Blackpool 3rd Sector Leaders Group

In February 2017  3rd Sector organisations came together to review the representation and support in the Sector.  At the meeting it was agreed to form a new 3rd Sector Leaders Group to ensure the 3rd Sector continues to work in partnership for the benefit of the communities within which we serve.

The purpose and objectives of the Group are:

  • To provide a mechanism for a Third Sector collective to collaborate and work more effectively together.
  • To raise awareness of the value of the offer the Third Sector has.
  • To be organic and flexible with little bureaucracy, providing peer support and the sharing of resources and intelligence.

Membership of the group will include Blackpool based Third Sector ( Charities, Community Interest Company’s, Social Enterprise, Voluntary) organisations and organisations who are not necessarily based locally but are delivering contracts locally. Attendance is for Officers/Directors/Chief Exec Officer or Deputies who are responsible for reporting to their Board/Steering Group.

Deborah Terras has agreed to Chair the group.

If you are interested in joining the group please email the Chair [email protected] for more details.

The next meeting of the group will take place on Thursday 11th May 2pm – 4pm at the Blackpool Boys and Girls Club Mereside.

CVS – WHERE TO NEXT

As you will all be aware CVS is at a crossroads in its long history. Not to put too fine a point on it we currently have few funds and no permanent staff.

The CVS Board have been considering if this is an opportunity or a complete disaster. In many ways it is an opportunity. It is a clear opportunity to take stock and review what a CVS if for and what it should be doing. As you will have noticed we have taken the core work of CVS to be four things – Representation, Liaison, Development and Support.

Your Board is currently considering the finer details of a Business plan for the next couple of years. This plan is going to require help and support from CVS members if we are going to develop an organisation which is going to be credible and lead the sector forward.

Your Board have given themselves until September to develop and implement a plan which is workable in the current financial climate. The Voluntary bit in CVS is going to be more at the fore in practice than ever.

Our first request is for a Volunteer Minute taker. This is a most important role as it is not easy for Board Members participating in a meeting to take notes of the whole thing at the same time.

Training and equipment can be provided if necessary. Please contact me by e-mail at [email protected] if you are able to help with this initial request.

AGM 2016 and Beyond

The Annual General Meeting 2016 was held on Wednesday 28th September in the very pleasant surroundings of The Palace St Annes. This was a new venue to many of the attendees, many of us having a vague idea of where it was, but still having to ask where exactly where you got into it.

The formal part of the meeting reviewed the activity and financial reports up to 31st March 2016. Following this I gave a review of what has happened up to the present and what the plans are for the future against a background of financial uncertainty and where nationally the picture is of some 80 CVSs having closed or merged during the last couple of years.

In many ways the situation is not a good one. It is with great regret that the Board had to take the decision to make all the staff redundant. This is never an easy decision to have to make particularly with a group of long serving and loyal people. I would like to pay tribute to the work that they have done over many years and wish them well for the future. I am happy to be able to say that many of them will still be working in the sector and in many cases undertaking work for CVS from time to time.

During the last twelve months the Board has reviewed our objectives and we are quite clear that they are representation, liaison, support and development. We are quite clear that this is the core work of the CVS and that we do not wish to run schemes or projects which are best done by our members. All too often in the past we have been involved with a wide range of activities which has often led to the core objectives being left to one side.

 

The Board has also reviewed the cost base of the organisation. We have sought to reduce our costs as far as possible. The move of offices has reduced many of the overheads by almost two thirds. We are quite clear that we have to refocus CVS to work on a much reduced cost basis. We have a few irons in the fire some of which will hopefully result in income streams enabling specific pieces of work to be done.

We are now looking to build the reputation of CVS as the local third sector infrastructure and hopefully with the help of members this can be achieved. It is after all about members needs and requirements that we exist. In the current financial climate it is more important than ever that the sector as a whole can come together and speak with a unified voice.

 

Representation

  • To enable the diverse views of the local voluntary sector to be represented to local statutory bodies and others and, where appropriate, to be a conduit for this representation.
  • Tasks.
  1. Have effective mechanisms for encouraging consultation with local groups.
  2. Have opportunities for groups to respond to consultations
  3. Feedback to groups the outcomes of consultations.
  4. Arrange occasional meetings for the sector with local authority and other relevant statutory bodies.
  5. Inform the third sector of partnership developments and opportunities.
  6. Establish accountability for third sector representatives and establish clear two way feedback mechanisms.

Liaison

  • To develop and maintain links across the voluntary, community, statutory and private sectors and promote the ability for all sectors to engage in networking with each other.
  • Tasks
  1. Establish and maintain a range of communication channels within and between the third sector statutory and private agencies. Use these channels to promote the importance of the Third Sector in delivering public service priorities.
  2. Provide and support opportunities for networking for the Third Sector, including the Blackpool Third Sector Forum.
  3. Provide space in the newsletter and on the website for information from local agencies and relevant policy items.
  4. Have regular contact with other local development agencies, especially around common areas of work.
  5. Encourage and enable effective involvement of the local third sector in strategic partnerships.

Support

  • To provide the support which will underpin the functioning and develop the capacity of local voluntary groups.
  • Tasks.
  1. Provide accessible, accurate, relevant information in various formats
  2. Provide or signpost advice on a range of relevant topics, including fundraising.
  3. Provide or signpost a range of practical resources for local groups.
  4. Provide appropriate, accessible training and/or information on local training providers.
  5. Designate a training officer to organise capacity building courses.
  6. Have a directory of local and relevant sub-regional, regional and national third sector organisations and ensure it is complete and current.
  7. Promote local third sector activity.
  8. Monitor and evaluate information, advice and training services regularly.
  9. i. Market the services and purpose of CVS to the sector, with particular reference to smaller groups who have had no previous contact.

Development

To support sustainable development in the voluntary sector.

Tasks
a. To ensure that we are aware of existing local voluntary and statutory provision and are able to identify gaps in provision.
b. Contribute to monitoring unmet social need in the area and to the sharing of this information between relevant agencies.
c. Are proactive in seeking to develop local provision for unmet need.
d. Give direct support to new and emerging groups.
e. Help to sustain the existence of local groups.