcheslep.org.uk

Not this time.


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. 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.
pdfA New You Ludlow POSTER (780.5KB)
pdfWhat is A NEW YOU (846.57KB)

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.
For full details about the conference visit the web page link below.

NCVO/VSSN Researching the Voluntary Sector Conference 2011
7 and 8 September 2011 
See the following web page for details and how to book.

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.


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.


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: mailto:sarah.dodds@shropshire.gov.uk
Website: www.2shrop.net/shropvcsassembly