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Welcome to LVSC News - December 2015
This month's LVSC news brings you an update on the result of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement, a bit of a mixed bag which asks more questions than it answers. We have included comment from around the sector in our Storify page which we hope will be useful when looking ahead at changes in vital areas for the sector like local authority spending.
Two sets of awards have been launched - the Charity Awards from Civil Society and the Sheila McKechnie Campaigning Awards - so do make sure you have your say and vote for those you want to be recognised for their work over the last year.
Sara, our Criminal Justice Policy and Project Manager, has provided a very useful round up of latest publications in the field which should prove to be a very useful resource, including reports from The Prison Reform Trust on sentencing mothers and Revolving Doors on their continuing work on complex needs.
It has been a busy year and shows no sign of slowing down with the forthcoming publication of the initial finding of the London Funders review into support for civil society in London - so I hope you manage to have a very happy and restful festive season and wish you all the best for 2016.
Policy Viewpoint - December 2015
Lisa Greensill LVSC Head of Policy and Sector Support's shares her pick of VCS news this month.
Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015
25 November saw the much heralded Spending Review and Autumn Statement from Chancellor George Osborne. We were agog to hear whether rumours about the 'raiding' of the Big Lottery Fund were true - they weren't - which made us wonder where the rumour had come from in the first place. The devil will, of course, be in the detail with commentators already pointing out that there has been some optimistic moving of goalposts by the Office for Budget Responsibility. We'll be keeping you up to date with our Autumn Budget Storify page and you can read more of our initial reaction.
NAVCA give a useful summary whilst Karl Wilding of NCVO commented ' Was this a good spending review for the voluntary sector? Only time will tell, however it did seem to confirm that this is a government that is agnostic about charities…interested in social investment and in volunteering - not the voluntary sector.
Maybe of most immediate importance to our sector is the impact this will have on local government where much of the sectors funding comes from, be it through grants or contracts - Guy Ware from London Councils has written a very useful summary of what it actually means.
Infrastructure - what will be missed when it's gone?
Meanwhile, away from the big picture and the billions of pounds announced in the CSR - on the occasion of the closure of one of our sister regional infrastructure organisations, Involve Yorkshire and Humber, their Director muses on what is really lost when such organisations close. The really valuable bits are the relationships that have been built up between and across sectors that no amount of e-learning or vouchers can replace.
At a time when some funders in London are considering whether they should fund infrastructure at all,I hope that we manage to make this point along with all the other reasons capacity building, voice and campaigning must continue to be supported.
But life goes on…
The Charity Awards is Civil Society Media's annual awards programme held to identify, recognise and reward those organisations doing exceptional work in all areas of charitable activity. The Awards are judged by a panel of voluntary sector experts, each of them leaders in their own fields with years of experience of leading and managing civil society organisations. Entries for the 2016 Awards will open on 1 December 2015 and the shortlist will be announced in May 2016 ahead of the gala presentation dinner in June 2016.
A new report funded by Trust for London, published by Solace Women's Aid last month evidences the efficiency and quality of services provided by the Ascent Advice & Counselling (A&C) partnership, which supports women and girls across London who have been affected by all forms of violence and abuse. Between 2013 and 2015 the partnership helped 24,206 women to improve their safety; manage their mental health; reduce medication; increase self-esteem and confidence and improve their relationship with children and family.
The SMK Campaigner Awards recognise and celebrate people who demonstrate their commitment to and effectiveness in tackling the root causes of injustice and inequality, be it over the last year or over many years. Award winners are people who have brought about lasting change within their communities or more widely, either on a local or national basis. The deadline for application is 8 February 2016.
And finally, please help raise awareness among your contacts and networks of this year's major survey. Please spread the word via newsletters, websites and social media.
LVSC News and Updates
VSC Assist - Employment and Skills News
Update on the European Social Fund in London
The deadline for the second tranche of the Big Lottery Fund projects passed on 30 November. We are now awaiting the launch of the Skills Funding Agency and Department of Work and Pensions programmes. The first SFA tranche of projects is expected before Christmas and will cover NEET projects; potential applicants should be prepared for an application window of 30 days. We will circulate information on the rounds via the employment and skills e-bulletin.
LVSC has launched its ESF Partnership Directory, available for all organisations who are interested in finding partners for ESF projects in London. The Directory allows you to register your organisation as an interested party, edit detail you have previously entered and search for other organisations by criteria including geography, beneficiary group or type of service.
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills has published a review on gender imbalances in education, training and labour market outcomes. The review notes the persistence of an economy-wide gender pay gap; that gender pay gaps for equal or equivalent work still exist; occupational segregation remains part of the labour market; and that women are under-represented in management and senior positions. The consequence is greater insecurity and unfulfilled potential for women, and a significant negative effect on the economy as a whole.
Looking forward, looking back - LVSC's health work 2015-2016
In April this year, LVSC ran a 'Whole Systems Change - co-producing new models of health and care event'. The event raised many issues relating to the government's new care models. One concern raised was the lack of funding following the patient or going to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) managing and / or delivering social prescribing services. Social prescribing activities, including how they are funded or commissioned has helped shape our work this year. It led to a 'think piece' in the summer and was followed by a blog on the role of the VCSE in co-producing new models of health & care both of which will inform the recent VCSE Review. We also responded to the VCSE Review. Furthermore we have just started mapping and reviewing social prescribing activities in London.
LVSC's responses to the VCSE review and blog
LVSC responded to the recent VCSE review. We also produced a blog on the role of the VCSE in co-producing new models of health and care can be read here
In the next few months, LVSC will be undertaking a review and a map of social prescribing initiatives and models in London. This work will include a map of local providers as well as a review of social prescribing in London outlining different models, how they were set up, voluntary & community sector involvement, funding arrangements and if and how they are evaluated. We have already contacted the social prescribers known to us in London and invited them to respond to our survey.
However, please get in touch with Sandra@lvsc.org.uk if you are aware of a social prescribing service in your borough. LVSC will share the results at a strategic level with commissioners, NHS England (including London region), London Health Board, local authorities and others, including academic institutions that have reviewed social prescribing activities.
In January 2015, the NHS invited individual organisations and partnerships to apply to become 'vanguard' sites for the new care models programme, one of the first steps towards delivering the 'Five Year Forward View' and supporting improvement and integration of services. LVSC has produced a short briefing describing the vanguards in London and some of their activities. It also outlines LVSC's role in relation to the vanguards including our future plans to promote good practice.
The University of Sheffield has put together very interesting graphs showing quite dramatic changes in the most deprived areas in London from 2014-2020 (contrast with the rest of the country which didn't change very much).
Please help raise awareness among your contacts and networks of this year's major survey. Please spread the word via newsletters, websites and social media.
Safer Future Communities - update
December round up
This month sees the inaugural meetings of the London Gangs and Serious Youth Violence Network and the VCS VAWG panel, in concert with MOPAC and hosted by Safer Future Communities. We welcomed the attendance of prison's minister Andrew Selous at the Clinks conference on 1 Dec and have been talking to members since the comprehensive spending review about its impact. Particularly prescient for many SFC members in London is the closure of HMP Holloway by summer 2016 - many women's services are based near to Holloway and the impact for their service users and their families are potentially huge. There was good news on the police funding front, but despite their being no further cuts, we are all too aware that colleagues are still trying to find £400 million of cuts from pre-existing spending plans.
Reports and Publications
There have been a bevy of insightful reports and publications in the last few weeks. The Prison Reform Trust's latest 'Bromley Briefing', jam packed with 76 pages of up-to-date prison information came out last week, as did their brilliant 'Sentencing of mothers: Improving the sentencing process and outcomes for women with dependent children'. Nacro's Beyond Youth Custody team have produced two new practitioner's guides on the critical nature of recognising and responding to diversity in people's resettlement journeys. And Revolving Doors Agency continue their outstanding work on complex needs with a new report, 'Understanding the whole person: What are the common concepts for recovery and desistance across the fields of mental health, substance misuse, and criminology?'
As ever, please do get in touch with Sara (email@example.com) with any questions on SFC, or to promote research, events and reports of interest to the London CJS sector.
To celebrate 20 years of HR and employment law support in the voluntary sector, we are giving you 20% off the popular PEACe Staff Handbook and Manager's Toolkit. The handbook is a customised suite of all the policies your organisation needs to be compliant with the law. It's updated for you twice a year and complete with step- by-step guidance for managers.
Russell-Cooke Solicitors worked in partnership with PEACe to develop a good value package, specifically for the voluntary sector - so you won't find hidden costs or complicated jargon. Not only does this excellent package save you time and money; all profits from the handbook and toolkit go straight back into supporting the sector.
Get in touch with one of our friendly, expert advisors by 21st December 2015 to receive your discount and get your policies and procedures up-to-date for the New Year.
Contact PEACe on 020 78325 819 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Equalities - quarterly update
London is a great city, but it is also one of great inequality. To ensure that everyone is able to make the most of our capital's opportunities, LVSC has put tackling inequalities at the core of its mission.
Our new equalities update will provide a round up of the big equalities stories and activities relevant to VCS organisations. If you have any suggestions for content, feel free to contact our equalities champion, Nehal Bradley-Depani on Nehal@lvsc.org.uk.
Human rights consultation - case studies needed!
As many of you will be aware, the government is proposing to replace the Human Rights Act 1998 with a British Bill of Rights. A consultation on the proposals is now expected in the new year. LVSC believes that the HRA is essential in protecting universal rights and that any new British Bill of Rights is likely to water down protection of our fundamental freedoms. We will be responding to the consultation and welcome any case studies of how the HRA has helped the VCS or its beneficiaries. If you can help, please get in touch with Nehal Bradley-Depani, Nehal@lvsc.org.uk
Concerned about the human rights and equalities impact of austerity? Warwick University has put together a useful database of materials to support those who wish to carry out Equality and/or Human Rights Impact Assessments of the public spending cuts or to use human rights or equality legislation to challenge public spending cuts. The materials include example impact assessments, tools, past legal challenges and further sources of information.
The Runnymede Trust has issued a call for evidence for its shadow report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). In August 2016, CERD will be examining the report submitted by the UK on its compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The investigation is an opportunity for civil society in the UK to make observations and present solutions. Workshops to gather civil society views will be held across the UK (including in London) and an online questionnaire will be open until 18 December 2015.
Other LVSC News - round up
66 volunteers - 4 venues - 1 day to complete the tasks
LVSC United Way London, GLV and Three Elements partnered to arrange this busy day of volunteering by Scripps Networks staff team at four community organisations in South London.
David Lloyd, Growing Lives Project Coordinator at Sydenham Gardens - sums up the day from his corner of south east London. "It was a really good day, and I'm very pleased with the results. Please tell the team they were absolutely brilliant - I was worried about taking on two such complicated challenges on such a tight deadline, but their professionalism, enthusiasm and flexibility soon put my mind at ease and we whizzed through it without a hitch."
LVSC is looking for a volunteer to provide a wide range of support to our busy team. Who will you be supporting? What will you be doing? Well - we asked Tom Owen to write up some of the things he's been involved in over the last 9 months to give you an idea. Read more on our website.
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.
London Voluntary Service Council, HEAR Network, Race on the Agenda, LASA and Women's Resource Centre held their 3rd Annual Conference and the HEAR Networks Accessibility Awards on the 25th November. The conference considered what the challenges and opportunities for VCSE organisations arising from the rapid growth of the use of digital technology.
There were presentations from
Tim Wilson from City Bridge Trust and Simon Marshall from the Big Lottery Fund considered the gaps in current VCSE work with regard to digital tech. And there were 5 very interesting workshops ranging from tackling racism in the age of social media' to making your services more accessible with digital.
Follow this link to read more and download supporting presentations.
The Access Awards showcased examples of good practice in accessibility and inclusion by HEAR network members in service delivery, and how small changes can have a big impact.
Solace Women's Aid were presented with an award for their work on improving the inclusion of deaf and disabled women in domestic and sexual violence services. The conference also heard presentations from Bexley and Bromley Accessible Transport and Young People for Inclusion on their work to support access and inclusion.
To find out more or to find out about training and support to improve the accessibility and inclusivity of your services for all Londoners please contact email@example.com
London for All - more opportunities
LVSC Events & Training
Date: 20th January 2016, 9.30am - 4pm
This event will give VCSE organisations a space to think about what the next few years hold for their organisations and the people their work with. Exploring the political, economic, social and technological challenges and opportunities facing our sector, we will ask how we can adapt to ensure the best outcomes for Londoners.
Date: 25 January 2016, 9.30 - 1pm
FREE half day training workshop for voluntary and community sector organisations who work with children and families who have No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).
LVSC Happy Training
This one-day course will explore the need for planning, organising, setting goals and responding to day-to-day activities and demands. Participants will consider what methods of time management are possible in their situation and how to make managing time a daily practice.
How to Book:to book any of these courses, please click on the name of the course and this will direct you to the booking page. Or you can call us on 020 7375 7300 and we will be able to book you over the phone.
Notices & Events
Understanding Hate Crime
Date: Tuesday 19th January 2016, 9.30am-1pm
This free learning session will explore the nature and impact of hate crime against London's diverse communities. It will help you understand the legislation around hate crime, which can sometimes be confusing. It will also introduce a range of anti-hate crime tools and services. The session will aim to help participants achieve the following: 1) Identify the nature and extent of hate crime 2) Increase understanding of hate crime legislation 3) Identify the impacts of hate crime to individuals and society 4) Recognise potential barriers to reporting and accessing help 5) Employ strategies to help people access safety services 6) Identify sources of support and assistance.
You will also have the chance to hear about HEAR's new Policy and Campaigns project, funded by Trust for London, which will be supporting organisations to do policy and campaign work on hate crime.
To book a free place please email the HEAR Network Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name, organisation, organisation postcode, and whether or not you have any dietary or access needs.
Have you ever wanted to create a quick thematic map of London, but lacked the GIS skills or software to do it yourself? GLA Intelligence Unit has a free mapping tools which allows you to put in your own data to create an instant map that can be copied over into Word or another application of your choice. You can map London at borough level or ward level adding in your project specific information. You can even use your own colour scheme. Creating documents to map your activity and demonstrate your impact just got whole lot easier.
Using PQASSO to improve your governance - Free workshop for trustees: 3 February 2016 (London)
This free 2 hour workshop will show how PQASSO is a great quality management tool to help you improve governance in your organisation. It's primarily aimed at trustees but will also be useful for chief execs who know that governance needs to be reviewed or believes that the Board could be supported to become more effective. To book on to this free workshop, please email email@example.com
Women's Consortium (Est. 2007) empowers women through training and therapeutic services. These include healthy lifestyle training; diet and health promotion; meditation; life coaching; personal development; confidence-building; health & safety/first aid training; NLP; language classes; plus general support and advice. The consortium works in Birmingham and London, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Salary: up to £56,000
Building on well-established foundations and a great track record of achievement, the Trustees of The Highbury Vale Blackstock Trust now seek an inspirational and strategically-minded Director to formulate and lead the implementation of revised strategies and fundraising initiatives and to work towards the renovation of the current premises.