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Welcome to LVSC News - September 2015
As you are aware London Funders, working with London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC) and Greater London Volunteering (GLV) has commissioned research to look into the future of civil society infrastructure in London. Funded by the City Bridge Trust, the work is being carried out by Srabani Sen OBE & Associates.
LVSC are delighted to be part of this exciting work and as you will see from the update there are many opportunities for you to get involved and share your views.
Please see below to read more about the project, including our
Future of Civil Society Support in London - Update 1
London Funders, working with London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC) and Greater London Volunteering (GLV) and others has commissioned research to look into the future of civil society infrastructure in London. Funded by the City Bridge Trust, the work is being carried out by Srabani Sen OBE & Associates. The research seeks to understand how civil society in the capital can best be supported in order to make the biggest difference for Londoners. Building on existing research, this new project will result in a practical plan for the future of infrastructure in London.
This work is being overseen by a Project Reference Group made up of colleagues from civil society,local and regional government in London and the private sector, details of the members of the Reference Group are available here.
A dedicated webpage has been established for this review which will be updated on a regular basis with information, documents and other materials relating to this project and its progress.
We are building on conversations which started at the LVSC/ GLV Future of Voluntary sector Infrastructure in London conference in April, and other discussions that have taken place over the summer, and we are keen to ensure that we continue to engage with as many stakeholders and interested parties as possible as the work progresses. Emerging findings will be produced towards the end of October/ beginning of November with the final report due to be completed by December, and over the next few weeks a number of engagement and consultation activities are being planned, including a range of Focus Groups targeted at particular stakeholder groups, 1 to interviews and an on-line survey. We encourage you to respond to these as promptly as possible to ensure that your views are heard. The focus groups and details of how to book can be found here (booking details will be live on Tuesday 22nd Sept)
We have also set up a dedicated email account firstname.lastname@example.org and are very keen to encourage people to submit their views and ideas on how civil society in London can best be supported in order to make the biggest difference for Londoners. Additionally if you have strong views or opinions about the future of civil society support in London and would be willing to write a blog for the website then please contact the project team at email@example.com.
Information currently available on the webpage includes:
A summary of the Project Plan and also a copy of the original project proposal will be added to the website on Tuesday.
James Banks, GLV
Eithne Rynne, LVSC
David Warner, London Funders
Lisa Greensill LVSC Head of Policy and Sector Support's shares her pick of VCS news this month.
The demise of Kids Company gave rise to many column inches of speculation about exactly went wrong and fears that the sector as a whole could be tarnished. Two articles that I felt presented what was known of the facts in as considered a way as possible, along with some concise analysis, were from Craig Dearden-Phillips in Third Sector and David Ainsworth in Civil Society.
To me the biggest lesson for the charitable sector is to ensure its governance is strong. The Charity Commission have a very useful document '15 Questions you should ask at your next Board meeting' which could form the basis of an exercise to make sure all Trustees are aware of their responsibilities, particularly with regard to finance and organisational management.
With another hat on I sit on a grant making board and have noticed a distinct drop in the financial and governance capabilities of organisations bidding for support - it seems to me that there has never been a greater need for infrastructure support organisations to exist to support our sector and make sure it is fit for purpose. So, in this context it is interesting to look at NAVCA's latest quarterly survey - 72 per cent of respondents say that their income has remained stable or increased over the last quarter but in the longer term the panel of NAVCA members were less optimistic about funding for themselves and the groups they support with 71 per cent of respondents saying they felt their funding would get worse and 76 per cent that funding for their local voluntary and community groups would also decrease. 60 per cent also noted that demand for their services had increased and demonstrating value had become a top priority. With Local Authority cuts looming large and the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review it is hard to see this picture improving.
Meanwhile a report by CLINKS called 'Early Doors: The Voluntary Sector's Role in Transforming Rehabilitation' says that the pace of change has been slow, leaving many voluntary sector organisations "in a state of limbo", waiting to see if or how they will be involved in service delivery which is making business planning difficult. In the case of those who said funding had gone down, the reasons given included a reduction in funding by the newly formed CRCs (Community Rehabilitation Companies) and the National Probation Service and a reduction in funding by other funders, such as other government organisations or charitable foundations, because they expected the organisations to be funded by CRCs.
There is some welcome news from the Charity Commission that after a consultation last year they will not be asking charities to include the amount they have spent on campaigning in their annual returns because of concerns about the administrative burden. However, they have said that after its analysis of the consultation responses they still feel that collecting and publishing information on charities' campaigning activities would help to improve transparency, "and …think that it merits further consideration". So there has never been a better time to go on a campaigning course. The Sheila McKechnie Foundation's 'Influencing Change programme' consists of 5 days of campaigner training over 5 months. The programme is for campaigners based in London and the closing date for applications is 21st September. More details here.
Finally, we now know who will be the Labour candidate for Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and, more significantly, the new leader of the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn brings with him thousands of new Labour Party members and a distinctive left wing viewpoint with the appointment of John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor. We look forward with interest to see how the Party develops and await with eagerness an indication of where civil society fits within the new regime.
VSC Assist - Employment and Skills News
Update on the European Social Fund in London
The second tranche of projects in Building Better Opportunities (Big Lottery Fund's ESF programme) is due to launch in October. It is expected that in London there will be projects covering common mental health, complex needs and refugees, but we do not yet know what the geographies for each of these projects will be. Lone parents in work will no longer be part of Building Better Opportunities as previously advertised but the new opt in organisation has not yet been confirmed.
We are hoping that the Skills Funding Agency and the Department of Work and Pensions will launch their programmes in the autumn. Procurement timescales are likely to be short and both opt-ins have a number of different projects so it is important to be aware of what the projects are and to form partnerships before they launch. You can find project summaries from p.13 of the LEP's April 2015 papers.
LVSC support for organisations wishing to access ESF
On 7 September, LVSC ran a Networking for Building Better Opportunities half day event. This was aimed at organisations looking for partners for tranche two of Building Better Opportunities (common mental health, complex needs and refugees). We also have the last of our Big Lottery Fund development workshops in September, including Supporting Lone Parents on 22 September and a rerun of our Effective Employer Engagement course on 28 September. Book early as there are limited places available.
We are also working hard on securing funding for another programme of support for ESF. Watch this space!
Employment and skills policy round up
Preparations are underway for the next welfare to work scheme to replace the Work Programme. The Work and Pensions Select Committee is conducting an inquiry into how the next scheme can support those further from the workplace and provide more innovative and community based solutions, while London Councils has released a report finding that the Work Programme is failing those with complex needs. With Iain Duncan Smith announcing his intentions to encourage more sick and disabled people into work, all eyes will be on whether this translates into greater support for those who need it in the next Work Programme - or more sanctions and cuts in benefits instead.
Pay has been in the news again, with a report from the High Pay Centre concluding that CEOs of FTSE 100 companies earning 183 times more than the average UK worker. Meanwhile, according to the National Management Salary Survey, women in managerial roles are working unpaid for an hour and 40 minutes every day in a year.
Parliament was in recess until 7 September. When it returns the Trade Union Bill (which received a "not fit for purpose" rating from the Regulatory Policy Committee ) will receive its second reading in the Commons, while the Welfare Reform and Work Bill will go to Committee stage in the Commons.
Who is Who guide for London update
Each of the regional networks that comprise Regional
Voices including LVSC, have produced a "Who's Who" guide to key
people working in health, wellbeing and care in each region. The
guides include relevant people from clinical commissioning groups,
health and wellbeing boards, CQC, NHS England area teams,
commissioning support units and local Healthwatch.
Please help us keep this guide up to date by notifying us of any changes, gaps or corrections. Thanks to everyone who has provided me with changes, including from NHS England, London region. The guide now includes all contacts from the Healthy London Partnership.
The London emergency care vanguard: Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge System Resilience Group
Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge System Resilience Group aims to create a simplified, streamlined urgent care system delivering intelligent, responsive urgent care for 750,000 residents in the most challenged health economy in the country.
The SRG believes there is a need to do things differently and that patients are confused by the many and various urgent and emergency care services available to them - A&E, walk-in centre, urgent care centre, GPs, pharmacists, out of hours services. Becoming a UEC Vanguard will support the SRG in its ambition to streamline these points of access to just three - supported by a smart digital platform that will recognise patients and personalise the help they get as soon as they get in contact. This involves:
PEACe - Legal Update
Following the challenge by Unison, the High Court has held that the Government's decision to introduce fees for individuals to bring employment tribunal claims is lawful.
The High Court stressed that it is still too early to judge the effectiveness and impact of employment tribunal fees.
The Government is under an ongoing obligation under the public sector equality duty to review the fee regime and Unison has indicated that it plans to appeal against the High Court decision.
There are currently two levels of claim, depending on the complexity of the case. The claimant pays an initial fee to issue a claim and a further fee if the claim proceeds to a hearing. The claimant can apply for remission of the whole or part of a fee if he or she cannot afford to pay. The tribunal may order the fees to be repaid to the claimant if he or she is successful with his or her claim.
Safer Future Communities Update
I'm Sara Hyde, the new Policy and Project Manager for Crime and Justice working on Safer Future Communities at LVSC. My previous job was with Pecan on the Moving On project, working with women aged 18-25 being released from custody. I've worked for the last seven years in the CJS doing frontline and policy work, and I delivered a TEDx talk earlier this year entitled We Need to Talk About Prisons.
I'm looking forward to meeting you and to working with you in the coming months. I'd love to hear from you, so please do get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7832 5813.
On the Agenda for September - London Victims and Witnesses Alliance
Other LVSC News Roundup
VCSSCamp UnConference asks 'does your organisation make best use of digital tools?'
LVSC is very pleased to support the VCSS Camp Unconference event through our London for All project. VCSSCamp is a space just for people from VCS Local Infrastructure Organisations (that's CVSs and Volunteer Centres etc) to meet and talk about the ways they use (or don't use!) digital tools and technology in their work.
So if you work in, lead, govern or volunteer for an local support or infrastructure organisation and you want to get together with like-minded people for a day to discuss the important issues your organisation faces, then VCSSCamp is for you.
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 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 Boroughs Grants Scheme - consultation on its future
London Councils have launched a review of The London Borough Grants Scheme, the programme through which it commissions our London for All capacity building project and 34 other pan-London initiatives and for the first time asks whether or not the scheme should continue.
The consultation is primarily online, but written submissions following focus groups or other consultation methods will be accepted. LVSC will be submitting its own response but we encourage everyone to submit their own - we cannot emphasise how important it is that as many organisations as possible respond to the consultation. The deadline for responses is Friday 2 October 2015.
For further information, read the following papers presented to the last Grants Committee on July 15th.
London for All opportunities
Date: 22 September 9:30 - 1pm
Date: 28 September 9:30 - 1pm
Date: 30 September 10am - 1pm
Date: 7th October, 10am - 1pm
Date: 14th October, 10am - 4.30pm
Date: 4th November,10am - 1pm
Date: 28 October, 10 - 1pm
Date: 2nd December,10am - 4.30pm
LVSC Happy Training
LVSC September & October Courses
Here's what's coming up on our LVSC Course Programme over the next 2 months. From management to report writing courses there's something for everyone.
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.
Sainsbury's Food Donation Programme is looking for Local Partners
Sainsbury's is expanding its successful Local Food Donation programme and aims to have a local food donation partner for every store in the UK. Food partners are sought primarily to collect fresh food donated by Sainsbury's and some stores are also looking for partners to collect dry and tinned goods donated by customers.
Currently Sainsbury's Local Food Donation Partners must be registered charities and comply with relevant Food Hygiene and Storage standards. They must also be able to collect donated food regularly from their partner store. If you would like to know more about becoming a Local Food Partner or the Food Donation programme please email email@example.com for more information. Please reference LVSC news bulletin, wehn you contact them.
Vacancy F/T Organisational Development Officer
Sobus is looking for an Organisational Development Officer to
deliver our new strategy to better support the voluntary sector in
Hammersmith and Fulham. Someone who can pro-actively support
the voluntary sector to grow, secure income, develop new meaningful
partnerships and become better at evaluating its impact.
Youth Wellbeing Directory - free online space
This site is for providers in the UK who aim to improve the emotional wellbeing and/or mental health of children and young people up to the age of 25 directly; or by supporting their families and caregivers. Register for free - the website is currently being redeveloped to create a more accessible and young friendly resource. which will go live in the autumn term, so now is a perfect time to add your organisations details.
Building a Future for Advice Services in South East London - Trustees Needed
Do you have the skills and experience to contribute to the strategic direction of a successful and dynamic London Citizens Advice Bureau? Merton and Lambeth Citizens Advice Bureaux provides advice services to clients in two boroughs as well as regionally and nationally. With a£1.3m budget, our 60 staff and 125 volunteers give advice in areas from debt and benefits to employment and pensions, across the full range of channels.
We are an independent charity, and we are looking for new trustees to join us.Your minimum time commitment will be 6 evening and 1 all-day meeting each year and attendance at induction and training sessions. If you have the enthusiasm and ambition to help us achieve our commitment to the provision of high-quality support and advice, and you think you have the qualities we need, and would like to receive our information pack, please contact Jacki Harvie,Company Secretary:firstname.lastname@example.orgIf you would like to find out more about the role, then please contact Terry McGregor,Chair of Trustees, on 020 7639 0569.
Applications close on 2nd October.
Advance Advocacy Project - re advertisement
Female* VAWG Family Support Worker (Maternity
More information please download the application form and job description from our website.
'Introduction to the Advice Quality Standard for small advice organisations'
Date: 7th October 2015 or 21st October 2015, central London venue
Are you a small, London-based organisation giving free advice to clients? This course aims to introduce you to the AQS framework and to help you review what changes your organisation needs to make to be AQS ready.
The one-day course is open to 6 organisations each with two places (one manager and one Trustee). You attend together on one of the advertised dates. There is no charge for organisations who attend.
For general enquires and further information, contact Amanda Jordan at Recognising Excellence on email@example.com or 07584 355486