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RCVYS Reading Children’s & Voluntary Youth Services Providing support, advice, representation and information for its member organisations

Together, we are RCVYS

RCVYS Annual Report 2012 - 2013


RCVYS Chairman’s Comments Once again I have the pleasure in writing the foreword for this year’s RCVYS Annual Report. The listing of our events, activities and services can only go so far in highlighting our year. However, it does not fully acknowledge the work that is behind every event, activity, meeting or consultation - the energy and effort put in by the RCVYS Development Worker, the Executive and our Members is inspiring. These are all very difficult times; the pressure on service delivery has not just gone away because of reducing budgets. Austerity measures have put an additional burden on the voluntary and community sector, and there remains an expectation that service providers should be aspiring to provide high quality provision with less money. This is continuing to be a very live and real topic for voluntary and community sector groups as they seek to find the right balance through their service delivery and planning for the future. The level of uncertainty over the future has continued to increase the demand on RCVYS, to advocate and present a balanced account of what the voluntary sector can, and indeed cannot achieve. Over more than a decade, RCVYS has continued to reach and support many groups who would otherwise not be available to the residents of Reading. I hope you take the time to read the Annual Report, and that you join with me in thanking the RCVYS team and our Members for working together to develop real solutions and deliver real improvements for communities and individuals here in Reading. Through partnerships and the equality of opportunities, I am certain that RCVYS can carry on helping to facilitate a number of innovative solutions to social needs in these very difficult times. David Seward - RCVYS Chairman


Identifying needs in the local community and facilitating improvements in service provision to meet those needs •

In 2012/13, RCVYS took a leading role in ensuring that the views and experiences of the wider voluntary sector were reflected in the Reading Borough Council consultation on changes to the Youth Service. RCVYS helped to ensure that throughout a series of 7 events, 35 different VCF Sector groups were able to listen to the proposals and to offer their perspectives and opinions which went into informing the subsequent tender for Universal Youth Services, and the way that youth services are delivered here in Reading.

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As part of the ongoing work into the Personalisation of services for disabled children, RCVYS worked with RVA to hold a workshop event to enable 9 different VCF Sector groups working with disabled children and their families to understand and discuss the potential changes, and to present 7 key messages to RBC for them to consider as part of the development of these plans.

Together, we are RCVYS... In the last year RCVYS and its Development Worker have been an invaluable support to us at No5. They have supported our understanding of a bewildering array of changes; both within the local authority and to national statutory authorities, and the changes in the regulations surrounding the provision of services and use of volunteers. We have benefitted from vital training and development opportunities and the Development Worker has been at the end of a phone when we needed advice. Perhaps most importantly, RCVYS enables No5 to express the needs of our service users in the local community through giving us an opportunity to attend and speak at local meetings, and by speaking on our behalf. A big thank you from everyone at No5. Alyson Brickley - No5 Youth Counselling and Information Service


Assisting local voluntary and community organisations to function more effectively and deliver quality services to the local community •

Since we started the programme of offering a Universal Safeguarding Children Train the Trainer course, we have trained 31 people to be able to deliver this essential course in their own settings. In a recent survey, 17 of these people have delivered 52 separate courses between them, helping to ensure that more and more VCF Sector members of staff and volunteers are appropriately trained.

As part of a funded piece of work to provide training support for those working with young people within the local VCF Sector: • 8 people from 6 different organisations studied for, and achieved their Level 3 Certificate in working with Vulnerable Young People. • we delivered 8 Paediatric Emergency First Aid Courses, where 93 people from 31 different organisations achieved their accreditation certificates. • at least 113 people from 51 different organisations attended an informal workshop looking at working with young people around 6 topics nominated by the groups themselves.

Together, we are RCVYS... Thanks so much for all the help and support RCVYS has provided us as local residents that started up Caversham Children's FUNd 18 months ago. If it wasn’t for RCVYS, we wouldn't have received all the training, qualifications and experience we have today. This has helped us to build a fun and stable environment for the children and the local residents/ parents. Being a part of RCVYS has always made us feel welcomed, valued and an equal member, and has practically helped us by providing and funding relevant and appropriate Safeguarding, First Aid and Accredited courses for us as volunteers. Cherelle Edwards - Caversham Children’s FUNd


Facilitating effective communication and networking for local community groups •

At our RCVYS Members Meeting in January 2013, 30 people joined together to explore opportunities to work collaboratively around support pathways for young people through different stages in life. 7 key learning points were identified, which have in turn been fed into a number of developing projects, including Turnaround Families, and Children’s/Family Centres.

This year, the RCVYS Mailing List has disseminated over 166 pieces of news and information to its members and the wider VCF Sector this year.

In a funded piece of work, RCVYS worked with Reading’s 59 VCF Sector Nurseries and Pre-Schools to set up Reading Early Years Providers’ Forum. This now enables them to take ownership over their own agenda, and to meet together to share information and good practice, and to have a strong collective voice.

Together, we are RCVYS... Since I’ve joined ABC to read, I have found RCVYS to be a great asset in providing me with support and advice which is vital for smaller charities such as ours to carry on with our important work. I’ve attended a Safeguarding workshop and several networking events, all of which have enabled me to meet up with other voluntary organisations and ensure we are following the correct procedures. I have also been able to meet up with other charities to discuss the possibilities of working together. The Development Worker kindly offered his support in guiding me through the funding application process, which will help us with many future applications. We have since been successful in a bid to assist with training our new volunteers that will be placed in primary schools to mentor children that lack confidence and struggle to read. Marcia Rowlinson - ABC to read


Enabling the views of the local voluntary and community sector to be represented on partnership groups, and promoting effective working relationships and two-way communication •

RCVYS Representatives have served on 17 committees, groups, meetings and forums, and participated in the planning and decision-making process for the Universal Youth Services Tender.

RCVYS was requested to have a representative on the Family Intervention Project (FIP) Panel to ensure that a range of VCF Sector providers could be considered as part of a range of services available to support some of Reading’s most challenging families.

RCVYS has continued to support Reading’s Innovations Project by working with East Reading and Hamilton Road Children’s Centres to better understand the needs and perspectives of parents with children under 5, and to develop innovative new ways to deliver services alongside local VCF Sector groups.

RCVYS has delivered 2 Designated Persons Safeguarding Training courses which equipped 15 people from 10 different organisations with the skills to handle any child protection disclosures or allegations, and the current social care thresholds. This helps VCF Sector groups to effectively work in partnership with statutory services to help to keep children and young people safe.

Together, we are RCVYS... I am the RCVYS Representative on the Disability Strategy Group. This is especially important at the moment, as this is a time of huge change in many areas of education and social care affecting the lives of children and young people with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities. We are able to keep local voluntary organisations up to speed with service developments, and also to provide an opportunity for groups to feedback to, and consult with RBC on a number of important issues. Leslie Macdonald - Reading Mencap


Enhancing the voluntary and community sector’s role as an integral part of local planning and policy-making •

Over the winter, RBC carried out a review into its Parenting programmes. RCVYS Members contributed in a number of aspects of the review, highlighting the important contribution that the VCF Sector plays in supporting parents through all tiers of support. This piece of work will influence the future direction of Parenting delivery in Reading.

With the ongoing changes around Criminal Records Bureau checks and the implementation of the new Disclosure and Barring Service, RCVYS has been involved in refreshing the Berkshire Child Protection Procedures around Safer Recruitment through the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

The RCVYS Development Worker was selected to represent Reading Children’s Trust on the Local Strategic Partnership Board. This ensures that RCVYS has the ability to influence services for children at the very highest level in Reading.

Working in conjunction with Reading Children’s Trust, RCVYS made strong representations to ensure that the health needs of children and young people were adequately reflected within the new Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Reading.

Together, we are RCVYS... RCVYS have led the way in helping to transform services for young people in difficult times. RCVYS were also central to promoting genuine partnership with the council, private and voluntary sector to ensure services are kept in place and improved. The leaders of RCVYS have been role models in transparency of commissioning and tendering services to the voluntary sector. I would like to thank RCVYS for all their hard work and success in the past year. Cllr John Ennis - Lead Councillor for Education and Children’s Services Reading Borough Council


RCVYS would like to thank the staff, Officers and Councillors at Reading Borough Council for their continuing financial support. RCVYS would also like to acknowledge its appreciation and thanks to the following people for their service to the Voluntary, Community and Faith sector this last year, as members of staff, and volunteering as RCVYS Exec Members and RCVYS Representatives. Bernadette Adams Tim Clewer Ben Cross Jackie Curtis Ali Dent Tessa Dove Mike Edwards Rachel Green Lyn Griffiths Mary Jacobs

Jill Lake Cathy Lamsdale Leslie Macdonald Sarah Mayhew Jackie Oversby Gareth Owen Karen Ross David Seward Alison Steedman Natausha Van Vliet Chris West

RCVYS 34 Parkside Road, Reading, Berkshire. RG30 2DD Tel: 07872 958501 E-mail: info@rcvys.org.uk Twitter: @RCVYS

www.rcvys.org.uk


RCVYS Annual Report 2013