June 2015

LVSC News - June 2015 edition online now.

Welcome to LVSC News - June 2015

Dear Colleague,

Moving forward with the work we're doing on the future of local infrastructure, I'm delighted to update you on our progress. LVSC and GLV are currently cataloguing examples of good practice within London - the scale and scope of this work is detailed below.  We're very grateful to London Funders and the City Bridge Trust for supporting this co-production which will explore what London's infrastructure could look like in the future.

I'm very pleased to announce that LVSC was successful in a recent application to City Bridge Trust. This grant will enable us to progress our strategic engagement across sectors and explore new ways of income diversification for the sector through our work with London's business community.  City Bridge Trust has funded us for two years for this work for which we are very grateful.

Now that our work on the general election is over LVSC is planning a campaign for the London Mayoral elections next May.  First off we will be meeting with candidates and developing a manifesto based on the priorities for London communities and our members. Our aim is to organise a series of themed round tables and we will share dates with you in the next month or two.

There is a wealth of activity this month kicking off with Volunteers' Week; followed by National Carers Week; the Festival of Learning culminating in Adult Learners' Week; Refugee  Week and Small Charities Week between 15th - 20th June.  I hope you have a chance to take part in some of the activities laid on for these celebrations.

Finally, our new membership drive saw over 30 new applications last month. We're delighted to welcome our new members and I look forward to meeting with you over the summer months. Please do join us at our events and training and a 'save the date' for everyone is our Conference & AGM, which will be 29 September 2015. More details to follow.

Warm regards,


Eithne Rynne

Policy Viewpoint - June

Lisa Greensill LVSC Head of Policy and Sector Support's shares her pick of VCS news this month.

General Election 2015

The results are in and we have a clear Conservative majority government. Bloggers and commentators are still mulling over the implications this has for the sector with questions around the future of the Human Rights Act and other equalities legislation, devolution not only for Scotland and Wales but also for cities - and where this leaves London - and a renewed focus on volunteering.

Rob Wilson has retained his position of Minister for Civil Society in the Cabinet Office. Both Acevo and NAVCA have expressed their feelings about this, highlighting the mystery of the disappearing Sustainability Fund:

Sir Stephen Bubb said, "The Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson has a packed agenda. His first order of business is to fulfil his pre-election promise and ensure that the Local Sustainability Fund makes it through Parliament. He has been clear on the importance of charities' duty to campaign on our beneficiaries' behalf, so I'll work with him to defend that and to defend our independence from government. We look forward to his advocacy on our sector's behalf." Neil Cleeveley at NAVCA observed, "There is something to be said for continuity, but I hope Rob Wilson will look beyond social investment and public service delivery, important though both are. We need him to be a powerful advocate for the sector. This means supporting our right to campaign without fear, particularly where government policy harms the most vulnerable people and communities. The first thing he can do is launch the much promised Local Sustainability Fund'. So, clear messages also emerging around campaigning - how this sits with the new Government time will tell.

Another much publicised action of the new government will be a referendum on the future of the UK within Europe. The exact question has yet to be framed but there are growing pressures for the question to be asked sooner rather than later to avoid a prolonged period of uncertainty.

NCVO has launched a review to find out how much membership of the European Union benefits the voluntary sector in order to inform the referendum debate and influence any renegotiation of treaties that may occur. In a blog Sir Stuart wrote: "It may well be the case that constitutional affairs and Brussels are of interest only to policy wonks and political obsessives; but such matters are too important to be left to politicians or think tanks alone. I believe that the call for a constitutional convention, involving citizens and civil society more broadly, is correct…this will look at the areas where voluntary organisations benefit or otherwise as a result of Britain's membership of the EU, ranging from the value of programmes such as European structural and investment funds, to the impact of regulation."

And finally for this month's issue London Councils have marked the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the 32 Borough with a website dedicated to their history. It features a booklet on the history of the London Boroughs written by Professor Tony Travers of the LSE and a fascinating archive of photographs. I really recommend saving the photo archive for a quiet moment to take a trip down memory lane or a peak into history depending on your age. Whichever journey it is, it's well worth making.

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Volunteers Week 1-7th June 2015 Join LVSC PEACe Services
A BIG thank you to Laura and Tom who helped us this year with COSTCO payroll giving campaign, policy updates and our election hub.

Since April we have had 30 organisations apply to join LVSC. Please read more about LVSC's free membership offer and join us.

PEACe HR Services 2015.Download our service leaflet (PDF)

LVSC News and Updates

LVSC's commitment to equality, diversity and human rights

At LVSC we work hard to ensure all staff are committed to the principle and practice of fair treatment of individuals (equality) and value strongly everyone's differences (diversity). This is not just the domain of one member of staff, but a core principle and value of our organisation that has equality at its heart.

LVSC took the following practical steps on the road to equality:

  • adopted a Statement of Inclusion in 2009 which underpins our Equality Policy
  • signed a Concordat with London equalities and human rights organisations that governs the way we work together
  • audited our website in relation to accessibility
  • attained a silver status UK Investors in Diversity and Equality (UKIED) charter mark in June 2013
  • established an internal Equalities, Diversity and Human Rights working group which focuses on this area of work and has Board, staff and senior management representation

We ensure that all our events are accessible by using our accessibility checklist when sourcing venues. We improve services by targeting areas where there is under-representation from people with protected characteristics using data from our equalities monitoring.

June 2015 - Revalidation of UKIED Charter Mark

Currently we are going through a process to revalidate the UKIED charter mark. This process enables us to look closely at the progress we have made on recommendations from the 2013 process, and build on what we have achieved. It is important for us to remember that our focus on equality, diversity and human rights is on-going and we strive to be a good practice, learning organisation. Read more on our website and contact tim@lvsc,org.uk

Help us to improve HR services for the VCSE

What are the HR and employment law challenges that you face on a daily basis? LVSC's voluntary and community sector led service, PEACe, wants to know what you need from an HR and employment law supplier. Even if you have never heard of PEACe before, your opinion is of great importance, and by sharing it you will help us to provide the support that both your organisation and the sector really needs.

Our survey takes no more than 5 minutes to complete, and all participants will be entered into a prize draw for £50.  This research is part of an exciting new project to explore the expansion of PEACe's services throughout the UK. Thanks for taking part and best of luck!

The deadline for completion of the survey is 25th June 2015. Take part now.

London Assembly: Role of the third sector in employment and skills programmes - please get involved

The London Assembly Economy Committee is seeking information on the role of the third sector in employment and skills programmes in the capital, including the specific initiatives, or barriers, in London which help or hinder the third sector's role in employment and skills programmes; how future developments, including possible devolution can be exploited to develop a more diverse supply chain in employment and skills programmes in London; and how the Mayor, central and local government can ensure the third sector has a role in delivering employment and support programmes in the capital. Further information will be available on the Committee's home page from 29 May. This is a great opportunity to put what you are doing before the committed to evidence the existing diversity of employment and skills provision in London.

Update on the ESF fund in London and Building Better Opportunities - Nehal Depani's roundup of support from VSC Assist

The majority of the European Social Fund money will be distributed via the opt-in organisations: the Department of Work and Pensions, the Skills Funding Agency and the Big Lottery Fund (BLF). The opt-ins bring match funding and have responsibility for the procurement and commissioning of the programme.

BLF's programme is called Building Better Opportunities [https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/global-content/programmes/england/building-better-opportunities] and is expected to launch in early June 2015. There will be two calls, one in June and one in October. The application process consists of two stages, with development funding available for organisations who have been invited to progress to stage two. It is anticipated that the application process will take a minimum of eight months end to end. For more information, have a look at the slides from our BLF funded "Getting London Ready" Road shows.

Getting Ready for ESF: support available


Thank you for everyone who attended our "Getting London Ready" road shows and skills training throughout May. We are still running a number of different events during June, including more training to help prepare organisations for the ESF. For more details and to sign up, keep checking our LVSC events page: /training-events.aspx

Collating/Publishing Service

It's also not too late to complete our Expression of Interest and help find partners for BBO. We are publishing collated lists of organisations who have submitted an EoI on a rolling basis to allow organisations to get in touch directly with potential partners. You can view previously submitted EoIs and submit your own here

Safer Future Communities - Recruiting to Policy and Project Manager - Crime and Justice System Ref. CJS/

Part-time, 28 hours per week, initially until 31 March 2016 dependant on funding
£30,311 plus London Weighting per annum (pro-rata).
Suitable for secondment.
Based in London.

LVSC's vision is of a vibrant and sustainable city where lives of Londoners are enhanced through voluntary and community action.

We are seeking an experienced Policy and Project Manager to take forward our work on crime and justice. Main duties include supporting partners in the development of local and pan-London commissioning programmes, building the capacity of VCS organisations in London in addressing crime and community safety issues, improving co-ordination and partnership working around crime related issues and needs and building a voice for victims and witnesses in London. Partnership working experience is essential as you will develop and maintain relationships with all our stakeholders.

Closing date:  Wednesday 10 June 2015 by 12 noon
Interviews:  Tuesday 23 June 2015
To request an application pack, please e-mail cleo@lvsc.org.uk.

LVSC encourages applications from people of all backgrounds and would specifically welcome applications from people with protected characteristics, which are age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity.

Moving forward with work on the future of voluntary sector infrastructure in London

LVSC  and GLV are pleased to announce that we are working with London Funders to co-produce a specification for a detailed piece of work on the future of infrastructure in London, building on the national "Change for Good" report and the outcomes of our joint meeting with members of our networks on 20th April 2015.

London Funders, with funding from City Bridge Trust, will be commissioning detailed scoping research to map out the infrastructure needs of London's voluntary sector; identify opportunities for development; and outline future resourcing requirements of the sector, based on the specification we are developing.  LVSC and GLV, together with other sector representatives, will be involved in shaping this work with London Funders, and our members will be invited to contribute to the process through consultations that we envisage will take place over the summer or early autumn.  The aim will be to complete the work and make recommendations before the end of 2015..

We will be able to provide a more detailed timetable for the work when it gets fully underway in a month's time, but in the meantime LVSC and GLV are pulling together examples of good practice within the networks and background notes on the range of infrastructure in London, to ensure the work commissioned builds on an understanding of our current work.

If you have any queries before more information is available next month then please don't hesitate to contact Eithne at LVSC (eithner@lvsc.org.uk) or James at GLV (james@glv.org.uk)

LVSC's health policy work 2015-2016 - update

LVSC is a constituent member or Regional Voices, one of the strategic partners of the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England. We have been funded for another year to take forward the strategic partners programme - Stronger Connections for Better Health.This programme is about building mechanisms for an effective flow of information, intelligence and evidence between voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations and the Department of Health, Public Health England and the NHS England.

We have also been funded through our Regional Voices membership by NHS England to help take forward the Engaging Patients and Communities Programme of the Five year Forward View This work will include improving local commissioning with small VCSE groups; support better involvement in primary care commissioning and other areas.More information can be found on LVSC's health pages. You can also contact Sandra van der Feen, Health Policy Officer, on email sandra@lvsc.org.uk (from June Mon-Wed only).

Whole Systems Change: co-producing models of health & care

The report of the event which took place on April 16th is almost completed but we are still waiting for information from several speakers. We do have some additional content regarding the workshops which is available online. They can be downloaded from LVSC's health policy page.

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London For All

London for All is a London Councils' funded project designed to build  the capacity of London's voluntary and community sector. As a partnership project, led by LVSC, it offers: insight and learning from a collective 200 years' experience: and the practical applications of that knowledge.  London for All can strengthen your organisation's knowledge and skills, work more effectively and efficiently, deliver more accessible services to support service users better.

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London for All Keegan and Pennykid logo VCS Assist Project

The UKIED Charter Mark is the leading fully integrated equality, diversity and safeguarding charter mark designed to meet the needs of all organisations

For information and advice about Charity Insurance contact Keegan & Pennykid

VCS Assist is a programme of free organisational support for London's VCS employment and skills providers.

LVSC Events & Training

Gender Recognition Act Training

Date: 3rd June 2015 09:30am - 12:00pm
Venue: The Bridge 81 Southwark Bridge Road London, SE1 0NQ 
Whatever your type of service or beneficiary group you will at some point find that trans people are included amongst those who need your service or support.  As well as a broader awareness of trans issues, it is important to be aware of the relevant equalities legislation.

Voluntary Sector Workshop on No Recourse to Public Funds

Date:  4th June 2015 9:30 am - 13:00 pm
Venue: 200a Pentonville Road Kings Cross London, N1 9JP
London for All is delighted to invite you to a FREE half day training workshop for voluntary and community sector organisations who work with children and families  and who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

Project Management - a Getting London Ready event

Date: 8th June 2015 09:30 am- 16:30 pm
Venue: Voluntary Action Islington, 200a Pentonville Road London, N1 9JP
This course will look at regular issues that arise in project management and what you can do about resolving and avoiding them

Perfecting Your Pitch

Date: 9th June 2015 09:30-13:00pm
Venue: Scope 6 Market Road London, N7 9PW
This workshop aims to support VCS service providers to refine and perfect their pitch and test it out with a group of funders and larger providers

Building Partnerships the Core Ingredients a Getting London Ready workshop

Date: 10th June 2015 09:30-13:00pm
Venue: Voluntary Action Islington 200a Pentonville Road London, N1 9JP 
Developing partnerships is not necessarily simple for small voluntary community organisations. There are numerous internal and external factors that could affect the success of the partnership if not dealt with at the early stages of development .

Effective Employer Engagement - A Getting London Ready workshop

Date: 11th June 2015 10:00am - 13:00pm (registration from 9.30) 
Venue: Voluntary Action Islington 200a Pentonville Road London, N1 9JP 
Expert guidance on working with business to access vacancies and placements for your clients, including part-time opportunities.

Effective Employer Engagement - A Getting London Ready workshop

Date: 15th June 2015 10:00am - 13:00pm (registration from 9.30) 
Venue: Voluntary Action Islington, 200a Pentonville Road London, N1 9JP 
Expert guidance on working with business to access vacancies and placements for your clients, including part-time opportunities.

Writing that winning tender

Date: 18th June 2015 09:30 am - 16:30pm
Venue: Voluntary Action Islington 200a Pentonville Road London, N1 9JP 
With the move away from traditional grant funding, many organisations find themselves having to compete for funding through the commissioning process. This may be to continue existing services or to start new projects.

Project Management

Date: 22nd June 2015 09:30am - 16:30pm
Venue:  Voluntary Action Islington 200a Pentonville Road London, N1 9JP 
This course will look at regular issues that arise in project management and what you can do about resolving them/making sure they don't occur.

Partnership Building -  the core ingredients

Date: 24th June 2015 09:30am - 13.00pm
Venue: Scope 6 Market Road London, N7 9PW
Developing partnerships is not necessarily simple for small voluntary community organizations. There are numerous internal and external factors that could affect the success of the partnership if not dealt with at the early stages of development.

Managing Misconduct

Date: 24th June 2015 10:00 AM -1:30 PM
Venue200a Pentonville Road Kings Cross London, N1 9JP
The training will reflect the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Building Relationships with Business Master Class

Date: 8th July 2015 10:00am - 16.30pm
Venue: Fitzrovia Community Centre 6 Foley Street London, W1W 6DL 
If you want to build meaningful partnerships with the private sector, this exclusive opportunity will improve your confidence in developing strategic partnerships with businesses. During the session, you will develop and road test your partnership proposition with the support of experts and business representatives.

HR Essentials

Date: 29th July 2015 10:00am-13:00pm
Venue: Voluntary Action Islington 200a Pentonville Road London, N1 9JP 
The aim of the course is to raise the awareness of potential and new employers about employment legislation and good practice in the workplace.

LVSC Happy Training

How to Book: To book onto any of these courses through Happy Training please call 0207 375 7300 or email happy@happy.co.uk and we will be able to give more information and book you on.

Notices & Events

What's in a Men's Shed for you?

Date: Thursday 2nd July
VenueIndian YMCA, Fitzroy Street W1T 6AQ

A Men's Shed is a workshop for making, mending and hobbies. Groups of retired men love them and have opened more than two a week in the UK in the last 6 months. If you are interested in supporting:

  • men's health and wellbeing,
  • community development or skill sharing,
  • in material reuse or getting something unique made,

Come and meet some members and hear why even more Sheds are needed.
or more info visit www.menssheds.org.uk.  To book on this free event follow this link to Eventbrite

Taking a deep breath: Cleaning up London's air

Date: 7th July 2015 16:30pm - 21:00pm
Venue: St Bride Foundation, Bridge Lane, London, EC4Y 8EQ

London continues to suffer the effects of poor air quality leading to around 4,300 early deaths per year. You'll be getting to the bottom of how to develop an action plan and put it into action, working with councils, planners, politicians and other communities. Book on 'Taking a Deep Breath' via Eventbrite. Or contact Sam Jelliman s.jelliman@lsx.org.uk  or phone 0207 234 9400 for more information.

Briefing 58 - the richest get richer, the poorest get poorer

Data from the New Economics Foundation (NEF), published in a recent Inequality Briefing, has shed light on the nature of inequality in Britain today. As part of their 'Real Britain Index' NEF calculated a figure of the change in real income per decile from 2012-2013. The results show the top 10% have had their real income increase by 4% whilst the poorest 10% had their income shrunk by 15%.
Whilst this is a concern, with recent news that inflation is falling there is hope real income of poorer households will rise. However, as acknowledged by Inequality Briefing, this rise will depend on cuts to social security and low pay.

London cost of living 20%-50% higher than rest of the UK

According to a new study by Loughborough University, it costs between 20% and 50% more for households in London to reach a minimum decent standard of living than elsewhere in the UK. This is because of high additional costs in the capital, especially housing, transport and children.
Whilst it is common knowledge that the cost of living in London is higher, this research is the first to examine in detail the additional costs. For a single person to reach the Minimum Income Standard in outer London, they would need to earn at least £24,500 a year if they lived in a rented (lowest quartile rent) studio flat and at least £21,000 if they were sharing.

Think tank NPC launch new 'Digital Transformation' programme

Charity think tank New Philanthropy Capital has launched a new programme, Digital Transformation to encourage the voluntary sector to adopt more digital technology. 
NPC will hold two Digital Transformation events in July 2015, organising forums for charity leaders and major technology thinkers like IBM, to explore how technology can enhance the impact of charities. 
The potential benefits are wide ranging. Digital technology can make it easier for charities to integrate with others, collaborate and coordinate their activities, to put beneficiaries at the heart of service design and deliver, and to save money while doing it. 
Read the press release to see NPC's work on the first phase of this new project.

Reviewing investment in health & wellbeing VCS organisations

A recent review has outlined how the statutory and voluntary sectors can maximise its impact to health and wellbeing outcomes for communities.
After collecting the views from different organisations and nearly 4,500 individuals, this review outlines several points for a new, improved 'landscape':

  • A social value approach to commissioning
  • Rebalancing the mix of grant and contract funding
  • Re-focusing the central grants programme

The conclusions from this review emphasise that improving the VCSE sector requires going beyond 'more funding'. By addressing these points and others outlined in the review, the sector can improve delivery of their health and wellbeing services.

Commissioning for Carers award is now live

This award  will recognise CCGs, who have worked alongside local authorities, to draw up plans to identify and support carers and, in particular, have worked with voluntary & community sector (VCS) organisations and primary care as well as carers themselves.  The planning guidance for CCGs for 2015/16 says "In developing plans, CCGs should be mindful of the significant changes to local authority powers and duties from April 2015 under the Care Act 2014. Plans should focus on supporting young carers and working carers through the provision of accessible services, and services for carers from vulnerable groups. Linked to this, we expect all NHS employers to review in 2015/16 their own flexible working arrangements and support for staff with unpaid caring responsibilities".

Health and social care: the Kings Fund sets out 3 priorities for the new government

According to the Kings Fund, mounting deficits, worsening performance and declining staff morale mean that the NHS is facing its biggest challenges for many years, while pressures on social care are escalating. We set out the key health and social care priorities for the new government at a critical time for the NHS. The three priorities are: 1) new funding and higher productivity; 2) a new approach to NHS reform and 3) a new settlement for health and social care.

Clock off in June - mental health and physical wellbeing

In June, the Guardian's Society Professionals Network will be running project Clock off, exploring the mental and physical wellbeing of the public and voluntary sector's workforce. Take the short survey and tell them about your working life.

Political inequality: Why British democracy must be reformed and revitalised

Growing levels of electoral inequality by age and class, falling political participation rates and low levels of belief in the efficacy of democracy all reflect an ingrained sense that the political process is rigged in favour of the rich, the powerful and the well-connected. 
Institute for Public Policy Research report seeks to define and explore the concept and impact of political inequality.

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