Page 1

Supporting Voluntary & Community Action

July / August / September 2012

Inside this issue: Local Impact of Cuts Your Photos Summer Events in Bristol Upcoming Training Courses Payment by Results Police Crime Commissioner Election Children and Families Bill Community clear up in Fox Road, Easton, organised by Easton & Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Management

and more...

Get on Your Soapbox. Tell the mayoral candidates what they need to know about Bristol’s

Voscur’s AGM and Annual Event Wednesday 26 September, 11:30am, MShed. After official business and lunch (where you will have a chance to network with colleagues), take advantage of your chance to meet the people who want to be mayor of Bristol and raise key issues for your group/organisation and the sector as a whole.

Photo by John H McCarthy

voluntary sector...

Contents Voscur


3 Contents


Payment by Results — Get Engaged Early

4 Editorial

Voice and Influence


New Members


Member Profile: Light Box


Snap Happy: Some of Your Photos


Bristol’s Summer Events

10-11 The True Impact of Cuts on Bristol’s Voluntary Sector 12

Ethical Community Banking — Bristol Credit Union


Feeling ‘Smart’? Make Use of New Technologies


Working to Build Lasting Neighbourhood Partnerships


Police Crime Commissioner Election: Get Your Questions Answered

22-23 Quality of Life Survey: How Does Bristol Measure? 24-25 Q&A: Sue Brazendale, Health and Social Care Network Coordinator 26-27 Where Does Power and Influence Lie in Bristol? 28

Integrate Bristol: Help for Young People in the City

14-15 The Health Check: Getting Your Ready to Make a Difference


Children and Families Bill — Support for Families When They Need it Most

16-17 Upcoming Training Courses

30-31 ‘Looking Back, Looking Forwards’ — BME Voice and Influence in Bristol

Support Hub


Volunteer Bristol: Make the Most of Short-Term Volunteers

Keep up to date with Voscur online:

Thrive! is also available online as a pdf at If you require it in another format, please get in touch on 0117 909 9949. Disclaimer: some of the views expressed in this publication are those of individual contributors and do not necessarily represent those of Voscur. Publications, events and services mentioned in Thrive! are not necessarily endorsed by Voscur.

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012



Dear Members and Friends nearer to the time of the election

Start covers a wide range of areas,

(see page 21).

from which governance model

The other shift in power will happen with the election of the Police Crime Commissioner, a position that will cover Bristol, the West of England and Somerset. We will be holding a Question Time event in October in partnership with colleagues from neighbouring

Wendy Stephenson Chief Executive

feedback to help us improve all

More information about these

our publications. We hope that

changes is on page 26.

you find the magazine useful, and

you for the changes that await us

is that we are now providing one-

all in Bristol this autumn.

to-one support for groups that

of power need to know how important the voluntary and community sector is to Bristol. We will be inviting the mayoral candidates to our Annual General Meeting on 26 September so that you can have a conversation with them. In November, we will then hold a Question Time event where you can quiz the candidates


it up to more people.

from their local voluntary sector.

The biggest change for the sector

(and how), and people in positions

we are looking for ways to open

survey. We’ll be using your

break that refreshes and prepares

needs to know who to influence

it has been so well received that

candidates an opportunity to hear

within Voscur during the past year.

are governed locally – the sector

through the Support Hub, but

responded to our information

forward to an active summer, or a

to date with changes to how we

available to groups referred

Police Crime Commissioner

changes that have taken place

It’s important that we keep up

This course is currently only

Finally, thanks to everyone who

I hope that you are looking

election of a mayor for Bristol.

fundraising for your activities.

areas so that we can give the

We have been bedding in the

A big change for us is the

to choose, to how to go about

do get in touch if you want to talk to us about any of our work. Have a good summer. Wendy Stephenson Chief Executive

come to us through our Support Hub service, (see an example of how this works on page 14/15). This is the first time that this type of service has been available in Bristol and as a result, we have been overwhelmed with demand. We are looking at creative ways to meet this demand and to encourage groups to learn from each other.

Key to symbols Equalities Article Training

A great success recently has been the piloting of Kick Start (another first for Bristol) – a six week

Information & Resources

course that covers everything you need to know about running a


voluntary/community group. Kick

July / August / September 2012  Issue 17


New Voscur Members At-Bristol

Friends of Glenfrome School

Working Group for Older

0117 9157116

0117 3772247

People (NP area 3)

0117 9509621

Bristol Child Contact Centre

Kingsmeadow Community Flat

0117 3295201

0117 9048425

BYEP 07930147193

Light Box Project CIC

0117 3290908

Catch22 0117 3534282

Lockleaze & Horfield

Community FC

0117 9798978

Claire Berry 07960098093

The Matthew Tree Project

07912 639959

Deaf Studies Trust 0117 958 3040 voice + minicom

North Bristol Somali

Women’s Group

07943422965 northbristol.somwomen@yahoo.

Fired UP

0117 9374367 Forging Ahead

Voscur is a member-led organisation, made up of

Social Capitalist

hundreds of community,

0117 315 5250

voluntary and social enterprise

groups active in Bristol.

St Werburghs Arts Trail

For more information on

01761 241714

The team here at Voscur welcomes our new members!

becoming a member of Voscur and the range of member benefits, visit: or call us on 0117 909 9949.

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012



Member Profile: Light Box Taking time to appreciate things. Eating better.” When asked if their need for mental health support has decreased/increased/stayed the same since taking part, one participant reported: “A lot of my mental health problems have dramatically reduced. I’ve learnt strategies to focus on the positive, bits of life rather than brood on

A Light Box workshop in action, photo courtesy of BS6 Photography

bad things.” Light Box is passionately

this challenge with refreshed

committed to advancing the

motivation after receiving

community’s strength and

survey results from the project’s

happiness. It delivers creative

participants, one year on from

workshops and courses which

their involvement in Light Box

motivate people to invest in their

activities. Through art-based

wellbeing. Light Box is empowering

workshops, participants explored

people to take action and to take

a number of well researched

a creative approach to life.

methods for promoting mental

Preparations are currently underway for the public reopening of Light Box’s city centre shop in Broadmead this autumn. Planning ahead, this small, local Community Interest Company is focusing on changes to NHS mental health services in

wellbeing and how these could be applied in daily life. Themes explored include ‘gratitude’, ‘nurture and kindness’, ‘mindfullness’ and ‘goals’. These are accompanied by creative activities such as making giant paper sculptures.

“The aim of our workshops is to bring to life the idea that we can all create happiness with the things we habitually think and do,” explains the project’s cofounder Lucy Barfoot. “For most people, especially those who have experienced mental health issues, mental health problems, feeling stronger and happier are universal goals. But there is not much straight-forward information out there for the public about how this can be achieved. We want to show people how simple and fun it can be to invest in positive mental health.”

the city and the changing role

The survey results showed that of

of Bristol City Council’s Health

the 11 contactable participants

and Wellbeing Board in order to

from the 3 month Happiness

make the transition from running

Project in 2011, 10 reported they

largely on charitable grants for

are applying things they learnt

For more information,

one-off projects to getting paid

in the workshops to their lives

visit Light Box’s

as a provider of a continuous,

now. One case study reported


innovative health service in Bristol.

several changes they have made

The Light Box team of 3 staff and 9 volunteers has risen to


as a result of taking part: “More positive thinking. Meditating. Mindfulness.

Facebook: lightboxhappiness Twitter: lightboxbristol

July / August / September 2012  Issue 17


Snap Happy: A Selection of Your Photographs... Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Management

Some lovely painted eggs at the 2012 Easter Egg Hunt in Urban Park, Barton Hill

acta Community Theatre

1625 Independent People

Young homeless people in Bristol participating in a ‘Grow Club’ in April 2012 and learning to grow together.

Age UK Bristol

Photo by Mark Simmons Photography, 2012

Actresses in ‘We Have Overcome’ by acta and the Malcolm X Elders Theatre Company, taken at the COAST International Festival of Community Theatre

Jill and Iris make a cup of tea together. Age UK Bristol’s Housing Support Service helps older people to stay independent.

British Red Cross (Avon, Wilts & Glos) A big thank you to those who sent your photos to us. We are always looking for images to demonstrate the local work of sector. For more information on sending photos to us, see: Pamela of Stoke Gifford and Annette, who visits her as part of the Home from Hospital Service.

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012


Summer in Bristol Bristol Urban Sport Exhibition

Foodies Festival

July Filtones Choir’s 12th Annual

13-15 July, Bristol Harbourside

Charity Concert

Bristol’s new food and drink

7 July, St Gregory the Great

extravaganza, Foodies Festival will

Church, Horfield, Bristol

celebrate the finest food, drink and culinary talent in the beautiful

23 May-9 September,

Charity concert, featuring a

M Shed, Bristol

performance by guest soloist Julia

The exhibition will look at the

Hwang. Proceeds will be shared

range of sports (both usual and

between the charities Shine and

unusual) that take place using the

Singing for the Brain (an activity of

city’s infrastructure – both the

the Alzheimer’s Society).

Bristol Brouhaha

natural landscape and the urban

For more information, call

13-21 July, Bedminster, Bristol


Mike Watson on: 0117 9083778

Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatre

Tantalising talks and tastings!

and the Hen & Chicken play host Ping! Bristol

setting of Bristol’s Harbourside.

The Bristol Cycle Festival

to 24 shows presented as 12

7-15 July, Bristol

double bills by some of the most

Pulling together the best events the city’s vibrant cycling

inventive acts in the UK.

community. The Festival’s main Family Day ‘Carnivelo’ takes place

Southmead Festival

in Queen Square on 15 July where

14 July, The Greenway Centre

toddlers can take their first key 29 June (for 1 month), Bristol-wide

steps towards learning to ride.

To bring about a sense of community spirit and get more

With an Olympic theme, the festival will feature all sorts of races for almost all age groups. Also planned is a parade from

Bristol Pride Week

Glencoyne Square along to

7-15 July (Bristol Pride Day

Greenway, with flags of the

Saturday 14 July) Bristol-wide

Olympic nations.

spread all over Bristol for free

Pride Week promises a vibrant

To get involved or for more

play! When the month is up, the

week of events from film, music,

information, call:

tables will be donated to local

theatre, shopping and sport, and

0117 950 3335.

community groups to keep the

Pride Day, a huge outdoor festival

fun going.

on College Green.

people playing sport on the run up to the Olympics, this street ping pong project will see tables


July / August / September 2012  Issue 17

Voscur Stockwood Community Festival

Bristol Thai Festival

14 July, 1-4pm

28-29 July, Queen Square, Bristol

Craydon Road Open Space, Bristol

Celebrate Thai culture at this festival and enjoy Thai dance, food

A free community festival with

and music. See Thai boxing and

various local groups, schools and

enjoy a Thai massage!

churches taking part. Stalls, face painting, bouncy castles and more! For more information, contact: kenjoyce_wooster@blueyonder.

August Redfest Bristol

the general public. Some buildings

animation, graffiti, photography,

may need to be pre-booked to

art and fun to the community

ensure you don’t miss out!

this summer to take over the city’s Balloon Fiesta Pic by Wojciech Borzemski

Brisfest 22-23 September,

Due to popular demand, Brisfest returns to Ashton Court Estate this year and over 400 volunteers, 2,000 artists, the media and a diverse range of local groups and

Activity Day

businesses will come together to

22 July, Victoria Park, Bristol

put on this local music festival. 9-12 August, Ashton Court,


include a 24 foot mobile climbing

Over 100 balloons of all shapes

wall, basketball coaching sessions

and sizes will take to the Bristol

and more.

skies again this year, along with

Ashton Court, Bristol Bristol International

Love Parks Week – Youth

for young and old alike, which will

of Bristol’s most important and

music, film, cabaret, comedy,

Bristol Harbour Festival returns

organising this exciting free event

opportunity to see inside some

which are not normally open to


Victoria Park Action Group is

For one day only, you have the

arts and music festival bringing

20-22 July, Bristol Harbourside

8 September, Bristol-wide

impressive buildings, many of

group of volunteers from the local

circus, dance, music and theatre.

Pic by Robert Kirberich

Redfest Bristol is an independent

of Redfield. Redfest is run by a

harbour area with a programme of

Bristol Doors Open Day

2-4 August, Redfield, Bristol. Bristol Harbour Festival


the festival’s usual array of stalls, activities, demonstrations and night glows.

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012

Further listings can be found at: You can list your summer events on our online calender: month.


The True Impact of Cuts on Bristol’s Voluntary Sector Voluntary sector support and development agencies from England’s core cities* have shared Voscur’s concerns about the impact of last year’s public spending cuts on local people and their communities. We are aware that the cuts had a major impact, with cities losing up to 30% of their budgets, and we know there are further cuts to be made.

The impact of spending decisions

only 41% were able to meet this

(and increased demand for) the

on individual services, whether

demand. 36% hope to be able

services of advice agencies.

delivered by public or voluntary

to continue to meet demand

One respondent told us:

sectors, has taken a while to

and 66% were aware of new

filter through, so until recently it

needs emerging.

was difficult to evidence. Once services have gone it is difficult to collect data, but until services are withdrawn it is difficult to understand the impact on communities. In March 2012, Voscur carried out a ‘snapshot survey’ of its membership so that we could add Bristol’s contribution to the core cities’ report. 44 groups responded to our online survey. 39% of respondents said that they

Whilst Bristol City Council (BCC) has been very supportive

One group reported an

to the advice sector and has

enterprising response to

ring-fenced its allocation to the

changes in funding:

main providers, advice agencies

We have had a BCC Health and Social Care block-grant withdrawn and our older people’s Day Care Service decommissioned but we have developed a transition plan, remodelled our service and successfully re-launched it using a commercial approach.

will be facing significant cuts due to the withdrawal of many areas of civil legal aid. This is projected at £550,000 for voluntary sector agencies in the City per annum from April 2013 (almost the same level of funding received annually from BCC), at a time when many changes in benefits are due to come on stream.

Others told us that they are

Advice agencies are already

cutting staff hours, making

experiencing unprecedented

redundancies and reducing

demand for their services and

opening hours. The more severe

this is only set to increase. The

the impact on the sector, the

announcement of the extension

56% reported cuts to services to

greater the long-term damage,

of the Advice Fund will do little

children and young people, 38% to

meaning that future recovery

to compensate for this overall

older people and 25% to disabled

and growth will demand further

loss and whilst agencies

people. 80% of respondents


individually and collectively are

have had to cut services to their users since April 2011, and 78% knew of other organisations that had done so.

reported increased demand for their remaining services, but


Of significant concern are anticipated cuts in funding to

developing different strategies to cope with this, the net result

July / August / September 2012  Issue 17


will be that fewer people will

so requiring interventions will

contribute our knowledge and

have access to advice that they

grow faster.

ideas about how best to manage

clearly need and agencies, where they are able to continue providing services, will not be able to meet demand.

It is clear from the information we have gathered that there everywhere, alongside rising demand which cannot be met

demand for debt, housing,

despite some valiant efforts.

employment and benefit advice,

Some information has been

plus support with mental health,

collected about how different

drug, alcohol and long-term

groups are being affected; the

recovery issues. One respondent

group most often highlighted

told us:

as the worst hit by the cuts is

well and drug free are turning up in crisis as changes to benefits and housing kick in. We asked about gaps in service provision and were told: The ‘prevention’ agenda

maintain essential services.

have been severe cuts to services

Groups reported increased

Individuals that were doing

public service changes and

children and young people, but services to older people, disabled

*English core cities are: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield

people and people from black and minority ethnic groups have also

We have produced

been affected or lost all together.

a Decommissioning

Voscur will continue to work with public sector partners in Bristol, through the Compact Partners’

Checklist for voluntary sector organisations that are experiencing reductions or ending of funding

appears to be sliding down the

Group and the VCS Assembly

priority scale. Talk appears to be

(including the BME Voice and

very much around targeting

Influence initiative, Children and

resources to those in greatest

Young People’s Network, Health

need; however, without a wide-

and Social Care Network, and

ranging and robust prevention

Neighbourhoods and Communities


strategy, the number of individuals

Network) to maintain an open and


hitting crisis and critical points and

positive dialogue so that we can

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012

arrangements. This will help groups to ensure fair processes are followed.



Ethical Community Banking Barely a minute’s search on the internet brings up an array of loan offers. If household bills are pouring in and you are running out of money these can be very tempting – especially if you have already visited the bank and been refused credit. At the click of a mouse it would seem, your financial woes can be solved. The reality of course is very different with many online (and doorstep) lenders applying massive interest rates to the money they hand over. A small sum can quickly mount up when an interest rate between several hundred to well over a thousand per cent is applied (not to mention the fees that are often charged for missing a payment). If that were not bad enough, this is the legal end of unfair money lending. Loan sharks also operate in our communities, offering money without a credit licence from the Office of Fair Trading. Again, they usually charge very high interest rates, but they often

have the least choice when they

to borrowers. Any surplus is either

need to borrow money, so they

ploughed back into improving the

are often forced to go to the

Bristol Credit Union or used to

most expensive lenders – both

pay a dividend to its savers. As a

legal and illegal. Many Bristolians

local co-operative controlled by

find themselves trapped in a spiral

its members you can be confident

of debt as a result.

(as a borrower, a saver or both),

take benefit entitlements or

However, there is an alternative!

other valuable items as security

Bristol Credit Union (BCU) exists to

and sometimes use threats, even

provide affordable loans, ethical

violence, to frighten people who

savings and accessible financial

cannot repay.

services to anyone who lives or

Nearly everyone has to take out a loan at some time to cover unforeseen expenses. However, those on higher incomes can generally access the most competitively priced loans. It is people on lower incomes who


works in the city. Put simply, local people deposit their savings with them, and the money is then used to offer loans to other local residents. These loans are set at much lower interest rates than many lenders, so they are fairer

that fat cats are not put ahead of members’ financial wellbeing.

BCU has seen enormous growth in membership in recent years – but the need still remains vast. For more information about the Bristol Credit Union’s services visit or call 0117 924 7309.

July / August / September 2012  Issue 17


Feeling ‘Smart’? Make Use of New Technologies Although still relatively expensive, both to purchase and to use, smart phones and tablets (such as the ipad) are changing the communications landscape rapidly, in business, in education, in personal lives and in the way services and support are delivered in the voluntary sector.

Photo by John Watson

What are they?

calls and send text messages,

is trialling the use of QR codes in

A smart device/phone is one that

there are many other options –

this edition of Thrive! (see one

has a continuous connection to

be it checking e-mails, listening

on p17).

the internet and gives you access

to music, watching programmes,

to libraries containing thousands

surfing the internet, taking and

The future?

of small software programmes

sharing photographs, checking

Many phone companies are no

(often called ‘apps’) which can

train times – you name it – there

longer making the older type

be easily installed to customise

is an ‘app’ for just about anything

of handsets so smart phones

the phone/tablet to your exact

these days! Using social media,

and tablets are the future.

requirements. Internet connection

such as facebook or twitter on

They are changing the way we

is enabled either through 3G (via

smart devices is very popular. You

communicate, allowing us to not

the suppliers network) or by wi-fi

can also keep a diary, store notes

only consume information, but

where available. Finding the right

and reminders and download files.

to interact with it and each other

balance of these is the key to

The ability to ‘sync’ data with a

keeping down running costs. Who has them? Everybody is getting them, from teenagers to older people. Most companies now have contract deals for as low as £10 a month with a smart hand set included on signing up. By the end of 2011, over 50% of mobile phone users in the UK owned a smart phone. How are they used? Smart devices allow people to do a whole range of different things. Although primarily used to make

computer means that for many, their phone is increasingly used to keep up with work ‘on the go’. The “KILLER” ‘app’ automatically syncs the information you gather/ produce whilst on the move with your computer so it is all in one place when you return. Another

‘in the moment’. This technology has a huge amount of potential for voluntary sector organisations in areas such as fundraising and social networking. Organisations should begin to take part in this exciting area and experiment with new and creative ways in which to use it to your benefit.

popular app is a barcode reader. The barcode reader can be used to access ‘QR codes’, something

For further

increasingly added to posters and

information, contact

advertisements specifically for

Sean Kenny on

smart phone users to access extra

0117 909 9949 or e-mail:

information or buy tickets. Voscur

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012


The Health Check: Getting You Ready to Make a Difference. What is it? • A Health Check is an organisational tool that can help you identify where you need to improve so that you can achieve the goals of your organisation.

When do we use it? • On approaching Voscur for support, your organisation will be screened to ensure that the Support Hub is best placed to meet your needs. If so, a Health Check session will be arranged and a plan drafted. • In carrying out the Health Check you can be supported by the Development Worker (either face-to-face or over the phone). If you (board members or senior staff for example) feel confident, you can carry it out independently.

What are the benefits? The Health Check can have the following benefits: • Helping your organisation to improve its performance and increase its chance of long-term survival (and growth). • Encouraging the organisation


to carry out a thorough

Check you will identify both

review of internal capabilities,

strengths and weaknesses. It

process and policies to

is not merely a tool to identify

inform its development or

what’s going wrong.

business plan. • It can enable board and staff members to identify areas needing development so that the organisation operates more effectively. • It will help us to find out more

The Health Check in Practice: reflections from Salaam Shalom’s Project Coordinator, Rebecca Bellamy.

effectively target the support

What is the purpose of Salaam Shalom?

that we can provide.

Salaam Shalom is a Jewish and

about your organisation and

• It will help in demonstrating that you are striving for ‘good practice’. This is a benefit when seeking funds or other support, for example from Bristol City Council. • It may help in preparations to gain quality marks or standards for your organisation.

Muslim-led organisation that builds bridges between faith and cultural communities in Bristol through media, dialogue, education and the arts. Salaam Shalom aims to: • Build relations between Bristol’s Muslim and Jewish communities

• As it is ‘structured’ by Voscur,

as well as relations between

it can give outside objectivity

these communities and the

in assessing your capabilities

wider communities that they

and capacity.

are a part of.

• It will enable your trustees and

• Use media as a tool for positive

management team to feel more

social change; empowering

confident that the organisation

young people to bring about

is running efficiently.

changes they want to see. • To engage members of the


community as active volunteers.

• In carrying out the Health

July / August / September 2012  Issue 17

Support Hub

Why did you contact the Support Hub?

as a result of the Health Check meeting?

The past year has seen Salaam

The action plan was useful in

Shalom develop rapidly in a

determining the next steps for

renewed direction, with new

us. It is great to be able to refer

premises, new staff, new projects

back to it and see what we have

and broadened aims. We sought


the support of Voscur during

We have been successful in gaining some project funding and fee income.

What are your plans for the future? • Continue bringing about positive inter-community

to accommodate these changes,

What support was your organisation offered by the Support Hub?

whilst ensuring that we worked

Salaam Shalom were given

projects to make them as

guidance by a development

self-sustaining as possible.

this transitional period to ensure that we developed the skill set

to best practice.

How did the Support Hub Health Check meeting help your group?

worker, templates and resources, as well as bursary places on training courses.

relations and positive social change through our range of projects and events. • Continue developing our

• Strengthen partnerships with other organisations and groups. • Secure further funding for aspects of the project which are

project it is easy to forget to stand

What recent successes has your group had?

back and look at the project as a

Salaam Shalom have a renewed

whole. The Health Check meeting

mission statement, along with

provided us with the objective

updated aims. We have monitoring

For more information

and independent support that

and evaluation systems in place,

on Salaam Shalom

enabled us to focus our energy on

enabling us to show our outcomes


covering critical areas for running

and prove the difference we are

a successful project.

making. We have a number of

How useful was the action

fantastic projects and partnerships

When you are deeply involved in a

plan that was developed

which are developing very well.

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012

trickier to cover (core costs).

For the Support Hub, visit:


Support Hub Training Courses The Support Hub is offering a range of new courses to help organisations be even more effective. We now offer courses at different

We are continuing our work in

Charity HR as well as the Ethical

levels to ensure we reach a wide

partnership with skilled trainers

Property Foundation.

range of staff, volunteers and

and professional organisations

trustees. For example, we are

including courses on recruiting

pleased to be offering a 3 day

volunteers with Volunteer Bristol

Managing for Managers course

and developing a business plan

(delivered by Directory of Social

with Social Enterprise Works. Our

Change) which will give managers

partnership work means that we

in organisations a wide range of

can access professional support

skills to help them carry out their

through training, workshops and

roles effectively.

advice. Later in the year we will be

At the end of July the training programme for the whole year will be on our website: so keep a look out for courses that will help you and your organisation.

running courses with Foot Anstey,

Using Proactis Plaza (formerly known as Bristol e-Procurement System — BePS)

Recruitment of Volunteers

Monday 9 July 2012, 9:30am-1pm

and would like to know more about recruiting them

In order to access Bristol City Council’s commissioning opportunities, organisations need to register with Proactis Plaza. This is slightly different from using BePS. Representatives from Bristol City Council will answer questions you have and guide you through registration, common issues, practical exercises and where you can find help.

Developing a Business Plan Tuesday 10 July 2012, 9:30am-4pm This workshop is aimed at organisations that are planning to write a business plan. This session will be delivered by Social

Monday 16 July 2012, 9:30am-3:30pm This course is for anyone who manages volunteers effectively.

Managing for Managers Monday 16, Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 July 2012, 9:30am-4pm This course is for Managers who have not had any formal management training or would like in-depth management training. This is a highly participatory course, using exercises, case studies, self assessment tools and group work to allow participants to make full use of the learning. This training will be delivered by Directory of Social Change.

Enterprise Works.


July / August / September 2012  Issue 17

Support Hub Funding Applications — Getting it Right! Tuesday 18 September 2012, 9:30am-3:30pm This intermediate course will help you develop your fundraising skills. You will need some experience of fundraising but want to know more about writing successful fundraising applications.

Building Effective Partnerships with Businesses Monday 1 October 2012, 9:30am-3:30pm Is your organisation seeking to build great relationships with local businesses but doesn’t know where to start? This course will provide

Other useful training: Every Business Matters (NAVCA) Thursday 6 September 2012, 9:30am-4:30pm Every business matters is a free training and information day designed to help local groups and organisations develop their business skills. This course is designed for development workers and staff working and volunteering in voluntary and community groups who support children, young people and families through the business planning process.

advice, guidance and practical suggestions to apply

when starting or developing partnerships with the


business sector.

Trustee Series 1: Why am I on the Committee? Wednesday 3 October 2012, 6:30pm-9:30pm This course will give anyone who has the role of a trustee a basic overview of their legal duties and responsibilities and is ideal if you have just become a trustee or want to brush up on your skills. To book onto any of these courses or

Using Proactis Plaza (formerly known as Bristol e-Procurement System ­— BePS) Thursday 4 October 2012, 1pm-4:30pm In order to access Bristol City Council’s commissioning opportunities, organisations need to register with Proactis Plaza. This is slightly different from using BePS. Representatives from Bristol City Council will answer questions you have and guide you through registration, common issues, practical exercises and where you can find help.

to find out more, please go to Alternatively, you can call us on 0117 909 9949 This is a QR code, designed for smart phones and devices. You can download an ‘app’ which will allow you to scan these codes for instant access to additional information on your mobile/smart device.

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012


Support Hub

Short and Sweet: How to Make the Most of Short-Term Volunteers Over the last year almost 4500

their skills alive whilst they are

people have signed up with

between jobs or newly freelance

Volunteer Bristol, keen to find

workers looking to build up their

voluntary work. 35% were


under the age of 25. With many young people eager to find meaningful work experience at a time of record levels of youth unemployment, what does this mean for Bristol’s volunteerinvolving organisations and how can they get the best outcome for the young person and for their organisation? The answer may lie in Volunteer Bristol’s new volunteer management system.

In order to help organisations to make the most of this developing trend in volunteering, Volunteer Bristol is working with Slivers of Time, a social enterprise based in London, to develop and pilot a new online system for recruiting and managing volunteers. In short, it gives organisations the ability to search a database of volunteers who have listed their skills, interests and the precise

Young people can bring fresh

times when they are available and

perspectives, useful skills (such

then offers the chance to contact

as IT and social media) and bags

them directly.

you wish – perhaps volunteers

Imagine, for example, that you

need to attend training or they

of energy to your organisation. But the desire to build up their CVs and the need to find paid work means that they may not be willing (or able) to stick around for long. We know that reliable, regular and long-term volunteers are the backbone of many organisations. But those organisations who are also able to identify one-off, short-term or flexible volunteering opportunities will open the door to many types of volunteers, not just young people: civil service employees looking to make use of their volunteering leave, experienced professionals keen to keep


Photo by Robert B. Livingston

are a voluntary organisation

need to provide two references.

with a fundraising event taking

The system will be launched

place in a few weeks. You are

soon and Volunteer Bristol hopes

going to need some marshals to

that it will help to meet the

help things run smoothly. Using

changing demands of volunteers

our new system you can easily

and the voluntary and community

identify any volunteers who have

sector organisations with whom

an interest in events and who are

they work.

available on the precise day that you need them. You can select which ones to contact and send

For more information

a text message to their mobile

or to register your

phone. If they wish to take up

interest please e-mail:

the opportunity, then they can

text you back and, that easily, you

or go to:

would have a ‘booking’. You can

also attach certain conditions if

July / August / September 2012  Issue 17

Bristol Compact

Payment by Results — Get Engaged Early

Challenges facing the VCS in light of PbR • Clarity – the voluntary sector is looking for clarity about PbR, the longer-term environment for public service markets and

Payment by Results (PbR) has

whenever PbR is described.

how cash-flows and contracts

been around a while but it is a

In short, it entails funding an

will operate. This is under

relatively new concept for the

intervention or service on the


voluntary sector. Mark Hubbard

basis of the results or outcomes it

• Governance – many voluntary

(Compact Liaison Officer),

achieves, rather than the activities

sector organisations do not

who works with public sector

or outputs it delivers. There are

understand PbR or know how to

commissioners and voluntary

several models that range from

engage with it. Trustees tend to

sector groups to implement the

absolute (no result = no payment)

be cautious.

Bristol Compact, introduces recent

to phased payments over time.

developments and challenges for the sector.

What should the voluntary

PbR is a large part of the


Government’s agenda to improve the efficiency of public service provision. It is an approach that intends to strengthen the incentives on service providers to develop innovative solutions

sector expect from PbR

In these cases the outputs are clear (rubbish collected; a hip replaced) and rewarded when met. However, the application of PbR to social outcomes is much more complicated and has generated controversy and challenge. What is it and how does it work? There is no single definition

organisations in PbR situations. – many PbR programmes are

PbR and describes the following

long term and organisations

expectations for the future:

may need to fill the funding

• It is only beginning – we must and expand.

services and hospital operations.

sector and this presents risks to

Organisations (NCVO) has reviewed

meet service users’ needs.

For example, waste management

contract skills in the voluntary

• Working capital and finance

expect this agenda to develop

service areas for many years.

there is a lack of business and

The National Council for Voluntary

to complex problems and better

It has been used in some public

• Business and contract skills –

• Bureaucracy will not reduce – the focus will be on robust performance and contract management. • Trial and error is inevitable – PbR is an attempt to improve

gap between the start of the service and first payments. Loans and investment may be new to many voluntary sector organisations. • Implications – at present, there is no clarity about how PbR challenges affect organisations of different sizes.

quality of services; there will be successes and failures. • It will not apply everywhere – the costs of service restructure and commissioning are high. PbR is likely to be implemented first with expensive, acute services, rather than preventative, community services.

PbR is described in more detail, along with a Bristol case study in the Payment by Results Briefing: vcse/PbR

but there are common themes

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012


Voice and Influence

Working to Build Lasting Neighbourhood Partnerships It has been over four years since

The group is using the survey

Bristol City Council introduced

findings and other information to

To read more about the

Neighbourhood Partnerships (NPs)

prepare a report with comments

VCS Neighbourhood

with the intention of involving

and recommendations to help

Partnership Working

more people in local decision

strengthen and improve NPs. The

Group, visit:

making. The 14 Neighbourhood

report is due to be finalised by the

Partnerships across the city now

end of July and will be presented

have the opportunity to influence

to Bristol City Council. Di Robinson,

Council decisions in areas such

Bristol City Council’s Strategic

as highway and pavement

Director for Neighbourhoods will

maintenance, small traffic calming

be responding to the working

schemes and investment in parks

group’s report at the September

and green spaces. In addition,

Neighbourhoods and Communities

Confirm your place online at:

each partnership has a ‘wellbeing

Network meeting. The working

budget’ to support local initiatives

group hopes

or call (0117) 909 9949.

and projects. Many voluntary and

that its report

community groups/organisations

will help to

have received small wellbeing


grants from their NPs.


Come to the Neighbourhoods and Communities Network meeting on 19 September to hear the Bristol City Council response to the working group’s report.

The Voice and Influence Service has been supporting a working group of residents, community group members and equalities reperesentatives from the 14 NPs to evaluate their involvement in the schemes. The group has carried out a survey with others involved, asking their views on the following areas: • Membership, accountability,

ongoing commitment from Bristol City Council to strong voluntary and community sector involvement in NPs, as well as from the candidates who are seeking to be the new elected mayor

representation and diversity

for Bristol and the Police

within NPs.

Crime Commissioner for Avon

• Communication, community

and Somerset.

involvement and community development within NPs. • Devolved decision making and devolved funding.


Bristol’s 14 Neighbourhood Partnerships

July / August / September 2012  Issue 17

Voice and Influence

Police Crime Commissioner Election: Question Time X

Police Crime Commissioner election

On Thursday 15 November voters across the Avon and Somerset Police area (including Bristol) will go to the polls to vote for the first elected Police Crime Commissioner (PCC). The new PCC will be responsible for setting the budget for policing and community safety as well as setting policing priorities (day to day police decisions will

continue to be the job of the

candidates. Full booking for the

Chief Constable).

PCC Question Time event will

Through the Home Office funded ‘Safer Future Communities’ project, Voscur has been working with organisations across Avon and Somerset to develop a voluntary

open in September, but you can register your interest online at: VCSPCCNetwork#meetings, or by calling Voscur on 0117 909 9949.

and community sector network to engage with the new PCC. On the evening of Thursday 18 October we are holding a Question Time event at the Council House in Bristol to enable people to hear from and question the PCC

What would you ask the candidates who want to be the PCC for Avon and Somerset? Crime Commissioner candidates


What Would You Ask?

at the Question Time event on Thursday 18 October, 2012. Submit your question at:

The Voice and Influence Team at Voscur wants to hear the questions you would like to put to the Police before 11 October. A range of questions will be chosen – yours might be one of them.

Question Time event with Bristol’s elected mayor candidates In advance of the first election

can register your interest in this

of a mayor for Bristol we are also

event online at or

organising a Question Time event

call Voscur on 0117 909 9949.

in November with candidates. Full details will be published in the October issue of Thrive! but you

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012


Quality of Life Survey: How Does Bristol Measure? The results from the 2011 ‘Quality of Life in Your Neighbourhood’ annual survey by Bristol City Council have been released, providing an insight into how people feel about living in Bristol. Areas covered in the survey include: health and wellbeing; safety; climate change; arts and culture and children, young people and families. In this article, we hear from both Voscur’s Voice and Influence and Support Hub Teams who will speak about what the results mean for the local voluntary and community sector and how we can all make the best use of the results in future work.

Voice and Influence ­— Celebrating the Positives Matthew Symonds Development Manager – Participation

The results of the Quality of Life Survey suggest some improvement related to communities and local

partners in our Voice and Influence

will continue to champion the

work. Through Voice and Influence,

contributions of the sector and

we want to build on these results

help them to influence important

as we continue to partner with

local decisions.

local individuals and groups to strengthen the links between the sector and local policy makers.

There is still a way to go in these areas, not to mention those which show little change (or

influence. The latest results show

The percentage of residents

even a decline) over recent

for the first time that there has

satisfied with their local area has

years. However, it is important to

been three years of continuous

also shown a continuous increase

celebrate the imporvements and

improvement in the percentage

since 2006 (75%) with the latest

the wide variety of contributions

of respondents who feel that

results showing 83% satisfaction.

that local voluntary and

they can influence local decision

64% of respondents feel that they

community groups make on a daily

making. In Bristol 25.9% of

belong to a neighbourhood, which

basis to the lives of local people.

respondents say that they can

has increased since the last survey

influence decisions; the wards

and more residents agree that ‘the

where respondents indicated

police and local public services are

most influence are Southville

successfully dealing with crime

(41%), Ashley (38%) and Henleaze

and anti-social behaviour’ (40%

(34%) whilst the wards where

compared with 35% in 2010). For

respondents felt least influence

both these indicators, the gap in

are Hillfields (13%), Brislington East

the difference between responses

(17%) and Avonmouth (18%).

in deprived neighbourhoods and

This improvement is encouraging, particularly for the VCS Advocates who work closely with other


the rest of the city has narrowed. Strong Bristol communities are a key focus for voluntary and community organsiations and we

Find out more: The Neighbourhoods and Communities Network meeting on Wednesday 19 September will include a presentation on the Quality of Life responses from equalities communities. See the full findings at:

July / August / September 2012  Issue 17

Voice and Influence

Support Hub: Turning Negatives into Positives: A Focus on Outcomes Ruth Pitter

relation to a few key indicators

and sense of shared purpose

Support Hub Manager

such as an increase in those

for your team; motivation for

who are overweight and obese

staff and users who will begin

and a reduction in the amount

to see results; a more focused

of people who particpate in

and efficient use of time; useful

active sport at least once a

information gathered for a range

week) the outcomes for users

of reporting and monitoring

of a community health/fitness

tasks; added quality assurance.

Although we never like to see Bristol taking reverse steps in relation to any of the areas included in the Quality of Life Survey, it is important to know the realities we are facing. The survey is a resource that can help you to identify some key outcomes for your project so, where appropriate to your organisation, you can address inequalities, deprivation and/or social exclusion in Bristol.

project might include: • improved access to local fitness services • reduced inactivity

The term ‘outcomes’ is often confused with other terms such as ‘inputs’, ‘outputs’ and ‘impact’.

• improved health and wellbeing. Outcomes can identify what works well and what your project

Outcomes, as outlined by the

might change or improve. This

For a complete

Charities Evaluation Service, are

will help you use your resources

picture of all

the changes, benefits, learning

efficiently to meet your users’

of these terms,

or other effects that happen as a

needs and will help towards

download this useful briefing

result of your work.

your applications and reports to

on outcomes:

For example, if we look at


health (as it is an area which

Other benefits of a focus on


appears to have worsened in

outcomes include: role clarity


We are running some useful training courses in the coming months that will help you to understand outcomes and help in your hunt for funding: 18 September – Funding Applications – Getting it Right! 23 October – Ten Steps to the Perfect Tender 14 November – Commissioning and Outcomes

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012


Extra Resources for the Voice and Influence of Health and Social Care Groups April saw the appointment of a new post holder at Voscur, Sue Brazendale, as Health and Social Care Network Coordinator. We asked Sue to tell us about her first 6 weeks in the new role, and a little about herself. What are your first impressions

Council Commissioners looking

of the voluntary and community

at issues around the impact of

sector in Bristol?

personalisation on voluntary

It strikes me as robust, diverse

sector groups, and an Advocate

and very skilled. People have a

on the new Health and Wellbeing

great passion for social justice and

Board. I’d like to develop more

wanting to change things for the

formal links with decision makers

better. Bristol feels a compact

to promote the voice of the

city, and groups have strong links


with each other. The relationship with Bristol City Council, overall, seems positive, although with cuts in funding and staff reductions on Sue Brazendale at Voscur

Like many people, my first experience of the voluntary sector was as a volunteer. In 1995, I volunteered at a drop in centre for homeless people in London. Since then I’ve worked supporting and recruiting volunteers; as a community development worker; a stint for the Care Quality Commission; running small grants schemes; voice and influence work in Herefordshire, and supporting carers to have a say in planning services. Along side this I’ve continued to volunteer in a variety of projects. I moved to Bristol in February this year.


What do you think are the challenges ahead for the sector?

both sides, tensions do arise.

The impact of self directed

What is the focus of your job?

personalisation. We are really

To strengthen the voice and

beginning to see how this changes

influence of health and social

things for the sector. Groups have

care groups – we have a relatively

to get very smart around full cost

new network, which meets three

recovery and must not under sell

times a year. I think the meetings

their services; that’s a big culture

serve three purposes: to bring

shift for a sector that’s used to

information to the sector; to listen

getting grants for services, and

to sector issues (and take them to

usually providing more than they

forward); and an opportunity for

were funded for. There will be

networking (it’s really important

more administrative overheads in

that voluntary sector groups can

managing money, demonstrating

share their thoughts with each

your worth and proving the

other, and with us). We currently

quality of services. These must

have two formal opportunities

be included in the cost of service

for influence: a monthly working

delivery. Groups may also start to

group who meet with Bristol City

see each other as competition and

support, also known as

July / August / September 2012  Issue 17

Voice and Influence

The most important thing is to take voluntary sector concerns forward and see real change. It’s one thing identifying and raising issues, it’s another to see change, that’s real partnership working. Sue Brazendale, Health and Social Care Network Coordinator

some of the informal support

for the sector. For example,

It’s not always possible for us to

and sharing of information

we’re having a close look at the

mail out papers to all groups we

between groups may dwindle.

Community Support Services

have on our list (currently we

I’m hopeful however that the

Contract that governs all spot

have over 250 health and social

voluntary sector will find ways

purchase arrangements and

care groups on our records) and

around this difficult issue.

we’d like to see improvements

we are often reliant on e-mails

in layout so it’s easier for smaller

and our web page. We’re in the

groups to understand, and more

process of updating the Voice

importantly, we can negotiate

and Influence website to make

on terms in favour of voluntary

information clearer to access.

sector groups.

If anyone does not have access

The new Health & Social Care Act 2012 is also a big challenge, significant change for health service delivery is a concern, and there is a great deal of uncertainly about new structures. Support for new and small groups is also a concern, resources are scarce and small groups will need to be self-sufficient and look more to their own community resources than ever before.

I’m also delighted that the voluntary sector has a place on the new Health & Wellbeing Board. The board takes up its full powers next April and this is a good example of the voluntary sector having a voice at the highest level of decision-making. We’ll be

What do you hope to

monitoring our impact closely on

achieve in the role?

that one.

The most important thing is to

I’d like to see smaller groups

take voluntary sector concerns

get more involved in voice and

forward and see real change. It’s

influence work, I know resources

one thing identifying and raising

are an issue and people can’t

issues, it’s another to see change,

always attend meetings, so we

that’s real partnership working.

need to find ways to get them

We have a few opportunities to

involved and their voices heard.

influence the processes around

to computers or would prefer paper copies of information let me know, I work part time, and am usually in the office Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I’d love to hear from any health and social care groups about their views, good or bad, on the state of health and social care in Bristol.

To find out about the Health and Social Care Network’s activities, visit: Sue Brazendale can be contacted on

commissioning at the moment

Anything else to add?

0117 909 9949

but I’m hopeful that we can

Yes, good communication with


make some positive changes

the voluntary sector is critical.

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012


Where Does Power and Influence Lie in Bristol? Knowing the key decision making structures in Bristol is essential if you want to engage at a local level and have a voice and an influence in the city. These structures have, and are undergoing change. This article lays out some of the new and existing key people, democratic structures, important documents and key partnerships in Bristol. An extended version (including useful diagrams) can be found here:

Key People Bristol elected mayor   New  The mayor will be responsible for setting the city’s annual budget of over £350m. The mayor will also decide key policies and have a place on the Police and Crime Panel, the Health and

Democratic Structures


Mayoral election   New  The vote for the first Bristol elected mayor will take place on 15 November 2012. The mayor will

Wellbeing Board, the Bristol Partnership and the

be in addition to the 70 Bristol councillors.

Local Enterprise Partnership.

PCC election   New 

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)   New 

The Avon and Somerset Police Crime

The PCC will be responsible for setting the Avon and Somerset police budget of over £270 million. The PCC will also set the policing

Commissioner election will also take place on 15 November 2012.

Council elections

priorities, however day to day control of the

Bristol City Council elections are scheduled to

police will remain in the hands of the police

take place in 2013, 2014 & 2015, there are no

chief constable.

council elections scheduled for 2016.

Members of Parliament (MP) There are four Bristol MPs covering the parliamentary constituencies of Bristol North West*, Bristol West*, Bristol East* and Bristol South. The next general election is due to take place in 2015. * Parliamentary constituencies with new boundary from 2015.


July / August / September 2012  Issue 17

Voice and Influence

Important Partnerships

Important documents

Police and Crime Panel   New  The Police and Crime Panel (PCP) will be up to

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

20 people (including councillors) from each

The JSNA compiles detailed information on local

council in Avon and Somerset. The PCP will

health and wellbeing needs and looks ahead at

scrutinise the elected PCC. The Bristol place will

emerging challenges and projected future need.

be filled by the elected mayor or their nominee.

Find out more at:

Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)   New 

Health and Wellbeing Strategy   New 

From April 2013 the Bristol CCG will be responsible

Wellbeing (H&W) boards to produce a H&W

for commissioning most local National Health

strategy by April 2013. The strategy will be

Services, previously commissioned by the Bristol

informed by the JSNA and will set the health

Primary Care Trust (PCT).

priorities for Bristol. Find out more at:

Bristol Health and Wellbeing (H&W) Board   New 

The government is requiring all Health and

Police and Crime Plan   New 

The H&W board will oversee the production of

The elected PCC will set out their priorities for

the JSNA and the Bristol H&W strategy. These

local policing and crime reduction in this plan.

will set out local priorities for health funding

The first plan will be published in April 2013.

and commissioning.

Find out more at:

Neighbourhood Partnerships

Bristol City Council Budget

There are 14 Neighbourhood Partnerships in

The 2013/14 Council budget will be prepared

Bristol made up of two or three council wards.

by the new elected mayor. Draft budget

Each includes councilors, local residents,

proposals will be published in late 2012, followed

community groups and local business

by a public consultation until January 2013.

(see page 20).

The proposals will be scrutinised by elected

Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

councillors and must receive support from one third (24) at the budget setting meeting in

The West of England LEP covers the area

February 2013. Find out more at:

of Bristol City Council, Bath and North

East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The LEP is responsible for driving economic growth across this area. The LEP board includes the council leaders,

For more information and useful

key business leaders and the Vice Chancellor

diagrams, visit:

of the University of Bath.

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012


Voice and Influence

Integrate Bristol is a charity formed to help young people who have arrived from other countries and cultures to adapt to and integrate into life in Bristol. They provide opportunities for young people to learn about and explore issues that affect their lives and learn new skills that develop self-confidence and self-esteem.

Young people at Integrate Bristol’s ‘Silent Scream’ film shoot

This summer, the young people

This work will build on previous

and ‘Easton’ (a story of bullying

involved in Integrate Bristol will

efforts around FGM, including

involving time travel and a very

be hosting a national, three

the short film ‘Silent Scream’, and

unusual encounter with the bard

stranded conference on female

a drama-documentary for radio

himself). The latter has been

genital mutilation (FGM), a

called ‘Why?’

nominated for the ‘Best School

culturally specific example of violence against women and girls (VAWG). Over 60 young people are organising and hosting the conference at Bristol University’s School of Chemistry on Saturday 14th July. The three strands are aimed at

In preparing for the conference, those involved will work together to fully explore the complexities of the issue. The young people are being mentored by professionals and university students and supported by Integrate Bristol. They are

very different audiences:

learning new, transferable skills

Strand one

work collaboratively to plan and

and gaining confidence as they

Medical Clinicians, Midwives,

research for their most ambitious

Nurses and Medical Students.

project yet.

Strand two

Integrate Bristol’s previous

Policy Makers, Educationalists, Close Protection Officers and the Police.

Production’ award at the Limelight Festival this June. ‘Islam Ain’t that Scary’ saw two young Muslim men from Bristol investigate whether Islamopohia exists in the city and was intended as a follow-up to the BBC’s Panorama documentary ‘Hate on the Doorstep’. The ‘urban’-style documentary was a finalist in the Asian London Film Festival this year and has also been nominated for an award at the Limelight Festival.

projects include the short films: ‘Shakespeare’s Mobile’ (an educational film made by a group of EAL (English as an

For more details visit:

Strand three

Additional Language) students


Young people.

from Whitehall Primary School)


July / August / September 2012  Issue 17

Voice and Influence

Children and Families Bill The planned Children and Families Bill is expected to be introduced early in 2013. The main elements of the Bill include the following changes: Special Education Needs (SEN)

Family Law

For more information visit:

• Replacing SEN statements and

• Speeding up care proceedings

Learning Difficulty Assessments

in family courts by allowing the

(for 16 to 25 year-olds) with a

judge to set the length and

single, simpler 0-25 assessment

renewal requirements of interim

process and Education, Health

orders for a period which they

and Care Plan from 2014.

consider appropriate.

• Providing statutory protections

• Requiring parents to consider

similar to those currently

mediation as a means of settling

associated with a statement of

a dispute.

Further resources:

SEN to people up to the age of 25 in further education (not

Shared Parenting

cutting off at 16).

• Strengthening the law to

• Requiring local authorities to

ensure children have a

publish a local offer showing

relationship with both their

the support available to

parents after family separation

disabled children and young

(where it is safe and deemed in

people and those with SEN and

the child’s best interests).

their families. • Giving parents or young people

• More flexible parental leave provisions.

with education, health and care plans the right to a personal

Office of the Children’s

budget for their support.

Commissioner: • Strengthening and widening

SEN reforms for 30 years are set out in the Support and Aspiration Green Paper (published and consulted in March 2011). Adoption – see Action Plan for Adoption: Family Law: the Government’s response to the independent Family Justice Review:

adoption process; not hunting

out assessments of the impact

for a perfect match if there

of new policies and legislation

Flexible Parental Leave and Flexible Leave: the Government published consultation on modern workplaces (May 2011):

are suitable adopters available.

on children’s rights and to hold

Office of the Children’s

The ethnicity of a child and

the government to account.

Commissioner: Dr John Dunford published an independent review of Commissioner’s work (December 2010):


the Commissioner’s remit by

• Cutting down on delays in the

granting new powers to carry

prospective adopters will come second, in most cases, to the speed of placing a child in a permanent home.

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012


‘Looking Back, Looking Forwards’ — BME Voice and Influence in Bristol Following the event held for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Voluntary and Community Sector groups in June 2011, Voscur collaborated with Bristol City Council (BCC) to explore new ways to ensure that people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds are able to influence decision makers in Bristol. Throughout Autumn 2011,

What has been the most

councillors but it was a challenge

Skyers-Morris Consultants were

effective way of listening to

to fully utilise this. We have not

commissioned to research

and enabling the voices of BME

seen vast changes in policy or the

different Voice and Influence

communities to be heard?

strengthening of race equality

(V&I) models. In light of their

CW: Our commissioners were

practices. This has created apathy;

recommendations, Voscur and

from the communities they

people have asked ‘what’s the

BCC are committed to developing

represented. For instance,

point of having a voice because

a new way of working to enable

we had representatives from

nothing gets done?’ This is an

effective and purposeful BME

the Black Police Association;

ongoing challenge to be

Voice and Influence.

UWE’s ‘Aim Higher’ project that


Voscur talked to two people who

focuses on the attainment of

managed structures enabling BME Voice and Influence within Bristol City Council: the Bristol Legacy Commission and the Bristol Race Forum. We asked them what we can learn from these two Council initiatives, which have now come to an end.

Black individuals; the NHS Race Equality Service, faith groups, anti-trafficking campaigners, BME elders, Paul Stephenson (a successful activist and campaigner) and politicians from the 3 main political parties, each representing the diverse voices

What have been the most lasting areas of work, or work that will be taken forward by public or other agencies? CW: A number of areas of work are proving to have a lasting legacy. A key one is the Bristol Education Attainment

of their local constituents.

Partnership which involves

Cherene Whitfield (CW),

SN: An area of strength has been community engagement and

professionals (including head

Project Manager, Bristol Legacy Commission (BLC)

bringing people together, but the

established 4 years ago until

BRF’s voice carried less weight

its closure in March 2012.

because it did not employ a range of forms of engagement and

Simon Nelson (SN), Manager, Bristol Race Forum (BRF) which closed in January 2012 after 15 years of existence.


lacked thinking around how to communicate which meant it did not work to the best of its ability.

BCC and Black attainment teachers and college principals) in devising a plan to improve attainment of under achieving BME groups. This ongoing work is now carried out within BCC’s education department. The BLC has employed a Community Development and Support worker

Being seated in the Council House

through LinkAge to encourage

gave the BRF access to individual

empowerment and sustainability

July / August / September 2012  Issue 17

Voice and Influence The challenge is equipping agencies to be better able to meet BME needs, paired with actions enabling BME communities to improve how they articulate their needs. Photo by Marc Wathieu

Cherene Whitfield, Project Manager, Bristol Legacy Commission

of BME elders’ groups in the

communities won’t lose out in

voices and the concerns of BME

Lawrence Hill and Ashley wards and

the commissioning of services.

communities being heard?

Services should be designed

The race equality agenda of

to meet all needs; we need to

the 1970/80s has changed; the

move away from creating

challenge is for all agencies

SN: The BRF developed over its

specific spin-off services for

to understand where the new

history and its work will feed into

BME communities. Therefore

equality agenda of the 21st

this exciting phase of BME voice

the challenge is equipping

century is going; this has to be

and influence. We need to identify

agencies to be better able to

reflected in any model of BME

how we ensure that voices are

meet BME needs, paired with

voice and influence.

being heard in an ever changing

actions enabling BME communities

arena of equality. We need to

to improve how they articulate

ensure that all agencies have

their needs.

has funded the Ethical Property Foundation to provide support for BME groups to manage properties.

knowledge and skills to promote race equality. These are challenges to address. What do you feel are the most pressing issues to address in this new phase of BME voice and influence? CW: We need to address the apathy that exists in terms of political engagement – though I

Any new model should strive to ensure BME communities can feel part of Bristol in the way that City of Sanctuary has achieved. Some of the above proposals can help to achieve this and reduce the need for separatist initiatives. That being said, I do realise there is a need for specialist services to provide for niche requirements.

am aware this is not just an issue

SN: We need to address race

for BME communities. There

inequality in the face of current

is a need to guarantee that

austerity plans and the impact

For more information,

BME communities, individuals

these are having on BME

please contact

and groups have fair access

communities, for example health

Ruth Pitter on

to opportunities available,

and wealth being interlinked;

0117 909 9949 or e-mail:

for instance, ensuring that

what impact will this have on BME

Issue 17  July / August / September 2012


Voscur Ltd. Royal Oak House Royal Oak Avenue Bristol  BS1 4GB

Tel: 0117 909 9949 Fax: 0117 933 0501 Email: Web:

Training & Events Diary July-October 2012 July 2012 Date 2nd

Time 6pm-8:30pm

Event Trustee Network: Practical Responses to Change

Location Barton Hill Settlement



Using Proactis Plaza (formerly known as Bristol e-Procurement System – BePS)

Knowle West Media Centre



Developing a Business Plan

The Federation of City Farms



Health & Social Care Network Meeting

Southville Centre



Finance Forum

Black Development Agency



Recruitment of Volunteers

The Gatehouse Centre



Voscur Extraordinary General Meeting

St Werburghs Centre

16th-18th 9:30am-4pm

Managing for Managers

Easton Business Centre


Briefing and Open Space Discussion on Community Right to Bid (Assets of Community Value).

Unitarian Chapel, Brunswick Square

Location Barton Hill Settlement


September 2012 Date 6th

Time 9.30am-4:30pm

Event Every Business Matters (NAVCA)



Funding Applications – Getting it Right! Windmill Hill City Farm



Neighbourhoods and Communities Network Meeting




Voscur AGM

M Shed

October 2012 Date 1st

Time 9:30am-3:30pm

Event Building Effective Partnerships with Businesses

Location Arnos Vale



Trustee Series 1: Why am I on the Committee?

Barton Hill Settlement



Using Proactis Plaza (formerly known as Knowle West Media Centre Bristol e-Procurement System – BePS)



Children & Young Peoples Network Meeting

Barton Hill Settlement



Retention & Support of Volunteers

Greenway Centre



Making the Most of the Media

Withywood Centre



Ten Steps to the Perfect Tender

Gatehouse Centre



Trustee Series 2 – Good Governance, How to be a Better Trustee

Barton Hill Settlement

For details of all the above training and events visit: Company limited by guarantee registered in England no. 3918210 Printed on 100% recycled paper using vegetable based inks

Thrive! Issue 17  

Voscurs quarterly magazine

Thrive! Issue 17  

Voscurs quarterly magazine