Six ways charity boards can make their workload manageable

Is your board super busy? Top tips on sharing the burden: bring in specialist expertise, include more junior staff and work with service users.

People on voluntary sector boards have heavy workloads – so what’s the best way to share the burden? Sub-committees may not seem exciting, but, used properly, delegating tasks will help your board to be brilliant.

Here are my six top tips on how to get the most from your sub-committees:

1. Let them delve into detail

Charity trustees often want to get involved in the nitty gritty. But in a busy board meeting, with a tight agenda, that can sometimes be a pain in the neck.

However, executives and trustees will still want to work together from time to time, to delve into detail. Sub-committees are the way to do this without taking precious time away from the primary board meeting. It’s a great way for charity staff to engage with trustees and vice versa, enabling trustees to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day issues affecting the charity while offering their own expertise.

2. Bring in specialists

If your board is proposing something new, controversial or risky, setting up a sub-committee is a clever way to use people who can bring in particular expertise but who, for whatever reason, do not want to or cannot be a full trustee.

It is also a good way to test whether people come up to scratch in terms of their style and expertise, giving you a bigger pool to choose from when recruiting for your main board.

You should also consider the “internal” outsider: someone already on your main board who is interested in a particular issue but is not an expert. They can be used as a sounding board (pun intended) and this is often a great way to test a proposal before presenting it to the rest of the board.

3. Don’t let sub-committees linger on pointlessly

It’s important to close any committee when it has run its course. For instance, you may set one up for a digital needs review and then close it when the review has been done. But committees can also evolve. Something that starts as a review of digital needs could turn into a committee that monitors the implementation of an organisational IT strategy, for instance.

4. Set boundaries

This is perhaps the most important element of committee working. To ensure good governance you must be clear on which, if any, powers the board has granted its sub-committee. That way you can ensure the reins of responsibility remain in the correct hands and avoid a situation where the committee ends up undermining the board, or vice versa. This does not have to be cumbersome – usually a one pager does the trick.

5. Engage junior members of staff

Developing staff is critical for any organisation. Boards offer an opportunity for staff to develop their skills by working with the organisation’s trustees. It also helps to build trust with staff when trustees are visible and, as a trustee, it can be eye-opening to work alongside the people managing the work you are scrutinising.

This about moving the voluntary sector from its traditional hierarchical management structure to a more egalitarian approach. We say we value our people; this is a quick way of showing that.

6. Involve service users

One of the most powerful messages the voluntary sector can send is demonstrating that it is guided by those it serves. Boardrooms are not always the most appropriate way of engaging with service users, but committees can help. If you are working on a specific piece of work it might be an idea to bring those it most directly affects into the fold. Committees can be more informal than traditional boards and, with the right guidance and frameworks in place, it’s possible to work together to solve problems.

Leon Ward is a consultant, charity chair and advisor.

Source: Guardian Voluntary Sector Online

Convenient local care for painful health complaints

People on the Fylde coast have praised a new service providing treatment in the community for some of the most agonising health complaints.

The community musculoskeletal service is available for patients across the Fylde coast suffering from injuries or pain in their joints and muscles.

Provided by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and organised by both NHS Fylde and Wyre and NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Groups, the service provides a one-stop shop for the majority of patients requiring services such as x-rays, cortisone injections and physiotherapy with access to GPs, consultant surgeons and a range of physiotherapists to suit their needs.

It means that rather than wait for a hospital appointment, following a referral by their GP patients can be seen at clinics in Lytham Primary Care Centre, Fleetwood Hospital, Clifton Hospital in St Annes, Whitegate Drive Health Centre and South Shore Primary Care Centre in Blackpool.

The service is part of a wider local NHS plans to deliver more services out of hospital settings and in the community.

Samantha Bainbridge, from St Annes, said: “I was having a lot of pain in my thumb to the point where I couldn’t lift anything and my range of movement was significantly lacking. I love to crochet and couldn’t crochet any more so it was getting quite bad.

“I went to see my GP who gave me a referral to the community service. I only had to wait three weeks for the appointment and it all happened at Lytham which was very convenient.

“An x-ray showed I had arthritis and I got an appointment to have a cortisone injection and ultrasound. It was a little bit weird but pretty painless and the end result was amazing.

“It was all over and done with so quickly I couldn’t believe it and when I came back for my six-week appointment I was back crocheting!”

Neil Sherlicker, who lives in Fairhaven, had been to multiple appointments over a long period of time after he injured his hand before being referred to the service.

He said: “I only wish I had been sent to this service sooner. Everything moves more quickly and you get to have a proper discussion with someone about the problem.

“It took the best part of two years but now I feel like I finally have an answer to what has been going on.”

Michael Bryant, clinical lead for the service, said: “The vast majority of cases can be resolved here in the service without the need to go to hospital, so we find a lot of patients are happy about that.

“And because of the nature of our service we are able to give patients a much longer consultation time to talk about their condition and really get to the bottom of it.

“We can provide them with the x-rays that they need, injections, physiotherapy all here in a place that is closer to home and is far more convenient.”

A video has been produced recently to showcase the work of the service. To view it, visit

SpareParts: On The Move – open call for arts acts

Spareparts is going on tour!

The UK’s only festival of art, performance and spectacle dedicated to transport and travel is back with a bang this year! The SpareParts Arts Festival will be once again be bringing a dizzying display of acts of motion, movement and wonder alongside incredible vintage vehicles as part of the ever popular Tram Sunday on Sunday 16th July.

As well as featuring in this wonderful Fleetwood festival of Transport event, Spareparts is going on tour to Sandbach (April 23rd) and Crew (July 8th) and they have released an OPEN CALL for new artists to join them on their adventure!

SpareParts are looking for Acts, Performances and artists to take part in this years ‘Future Journeys’ theme and are excited to see your take on this sci fi spin. Think Mad Max meets Marty McFly at a SteamPunk Space Station Soiree. The deadline for Expression of interest is Thursday 9th March at 5pm. Please send all interest including ‘Spareparts 2017 – Expression of interest’ in the subject header.

For questions and queries please contact Festival Director Adam McGuigan

Find out more about Spareparts on their official FB Page HERE or on the LeftCoast website HERE

See what happened last year: Spareparts Trailer
Find out more about Fleetwood Festival of Transport

Source: LeftCoast Post

Minor Ailment Service changes thanks to public

Parents and carers will still be able to access prescription medication for their child’s minor ailments without the need for a GP appointment after local doctors and health bosses listened to their views on proposed changes to the Minor Ailments Scheme.

NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation which buys and plans healthcare services across the town, has been faced with needing to save £6.4m in this financial year.

It was revealed in August that prescriptions for medications to treat minor ailments cost the NHS in Blackpool an estimated £800,000 per year. These items, such as; simple painkillers like paracetamol, cough/cold remedies and cold sore treatments, are all readily available over the counter in many high street outlets and local pharmacies at relatively cheap prices compared to that incurred by the NHS when obtained via a prescription.

The CCG spoke with local people to gather their thoughts about local doctors not routinely prescribing these types of medicines unless clinically necessary, in a move to encourage people to self-care and buy them over the counter instead. The plan was met with approval by a large majority of people.

The CCG also carried out a review of the local Minor Ailments Scheme which provides patients living in Blackpool with advice and access to over the counter medicines through community pharmacies where appropriate. As part of this, the CCG again spoke with local people, including a number of parent and family groups, to gather their views.

The majority of people the CCG spoke to agreed that people should opt to purchase these types of medicines over the counter for themselves. However, concerns were raised that those with low incomes could be adversely affected and if they had children this could make getting treatment for a sick child difficult.

With this feedback in mind, the CCG’s Clinical Leadership Team, which includes a number of local GPs, has agreed that instead of removing it completely, community pharmacies will continue to treat and supply medicines for the following ailments via the Minor Ailments Scheme:

·         Pain and fever relief for children aged under 12 years such as ibuprofen and paracetamol

·         Threadworm

·         Products for bites and stings for children aged under 12 years

·         Head lice – via head lice combs not insecticide based lotions


Dr Amanda Doyle, a Blackpool GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool CCG, said: “We have to make the most effective use of the limited funding we have and that means we have had to really assess were we can make potential savings. However, that cannot be to the detriment of the patient and the quality of service they receive.

“The feedback from the public was that parents with young children often need advice when treating their sick child. The purpose of the Minor Ailment Scheme is to encourage people to make use of the wealth of expertise held within local pharmacies, instead of waiting for GP appointments, so it made sense to keep the scheme available but reduce the types of medication that can be obtained and concentrate on just providing those that are used most frequently, particularly by parents.

“I’d like to thank everyone who shared their views with us. All of the comments we receive, whether good or bad, are always welcomed and when possible we do all we can to take these views into account when planning services.”

The changes to the Minor Ailments Scheme will be effective from Wednesday 1 March 2016.

Meet n Match Hawaiian Party

Meet n Match the dating and friendship agency for adults with learning disabilities in Lancashire are hosting a massive Hawaiian Party on 17 March 2017  in Preston.

Please see attached flyers and comment below for information from Lucy about how to book your ticket.

If it was anything like the last party it will be a lot of fun and there will be great chances to meet new friends!

Lucy Hamlin, events coordinator said “Well Aloha Friends! Our Hawaiian Party is just ONE MONTH away, there are still some tickets available for this event, I have attached a booking form; all you need to do is complete it and send it in with your payment.
There will be live entertainment, blind date, hula dancing, limbo dancing, hot food and desserts! Tickets cost Just £10.00.

Meet N Match Hawaiian Party Booking Form

MnM Hawaiian Party March 2017

CORC launch new website

Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC) is delighted to announce that their new website has ‘gone live’ this week and wanted to draw your attention to a few key highlights.

In particular, they think you’ll like the new Information Hub, database of Outcomes and Experience Measures and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

They have created a new library of key resources including data submission guides, case studies, reports, toolkits and policy documents as well as audio-visual materials and presentations from members’ forums or other CORC events.

The resources in the Information Hub can now be easily filtered so that you can search for a particular type of resource or simply browse resources that are relevant for practitioners, children and young people, schools, researchers or commissioners.

The outcomes and experience measures section functions like a database of information on outcome and experience measures. It combines the information found previously under ‘measures for download’ and ‘measures table’.

You can filter or search for measures according to who fills them in, what age group they’re appropriate for, what set they belong to – e.g. CYP IAPT or MHSDS – and by what they are designed to measure – e.g. goals, symptom specific measures or experience measures.

Each measure has its own section with a brief overview, copyright or licence information, details of its psychometric properties, who it’s for and how it’s used, links to the questionnaires and other downloadable tools as well as information on scoring and interpretation.

They will be adding new measures to this section on a weekly basis, prioritising the most common measures first.

Their team of expert researchers have been answering questions and queries from members and other organisations for the last decade and they have pulled these altogether into a comprehensive set of FAQs (and the answers obviously).They’re grouped by different themes including ‘joining and getting started’, ‘measures’, ‘data collection and submission’, ‘training and support’ and ‘general’.

In addition to these highlights, there’s lots of new information on the website about CORC and what they do. You can also reserve your space on events and training courses directly through the website now and read the latest news and blogs in their our ‘Features’ section.

“My Life, My Choice” need your help

Northern Independent Living CIC are starting to develop a project in Blackpool called “My Life, My Choice”. This project will offer information, advice and advocacy support to individuals around personal budgets and personal health budgets which they are hoping to have up and running in the next few months and will provide regular updates

Like many non-profit organisations they are starting in one room in someone’s house. They are currently recruiting volunteers to support them develop the project, however they are in need of some computer and office equipment for them to use, mainly an desk and an computer at this stage.

If anyone is able to assist them in this matter please email

Cedric to lead charity walk across bay

THE Queen’s Guide to the Sands of Morecambe Bay is urging people to take part in one of his famous treks in June.

Cedric Robinson, MBE, is famous across the world for leading thousands of people on walks across the Bay for more than 50 years and is leading a trek in June to raise money for the Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, the official charity of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.

He has helped organise the event as a thank you to hospital staff who have treated him for a heart condition in recent years.

He said: “I have been treated by staff at the Lancashire Cardiac Centre over the past few years and they have been brilliant. They have looked after me really well and I just wanted to help them in some way as a kind of thank you. “If you have never done the walk before then this is a perfect time because it will raise money for a fantastic cause.’’ Crossing Morecambe Bay is an unforgettable experience which can only be undertaken with an experienced guide.

This famous walk is approximately eight miles long and should take about four hours to complete, depending on the route taken and progress on the day.

The walk, on Sunday, June 4, starts at the pretty and picturesque promenade of Arnside with registration between 1.30 – 2pm. Family, friends, children, dogs (on a lead please) and groups are all welcome.

The route takes walkers from Arnside Promenade to Kents Bank near Grangeover-Sands.

The Queen’s Guide to the Sands is the royally appointed guide to crossing the notoriously dangerous sands at Morecambe Bay.

Mr Robinson, who was born and bred in the area, became the 25th guide in 1963 and has held the post ever since.

For more details please contact Ann Hedley or Nicci Hayes 01253 957381 or email

Alternatively you can book via Eventbrite by clicking the link morecambe-bay-walk-tickets-30485126835? aff=es2

Mark McQueen Foundation

The Foundation aims to support young men struggling with emotional and mental health issues and awards grants of up to £3k for projects dealing with this issue.

Background Information: The Mark McQueen Foundation has been set up by the McQueen family from Liverpool in loving memory of their son Mark.

What is the focus of the fund: The Foundation aims to support young men struggling with emotional and mental health issues.

How much is available: There are 4 levels of funding available to apply for which are as follows;

• Up to £3000 for projects where a grant from the Foundation will cover the total project cost (or the majority of costs)
• Match funding of up to 50% of the total cost of the project
• The ‘underwriting’ of a community or charity event or project which may produce its own funding, with the Foundation agreeing to meet any shortfall in funds.
• Grants of up to £6,000 a year for academic and social research into the topic of mental health and suicide, usually by invitation from the Mark McQueen

Who can apply: Voluntary or community groups with a constitution or set of rules in the group’s name, which includes CICs and social enterprises

Which areas are covered: Lancashire wide covering all boroughs

Any special criteria: Existing work may be funded where there is proven need for it although we cannot meet current costs where work is funded by other sources. Rent and other office type costs may be considered where they are part of a distinct project that funding is being requested for.

Examples of the sorts of projects that may be funded:

• Support groups and help-line/counselling services for young men, children, or young people with mental health issues
• Support for family and friends who have lost someone to suicide
• Campaigns for a positive mind-set change around mental health and suicide issues
• Research and information gathering projects and collaborations to support the improvement of mental health practice and prevention of suicide
• National or regional charities working in a local Lancashire setting on mental health and young men’s issues
• Extra curricular student activities to support students, especially those with mental health issues
• Projects and charities using the theme of music to work with young men or local musicians
• Projects tackling the issue of bullying with young people
• Local projects supporting unemployed young men into training and employment
The closing date is Monday 13 March 2017.

How to apply?
Please visit the Community Foundation for Lancashire website – and complete an online application form. Once you have submitted the online application you will need to send the documents listed below. If you do not submit all the relevant documents within 7 days your application will be withdrawn. You can now attach the documents to your online application, email them to or post them to the address below.

Documents which need to be included with your application:
1. A copy of the group’s rules or constitution
2. A copy of the group’s latest annual accounts or income/expenditure document
3. A copy of a recent bank statement for your group
4. A copy of the group’s current Safeguarding Policy. All applicants must ensure that they hold relevant policies and procedures in place to undertake activities, such as Criminal Records Bureau checks and/or a health and safety policy, depending on proposed activity. If unsure about what you need please contact the Community Foundation for help (details below)
NB: If you have applied to us previously and have already submitted copies of the above documents, you do not need to send them in again. However, a bank statement is required with every application.

The following items cannot be supported via the fund:
• Statutory organisations or work that is their responsibility
• National organizations that cannot demonstrate local governance and control of local finances
• Commercial ventures
• Purchase/maintenance of vehicles
• Regional or local offices of a national organisation
• Activities that will have already taken place before we offer you a grant
• Politically connected or exclusively religious activities
• Projects for personal profit
• Trophies and medals
• Organisations that are set up for the benefit of animals or plants: environmental groups that work with animals or the environment (such as city farms) are acceptable
• Groups comprising just one family
• Debts and other liabilities
• Reclaimable VAT
• Travel outside UK
• Gifts or projects exclusively for the purpose of entertaining – social events can be funded where there is a clear community benefit

What happens next?
Completed applications are considered by Community Foundation staff to check eligibility. You may be contacted for more information after applying and a decision making panel will make recommendations based on the fund’s criteria and the budget available.

You should expect to hear the outcome of your application within 6 weeks of the closing date.

For further information please contact Joan Ford, Community Philanthropy Manager at:

Community Foundation for Lancashire
Third Floor,
Stanley Building,
43 Hanover Street,
L1 3DN
T: 0151 232 2444
Fax: 0151 232 2445


The Lancashire Wellbeing Service

The Lancashire Wellbeing Service offers free, short-term, practical support for the County’s residents who may be struggling with issues affecting their happiness and health.

These may be concerns over their finances, health and fitness, mobility and transport, relationships and family, employment and housing or for somebody feeling anxious, stressed, isolated, or simply overwhelmed and unable to cope.

Over a number of sessions one of the service’s wellbeing workers will support the individual and encourage them to set realistic, achievable goals and take steps needed to improve their quality of life.

Tel: 03450 138208 / Web: / e-mail: