The changing needs of the community and voluntary sector – Lambeth
Cuts to public sector funding have impacted on the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) at national, regional and local levels. This has exacerbated some of the difficulties that voluntary and community organisations have faced over the last two decades as they have adapted to various government initiatives to regulate its relationship with the sector. . Some of the major transitions have made it relatively difficult to define the sector and this is further complicated by issues relating to emerging communities and the changing role of the VCS in service delivery.
Funding has always been a major problem for the VCS and changes over the years from grant funding to output related, match funding and then commissioning defines in part the relationship between the statutory and third sector. However, other initiatives such as ’ChangeUp’ introduced some professionalism into the sector by providing support, based around hubs, to capacity build voluntary organisations. In addition it provided a new dimension of encouraging local authorities to transfer assets to be directly owned and managed by the Voluntary and Community Sector.
Lambeth Council has worked with a variety of partners including the statutory and voluntary sector to develop its Borough Plan priorities of:
- inclusive growth
- reducing inequalities
- maintaining strong and sustainable neighbourhoods
Lambeth Council is working to reinvigorate its relationship with the Voluntary and Community Sector in the Borough The Council is committed to working actively with the sector and has therefore been supporting an initiative for the sector to reorganise itself by determining its support needs and build its independence and resilience.
A steering group of interested organisations has been meeting to deliberate how the sector will operate and to redefine its relationship with the local authority. An output of these meetings is a consultation exercise has been commissioned that will focus on:
- Building relationships, networks and trust between VCS organisations
- Helping VCS organisations to be resilient, especially in light of public sector funding reductions
- Leveraging funding and resources into the Borough
- Ensuring the VCS has a voice and is able to represent their communities in strategic partnerships
The views of all community and voluntary organisations must be heard – quickly – on how the sector can be supported and in this regard organisations are being asked to contribute to an online survey that is being circulated across the Borough.
Please participate by responding to this survey by 18 May 2017. It will take you 15 minutes of your time to complete. The survey can be accessed online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/lambethvcs
Please contact Maxine James at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
An analysis of your views will be presented at a FREE conference on 15 June 2017, to which you will be invited.