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Understanding The VCS Just a bunch of volunteers, arent they?

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding The VCS Just a bunch of volunteers, arent they?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding The VCS Just a bunch of volunteers, arent they?

2 VCS – A Definition The VCS is diverse, active and passionate It includes voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, cooperatives, mutuals, and companies both large and small Organisations in the sector share common characteristics: Value-driven, person centred, social model Accountable by governance structures – real people, real communities (usually unpaid) work delivered for the public benefit, beyond the membership of individual voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) Not for profit – principally reinvest any financial surpluses to further social, environmental or cultural objectives independence of both formal structures of government and the profit sector They are full of expert, professional paid staff - not only volunteers

3 Scope of the VCS Adult Education Advice Advocacy Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking Arts/Culture Asylum Seekers & Refugees Bereavement Birth/Pregnancy Campaigning Carers Children Chronic Medical Condition Community Care Community Development Community Safety Counselling Cultural Economic Development Education Elderly Employment Support Environment Faith/Religion Families Family Support Gay/Lesbian Grant Giving Health Health & Social Care HIV/AIDS Housing Immigration International Dev. Learning Disability Leisure Men Mental Health Parenting Physical Disability Play Public Health/Health Promotion Racial Harassment Relationships Self Help Sensory Disability Sexual Abuse Single Parents Social Activities Sport Support Training Volunteering Women Youth

4 Scope of the VCS The ways in which the sector works, the activities it carries out and the beneficiaries it supports, are very diverse –building social capital –providing services to the public and to particular community groups –providing advocacy on behalf of communities and the individuals –contributing expertise and experience to policy formulation

5 Size of the VCS – National Picture Total number of VCS groups in England 138,72 Micro charities Less than £10,000 Small charities £10,000 to £100,000 Medium charities £100,000 to £1 million Large charities £1 million to £10 million Major charities More than £10 million


7 VCS in Leicester/Leicestershire




11 What can the VCS add –Value, innovation and quality in delivering public services –Efficient and effective services that can produce better and lasting outcomes –Ability to engage at a community level and understand the real needs of the community building social capital, that is, building relationships and bridges within and across communities that help to bind society together meeting special needs/niche interests through significant expertise and experience, especially with complex needs maintaining an independent voice – structural and legal independence allows it to assume a role as a constitutional check or balance full involvement of stakeholders across sector divides acting with flexibility and speed – its independence allows it, within legal and constitutional boundaries, to respond to changing needs

12 Barriers to cross-sector Contracts May be cost differences due to some of their approaches If no costs are put in for involvement, the VCS will no longer be able to be engaged in multi agency meetings/forums/initiatives Finance, shift to equity and loan finance – cash flow ! –Change in VCS ethos from caring to charging Governance, Boards/Trustees – (memorandum & arts) Language differences

13 Positives of working with the VCS Well governed Value, innovative and experienced in delivering public sector contracts Ability to engage at a community level and understand the real needs of the community Trusted by their communities and potentially deliver and focus services to hard to reach areas Cross sector working may well influence any potential commissioning ?

14 Thank you David Barsby

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