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Welcome to LVSC News - February 2016
The latest news around the Government move to curtail our sectors voice is worrying. Imposing clauses in government grants feels like just another barrier being erected in a bid not to listen to our expert views. Conversely the evidence in the London Funders emerging findings report demonstrates a very real need to turn the volume up, not down! Lets hope our collective voice will be heard as we write to the Prime Minister to share our concerns.
There are some changes at LVSC that will come into place at the end of March 2016. It is with huge regret that LVSC Trustees made the decision to close the PEACe HR & Employment Law Service. We know this will be a big loss to our subscribers but unfortunately, although we know there is a need in the sector for good quality, cost effective HR advice, the advice line and consultancy services are under utilised and consequently the service is not able to sustain itself.
We are deeply sorry that we are no longer able to offer these services, however I am very pleased that we are maintaining some products which we know will be of huge value to the sector. We will maintain our on line document bank which will give you a suite of resources to help fulfil your HR requirements. We are also pleased to maintain our staff handbook and many of you have already purchased this invaluable resource. Updates are sent twice a year so you will always have an up to date manual complete with a Manager's toolkit to help you navigate. If you require any further details on any of these products then please contact Shirley Briggs on 020 7832 5819 or email email@example.com.
We were disappointed to postpone our Mayoral Hustings which was set for last week but once we realised that the date clashed with the Evening Standard Event we decided to rearrange and will be circulating a new date shortly for an event in April. Watch this space. Meanwhile please have a look at the LVSC manifesto and as many of our staff are now on Twitter, you will be able to get regular updates, views and commentary as the campaign builds (contact details below).
I leave you with an excellent blog from John Griffiths, Director of Rocket Science, who shares his views on the London Funders 'The Change Ahead' conference on the future of Civil Society Support Organisations.
LVSC Twitter Contacts FYI
Policy Viewpoint - February 2016
Some worrying but perhaps not unsurprising news comes from research by consultancy nfpSynergy which shows that a disproportionate number of charities are being set up in "prosperous" areas of the UK where their resources are less needed. The figures are published in a blog post by nfpSynergy's head of data Cian Murphy, which uses the figures to call into question the Conservative government's Big Society agenda. It isn't surprising to me that this is the case - to organise and form charities communities need a level of capacity and knowledge. In the past grassroots their local infrastructure bodies would have helped organisations but we are seeing these increasingly closing, due in no small part to local authority cuts. It adds to the dilemma that those local authorities in areas of greatest need have been disproportionately affected by government austerity measures. The blog finally questions if equality of access to services can be guaranteed by ad hoc voluntary provision - or whether it could lead to "growing inequality as areas rich enough to provide for themselves prosper and those in already downtrodden areas are simply left behind".
PACE, the mental health charity for LGBT young people, has just published its final report - Risk and Resilience Explored Rare. The RaRE Study research project was a 5-year collaboration between PACE and an academic panel drawn from three UK universities. The study looked at risk and resilience factors for three mental health issues that affect LGBT+ people disproportionally: Suicide attempts and self-harm for young LGBT+ people under 26; alcohol misuse in lesbian and bisexual women; and body image issues for gay and bisexual men. Data was collected between 2011 and 2014, through two sets of interviews with 58 people in total and a national survey of 2078 people in England. Sadly PACE has now closed.
Campaigning - how to get it heard in Parliament.
Finally, are you running a campaign to change national policy? If so, and you want to challenge or influence policies through Parliament, Alasdair Mackenzie of the Houses of Parliament's outreach service provides free training on campaigning in Parliament for your group, wherever in London you are. From working with your MP or a Member of the House of Lords, through to engaging with Select Committees, he can help you and your group take your campaign forward.
There is also a wealth of resources available online to help you, as well as regular courses and workshops held in Westminster. There are resources targeted particularly at those working with adults with learning disabilities and sessions for adults with learning difficulties, presented entirely in Easy Read.
On 20 January LVSC held its 'A Space to Think' conference - a chance for people in the sector to get up to speed with the impact of the Spending Review and policy changes, to hear from Funders and to look in more details at subjects such as working with the private sector. But above it all it was a space to think, time for us to get together and think about how the changing environment is impacting on us and the communities we work with. The day concluded with a fast paced Open Space event and a rallying cry from Andy Gregg, Director of Race on the Agenda and Vice Chair of LVSC. A conference report will be published in due course but meanwhile we have put photographs from the event and the presentations on the London For All website.
Age UK London is again consulting with older people in the capital through our annual 'Your Priorities' questionnaire. The results guide the organisation in what it will campaign on next year. You can fill in the questionnaire online or by hard copy and Age UK London will pay for postage. You can download a copy of the questionnaire and send it to Age UK London by visiting the website
If you have any further questions please contact Ben Donovan by email or call 020 7091 2592. The deadline for receipt of questionnaires is 19 February.
LVSC News and Updates
VSC Assist - Employment and Skills News
Are you a VCSE organisation providing employment and skills support to Londoners? LVSC is undertaking a research project into the employment and skills needs of Londoners, and the challenges facing the VCSE organisations that support them. We would be really grateful if you could spare 5-10 minutes filling out our survey, and help us understand your needs and those of the people you support.
Looking for a partner for an ESF project? Want to get on the radar of lead partners? The LVSC ESF Partnership Directory allows you to search for other organisations by criteria such as location, client group and services offered, and to create and manage your own profile so that others can search for you. We also have a separate list of lead organisations that are intending to bid for ESF. If you would like to be included on the list, please contact Nehal [Nehal@lvsc.org.uk]
The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) Employability Awards 2016 are open for entries. The awards, now in their fourth year, demonstrate and champion best practice from across the employment support sector, showing the true impact of frontline individuals and organisations on jobseekers, their families, local employers and the wider workforce. The awards will highlight innovations in public service delivery, as well as celebrate successful partnerships and outstanding support for specific groups such as young people and jobseekers with disabilities and health conditions. The deadline for entries is 14 March.
Waltham Forest is part of the East London care collaborative pioneer. Their vision is underpinned by the National Voices "I" statement - " I can plan my care with people who work together to understand me and my carer(s), allow me control, and bring together services to achieve the outcomes important to me."
Together with Local Authority and third sector colleagues, they are taking a systems approach to providing care for adults who may be at risk of unnecessary hospital admission.
The evaluation of the Voluntary Action Rotherham social prescribing service, which focuses on people with long-term health conditions, has been launched. The conclusions drawn in the report demonstrate a positive impact on reducing emergency admission and A&E attendances, particularly with those under 80; cost reductions for commissioners; improved patient experience and satisfaction with care and improved health and wellbeing of local people, through more engaged communities and a more sustainable and vibrant VCS.
People's Health Trust is an independent charity working to address health inequalities across Great Britain. Active Communities is a funding programme for community groups and not-for-profit organisations, with an income of less than £350,000 a year or an average of £350,000 over two years, seeking investment of between £5,000 and £50,000 for projects lasting up to two years.
Using money raised by society lotteries through The Health Lottery, Active Communities is opening soon in the following London Boroughs:
Health Equality - Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing, Hounslow and Hillingdon
HealthWisdom - Lambeth, Southwark, Bromley, Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley
Safer Future Communities - update
It's an interesting time for those in the criminal justice sector, with Holloway's closure - now mooted to be the end of August - looming over many members of the SFC network. The spending review announcement is followed this week by the first speech by a Prime Minister on prisons in almost 20 years. The focus will be on a six 'reform prisons', giving governors greater power and measuring individual institutions reoffending metrics - a kind of school academies approach but for prisons. The £130 million prison education budget will be protected, as we await the findings of Dame Sally Coates review into prison education.
Also expected this week are the interim findings of the Taylor Review into youth justice, anticipated to herald more change for the system and the sector. LVSC is hosting a Youth Justice partnership event with Clinks so you can feed your submission into the Taylor Review - see below.
This month's SFC Victims' Services Alliance meeting has a focus on the victims and witnesses of sexual violence and we will be confirming a late February training date on Mental Health for those within our Gangs and Serious Youth Violence subgroup.
Sara is out meeting many members this month, which including a meeting with Working Chance last week, featured on Monday night's Inside Out programme. You can watch here
If you would like a visit or want us to promote your events or reports, please do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Centre for Crime and Justice Studies - new report
Dangerous Associations: Joint enterprise, Gangs and Racism, published on January 25th examines the processes of criminalisation that contribute to unequal outcomes for young Black, Asian and Minority ethnic people. The research draws on a survey of nearly 250 serving prisoners convicted under joint enterprise provisions. It tracks the complex process of criminalisation through which black and minority ethnic people are unfairly identified by the police as members of dangerous gangs.
Download both the report and highlights of the key findings - authors Patrick Williams and Becky Clarke of Manchester Metropolitan University.
In September 2015 the Ministry of Justice announced a review of the youth justice system to be led by Charlie Taylor. This event on 23rd February at NCVO is your opportunity to feed your views into Clinks' submission to the Taylor Review of Youth Justice.
The review has been established to examine:
Follow this link with information about booking onto the London Event, and the agenda for the day.
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.
LVSC is pressing London's mayoral candidates to give clear commitments to their manifesto asks including a commitment to go beyond a narrow range of consultation to ensure GLA engagement covers the whole sector and that a new mayor reinvigorates equalities and commissioning practice by ensuring effective collaboration. On the basis of what we hear back, we will publicise a simple score sheet of where the candidates are in relation to VCS policy.
LVSC's six 'asks' for the new Mayor, to enable a thriving sector are:
New Models of Care event - hold the date - Wednesday 23 March @ London Metropolitan University,
Venue: London Metropolitan University, Great Hall, 166-220 Holloway Road, N7.
We will be sending out invitations shortly on a review of issues faced by VCS groups in the new health and social care environment, with networking and presentations from local projects and partnerships.
Following our recent event at Ort House aka 'keeping it human' ,we are planning a number of digital tech meet-ups over the year, to bring enthusiasts, experts, novices together to share tips, tools and take action to ensure London's VCS gets to grips with what digital tech can do for our work. We will keep you posted.
London for All - more opportunities
LVSC Events & Training
Date: 18 February, 10am - 1pm
The aim of the course is to raise the awareness of potential and new employers about employment legislation and good practice in the workplace. At the end of the course, the learners will know the difference between volunteers, the self-employed, employees and casual workers; understand why it is important to get employment status right; know what a contract of employment should include; know what employment policies and procedures should be in place; understand the basics of performance management; be aware of the legal requirements for discipline and grievance issues and know where to go for further information and support.
Date: 23rd February, 2 - 4.15
Date: 24 February 10 am -1 pm
The course is aimed at voluntary & Community Sector trustees, directors, managers, team leaders, supervisors or anyone who feels uncomfortable dealing with and managing difficult conversations or putting across tough messages. This course will focus on managing a grievance process including the Acas Code on disciplinary and grievance procedures and how to use it; holding a grievance meeting and how to conduct it; and dealing with appeals. Full course details and registration.
Date: 3 March 10 am - 1pm
This session will include; the law and good practice on employee misconduct; the distinction between misconduct and lack of capability; communication skills for a disciplinary interview; use of warnings (informal and formal); dismissal and use of settlement agreements. Full details and registration
LVSC Happy Training
Notices & Events
Welcome to VAI's new chief executive - Guljabeen Rahman
Voluntary Action Islington has appointed Guljabeen Rahman to be its new Chief Executive. She will take up the role from 21st March 2016. Guljabeen was until recently Director of the Hopscotch Asian Women's Centre in Camden and has also been a trustee of several community organisations. She has previously worked in the housing sector and internationally with UNICEF and VSO.
Date: Monday 15 - Tuesday 16 February
The IARS International Institute in partnership with Khulisa UK have two upcoming sessions of their CPD accredited course entitled Victims' Voices in Restorative Justice on 24th February and 15th March in central London. The programme builds on a pilot that IARS delivered over 60 times in five different countries involving 1,131 individuals and 383 organisations. The course is designed to equip professionals with the tools and knowledge on victims' rights in restorative and criminal justice and ensure that practices conform to the new EU Victims' Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.
IRS has just published an interactive web platform for young victims of gender-based violence and abuse as part of the Erasmus pan European project. The 'Abused No More' website gives a direct voice to victims and their families.
Nominate someone you know as Britain's Best Volunteer today and they could win a £1,250 donation for their charity and £1,000 in holiday vouchers for themselves. Do you know someone truly remarkable? During February and March 2016, Markel and Small Charities Coalition are coming together to discover the nation's unsung volunteering heroes. Small charities, community groups and not for profit organisations are invited to sing out the praises of their own volunteers and put them forward for a chance to win Britain's Best Volunteer.
The Giving to Heritage Programme is a building capacity in fundraising project and currently offers fundraising workshops, one-to-one consultancy sessions and a series of webinars. These great training opportunities are aimed at anyone actively fundraising in a small independent heritage organisations and a lot of the training comes in at an amazing £20 per session. This two-year programme comes to an end in March 2016 - so book on for the last few London places.
Based: Richmond upon Thames, Greater London
The role of Director at Richmond CVS is a wonderful opportunity to lead this important local organisation with a strong and well-respected profile and to build on past successes and future opportunities.