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Supporting voluntary and community action

April / May / June 2014

In this issue: Healthy workplaces Celebrating volunteers Bristol Ageing Better Bristol’s fight against food poverty A look at crowdfunding Upcoming training The Care Bill explained and more...

Pictured: Shana and Mike B, participants from a Ujima Radio youth project, who now produce their own show ‘Temple of Bass’. Ever considered using community radio to promote your work and activities? Read more on p24-25.

Contents Voscur


What is financial sustainability?

3 Editorial

20-21 Power of the crowd - a look at crowdfunding


New members



Commissioning in Bristol - one year on and getting there


Do you have a healthy workplace?


Celebrate volunteers!


Bristol Ageing Better

26-27 Local ways to engage young people and reduce risky behaviours


Food for thought - fighting food poverty in Bristol

28-29 The Care Bill explained


Painting the town green

Support Hub 16-17

Support Hub training


Good governance: managing conflicts of interest

Ensure you have a happy, healthy team

Voice and Influence 24-25 Love is in the airwaves


Neighbourhood focus: Easton and Lawrence Hill


Women in Bristol politics

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 the views of Voscur. Publications, events and services mentioned in Thrive! are not necessarily endorsed by Voscur.


April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

Dear members and friends of the local voluntary and

to a number of our colleagues

community sector.

within Bristol City Council who

• Volunteer Bristol’s team and services are integrated and supported.

have long championed our sector. Many have gone above and beyond the call of duty and we would like to say thank you, and

Looking forward

wish you well in the future.

We were delighted that our

We said a heavy-hearted goodbye

intensive lobbying and influencing

to a stalwart of our sector and a

campaign in response to the

courageous champion of race and

Mayor’s proposed budget led to

social equality, Batook Pandya,

significant success. Not only were

who died in February. Batook was

a number of items reviewed or

an activist held in high esteem

reinstated, but we have begun

in the sector and across the city.

vital facilitation with some of

His passing is a sad loss to Bristol.

In December 2013, Voscur and

our members to consider new

We extend our commiserations

Volunteer Bristol announced that,

approaches involving collaboration

to Batook’s family and to our

after a lot of hard work behind the

and different ways of working.

friends at SARI, and will strive to

Wendy Stephenson, Voscur’s Chief Executive

Better together

scenes, the two organisations had merged.

Our work with partners in the West of England area to ensure that

honour Batook’s legacy – actively challenging discrimination and inequality wherever it may exist.

Two of Volunteer Bristol’s trustees

we have a voice within the Local

have joined Voscur’s board, adding

Enterprise Partnership is beginning

Best wishes,

their expertise and experience

to make an impact – look out for

to an already impressive mix of

Wendy Stephenson

more news later in the spring.

Chief Executive

people and talents.

From spring 2014 we will be

Earlier this year, our board spent

exploring new approaches to

time together reviewing and

social investment in community

planning. The board restated its

and neighbourhood organisations.

commitment to Bristol’s voluntary

This will begin with a major event

and community sector and agreed

in the refurbished Trinity Centre

priorities for the year.

and will lead to a series of related

These are to ensure that: • Voscur champions the sector

activities seeking to bring fresh impetus and new investment into our sector.

and demonstrates its impact and value to the city. • Voscur keeps its focus by responding to the needs

Goodbyes Reductions in public spending

Key to symbols Equalities Article Training Information & Resources Event

mean that we are saying goodbye

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014


New Voscur members Knightstone Housing Association

SKY-Taekwondo classes/sky-taekwondo

0845 872 9729

Trinity Community Gardens

DCF Premier Workshops

0117 935 1200

Bristol LETS

Dragonbird Theatre

0117 908 6824

Greville Smyth Community Bowls Club

Albanian Community Association

0117 963 1032

07810 637 284

Learning Partnership West 0117 987 3700

For more information on becoming a member of Voscur and the range of member benefits, visit www.voscur. org/about/joiningonline or call us on 0117 909 9949.

Khaas has received funding to continue its valuable work with the Carers Project, for a further five years. Khaas works with South Asian families who are carers for disabled children who are likely to be experiencing isolation. Facebook: khaas charity

0117 955 4070

Khaas is a registered charity No: 1109895. Company No: 5392624


April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

Commissioning in Bristol – one year on and getting there Many voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations are interested in and involved with the commissioning of public services; some have experienced barriers and challenges. Mark Hubbard, Compact Liaison Officer, updates on recent developments, plans and good practice. In February 2013, Voscur, Bristol City Council (BCC) and Bristol Compact held an event at the M Shed, entitled ‘VCS Experiences of Commissioning’. Attended by representatives of VCS organisations and commissioners, it led to a detailed and ambitious action plan to improve commissioning. Much has happened since then – some good progress has been made (see p7) yet many actions have stalled in the context of a new Mayor, public sector funding cuts, restructuring and job losses at BCC. We have been working with BCC to effect change but it is clear that VCS organisations continue to experience difficulties with commissioning. Some have been excluded from delivering public services to the detriment of their organisations and the communities they serve. To make sure that we continue to push this agenda, another event was held last month. Mayor Ferguson and Strategy Director for Neighbourhoods, Alison Comley, reiterated commitments to work with the VCS, updated on current challenges and committed to doing things differently.

“VCS organisations are vital to the health of the city. It’s also vital for the VCS and council to engage in a meaningful way. There are still lessons to be learnt.” George Ferguson Mayor of Bristol

Many issues were raised and suggestions made at the event (see bullet points below). There are also to be some policy developments that should contribute to positive changes in the city – some of these are described in the following bullet points. • Small organisations being excluded Small, local and equalities-led organisations have stated that the size of contracts being procured does not allow them to bid. There is a strong focus on minimising risk to the allocation of public funds and procurement is seen to deliver reduced risk. In the procurement context, it is apparent that track record and history of delivering do not equate to low risk. The Mayor

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, at the event

stated that, “We should invest in people [organisations] that have the record.” New EU procurement regulations place an onus on commissioners to explain reasons for not offering smaller contracts and lots. More overleaf...

#BristolCommissioning14: @GeorgeFergusonx “Let’s get rid of the idea that big is safe and small is risky”


also needs to be a cultural shift in the VCS’s understanding of commissioning being a replacement for grants. In viewing commissioning as a source of funds, many VCS organisations miss the opportunities to influence in the early stages and then do not see their place in bidding against plans that do not include their ideas. VCS organisations that have succeeded in commissioning have been closely involved throughout the process: inputting data and information about people’s needs; proposing solutions and the best outcomes; forming collaborations to bid for contracts.

A local representative from the VCS asks a question at the 2014 commissioning event

• Appropriate purchasing processes The key concepts of commissioning (defining level of need, securing solutions to meet need, and then monitoring effectiveness) are appropriate and sensible. However, the ways in which services are purchased can feel onerous and disproportionate. It appears that the default position in purchasing services is to apply EU procurement regulations and that commissioners do not always know that there are other options. For example: > It is possible for commissioners to seek three written quotes for services valued £15,000-100,000. The use of such an option would be proportionate and, notably, enable smaller organisations to deliver services in their communities. > A useful ‘funding method support tool’ is also available to commissioners – this has been used in Safer Bristol’s


commissioning process for Hate Crime Services. The tool enabled the commissioners’ decision to run a competitive grants process, rather than procurement – resulting in a VCS partnership led by SARI. • Ongoing learning Several organisations have expressed frustration at the apparent lack of ongoing learning – organisations experience issues, give feedback and then experience the same issues repeated in another commissioning process. This lack of overall learning is a major issue that needs to be addressed. As Alison Comley said, “How do we make best use of learning to make sure good things feed in and we don’t make the same mistakes?” • Advance information and cultural shift It was noted that VCS organisations benefit from advance notice so that they can form collaborations and prepare proposals in time. There

In addition to issues and concerns, there are examples of good practice in commissioning processes. Safer Bristol’s commissioning process for Hate Crime Services has won national recognition in a Compact Award for Advancing Equality. Over the coming months, we will work with BCC’s Strategic Leadership Team to help to ensure that the Mayor’s vision of small organisations delivering in their communities is shared by commissioners and procurement officers. We expect to agree a manifesto of commitments that complements the Bristol Compact. We will work with the Strategic Leadership Team to find solutions and to support Bristol’s valued small, local and equalitiesled organisations to engage with commissioning.

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

What’s changed in a year? Progress on the action plan from the February 2013 event: 1) A glossary of standard commissioning terms has been published: 2) BCC has published guidance ( for commissioners about facilitating TUPE in commissioning processes. Voscur has launched an HR and Employment Service: 3) Guidance has been published about commissioners’ expectations of provider organisations working together for grants ( yCsrYn) and procurement ( 4) Work to make a searchable website of BCC’s commissioning intentions is progressing. Further information on this was delayed during the Mayor’s Budget process and restructuring in BCC – it is due for publication. 5) We have been working with BCC to develop the city’s response to the Social Value Act. The draft policy is being linked with the Mayor’s Vision for Bristol and is due to be released for wider consultation. To see the detailed action plan and update on progress, visit:

BME organisations and commissioning Voscur, BCC’s BME Employees’ Group, Bristol BME Voice and Bristol Compact are working together to support BME organisations to influence and engage with commissioning. Participants in a recent event reported their exclusion from commissioning processes and the lack of consideration given to equalities organisations. Organisations are being supported to work together to influence the agenda (to include BME organisations), and get ready for collaborating to deliver services. Read more online:

For more information about Voscur’s work on commissioning, including a report of the recent event and a case study about the commissioning process for Hate Crime Services, visit: For commissioning-related resources, visit: keywords/commissioning

Live-in House Parent Role Unseen is seeking a ‘one in a million’ couple with bottomless hearts and a real passion for parenting, to become an integral part of our new project to provide the first specialist accommodation and care service for trafficked children in the UK. This couple must be in a position to move into our family house for a one-year period. Duties include: the domestic running of the household; creation of a safe, loving and familial environment; advocacy, empowerment of education and life-skills and organisation of fun evening and weekend activities. You’ll work in close partnership with an experienced team of professionals and receive training, salary, regular time-off and continual support. For more information, email - application deadline is early May 2014.

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014


Do you have a healthy workplace? Liz McDougall, Health Improvement Coordinator at Bristol City Council, explains why it is important to have a healthy, productive workplace and introduces the Bristol Workplace Wellbeing Charter, a new initiative that organisations can work towards with support from Bristol City Council. Approximately one third of adult life is spent at work. Work is an important element in many people’s lives. It not only generates income but can also

• Drink or smoke more than is good for them.

Sickness absence costs the Bristol economy about

• Find juggling work and family life hard.

£240 million

provide a sense of purpose and

It is in everyone’s interests to

satisfaction. That sort of work

do something about this, and

is known to be good for mental

it makes good economic and

and physical health. The opposite

business sense. Healthy workplaces

is equally true. Jobs that are

are productive workplaces.

insecure, low paid and expose

Sickness absence costs the Bristol

staff to stress and danger are

economy about £240 million per

more likely to make people ill.

year. Stress and mental health

Given how much time most adults spend at work, it’s important for workplaces to promote good

per year.

and mental health. It is suitable for organisations of any size, in any sector. It is run by Bristol City Council and it is free. The

are now the single biggest

Workplace Wellbeing Team can

contributors to sickness absence

provide advice on how to go

and this continues to rise.

about meeting the standards,

health. Research shows that many

So, what can we do about it?

provide ideas and suggestions for

working adults:

The Bristol Workplace Wellbeing

how to achieve them and signpost

Charter is a new initiative,

to sources of additional help

designed to help make workplaces

and information. Participating

• Do not take enough exercise.


organisations are accredited and

• Do not take breaks while they

The Charter contains eight

certificated in recognition of the

• Are overweight or obese.

are at work. • Do not eat healthily while at work. • Have rising levels of stress and anxiety.


standards which organisations

progress they’ve made.

can work towards at their own

A wide range of Bristol

pace. These are: leadership,

organisations in the voluntary,

attendance management, health

public and private sectors

and safety, smoking, alcohol,

(including Voscur) have made a

healthy eating, physical activity

commitment to the Charter.

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

For more information, visit: uk/wellbeingcharter For an information pack, email wellbeing.charter@ or call 0117 922 4789. Wellspring’s website: Mike Brown, a Wellspring member of staff, doing some gardening at the Centre.

Wellspring Healthy Living Centre Wellspring Healthy Living Centre is one of

or where to get support, and accreditation at the

the Charter’s success stories. Ian Lawry,

end to demonstrate to staff, trustees and funders

Chief Executive, explains why Wellspring got

that we are making real progress.

involved: Wellspring Healthy Living Centre was founded in 2004 by a group of local residents and is a community-run charity based in inner city Bristol

Did it work? • Our sick leave has reduced by a third. • Service users are benefiting as we now deliver

serving one of the most vibrant but deprived

more services and activities with the same

communities in England.

level of staffing.

Wellspring got involved for a number of reasons:

• Staff morale has improved.

• Our mission is to improve the health and

• Our costs have gone down because we do not

wellbeing of inner city residents and therefore

have to pay for temporary staff to provide

it built on our organisational values to do this


while looking after the health and wellbeing of our staff. • Our staff sick leave was higher than we would

• The award has brought public recognition; achieving it has enhanced our reputation as a good employer and demonstrates our

have liked, which was causing some services

commitment to our partners, funders and

and events to be cancelled and putting a


strain on the staff providing cover (as well as those who were off sick).

Wellspring Healthy Living Centre has found the Workplace Wellbeing Charter very beneficial

We had been trying to reduce our sickness

and worthwhile. We would not hesitate in

absence before we heard about the Charter. It

recommending other organisations to spend the

immediately appealed to us because it gave us a

time to get the accreditation.

framework to work with, examples of things to do

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014


Celebrate volunteers! Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) is a national celebration to recognise the contribution of millions of people who give their time to helping others. It’s a chance to thank and reward your volunteers, put on socials or awards for them and let the rest of your organisation know how essential they are to the services you provide. Volunteer Bristol (now merged with Voscur) has been offering a range of services to volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations for over 40 years. Dealing with over 15,000 enquiries about volunteering every year and offering over 600 volunteering opportunities for around 400 voluntary and community organisations across Bristol, they have many success stories to share to celebrate Volunteers’ Week. Elizabet’s story is just one...

For ideas of ways to thank your volunteers: For more information about Volunteer Bristol’s services, visit:


Elizabet’s volunteering story Spanish-born Elizabet has found volunteering to be a brilliant way to boost her career and improve her English. With a degree in fine art from Madrid and a passion for teaching, learning English was the hurdle between her and her dream job in Bristol. Regardless of all her dedication and numerous evening classes, the language barrier was making it hard to find employment. Encouraged to volunteer by a careers advisor, she took action and found Volunteer Bristol. She was given information on a number of volunteer roles and was quickly hooked by the Bristol Children’s Playhouse - a charity located in Greenbank, which offers pre-school activities and a drop-in centre for local families. She has been volunteering there for over six months now and it has become an integral part of her life. For Elizabet, supporting the local community at the Bristol Children’s Playhouse has meant an opportunity to increase her skills whilst using her qualification practically. The past six months have seen a dramatic improvement to her English and the initial communication challenges and the struggle creating connections with the families have been overcome. She now feels an overwhelming sense of gratification and joy when the children seek her out to play and tell them stories. Overall, volunteering has introduced Elizabet to new people, integrated her into a local community and inspired her to continue with a career in care work.

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

Photo provided by Age UK Bristol

Bristol Ageing Better (BAB) is a collective of organisations and individuals working together to reduce isolation and loneliness amongst older people in Bristol. Ruth Richardson, BAB Programme Manager, tells us more about the project... Loneliness is the distressing feeling that people experience when they have less contact with other people or weaker friendships than they would like. It is estimated that there are between 6,000 and 11,000 older people in Bristol who feel lonely a great deal of the time. Studies have shown that loneliness in later life is as detrimental to health as obesity or smoking. In February 2013, the Big Lottery Fund invited 100 local authorities to submit an expression of interest to the Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better programme. Bristol was one of 32 areas shortlisted and Voscur facilitated the selection of the lead agency in the city, Age UK Bristol.

A bid will be submitted to the Big Lottery Fund in April 2014 for £2m6m for projects lasting 3-6 years, aimed at tackling isolation and loneliness in later life. There are over 100 voluntary, statutory and private organisations involved in the BAB partnership, including many small VCS organisations. Contributions from the private sector have included logo design by Bristol-based Aardman Animations. Throughout February and March 2014, the BAB partnership consulted widely with older people to gather their views on loneliness, and what they thought were the best ways of stopping people getting lonely. A focus group of older people made contact with other areas in England who had success addressing these issues, including visiting the Wayfinders project in Dorset and a teleconference with older people in Manchester (Britain’s first ‘age friendly city’).

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014

All of the information gathered was presented to 100 BAB partners and older people during a conference in March, and the priorities for tackling loneliness in Bristol were discussed and decided. This information helped BAB to write a vision and strategy that will be submitted to the Big Lottery Fund in April. Bristol will be notified in July 2014 if it is one of the 15-20 areas selected to receive funding. In the event of Bristol being unsuccessful in its application, the BAB partnership is determined to continue to bring organisations and individuals together to prevent and reduce loneliness and improve the existing services for older people in Bristol.

To find out more, visit: or follow them on twitter: @BabBristol


Food for thought -

fighting food poverty in Bristol Bristol, like many other UK cities, has experienced an unprecedented rise in the number of people needing emergency food from foodbanks over the past year. More than 3,100 people received a three-day aid package from one of the three Bristol-based foodbanks between April and September 2013. Find out how you can help to ensure that those most in need get the relevant help. The 5k

Partnership was

and Wiltshire. FareShare collects

our volunteers. We work with

founded to ensure that all of the

and distributes around 40 tonnes

around 45 volunteers each week,

activity around food poverty in

of surplus food every month. This

many of whom are or have

Bristol is effectively coordinated.

is all perfectly fit to eat but would

been vulnerable, and we offer

The Partnership is an umbrella

otherwise end up as waste due to

support, as well as training and

organisation built on the principle

reasons like barcodes not working

accreditation, to help them move

of cooperation. It provides a

or out-of-date promotions. Forty

on with their lives. If anyone

context for existing organisations

tonnes of food is equivalent to

knows of organisations that can

to improve support for some

over 95,000 meals and a saving

benefit from our food, please get

of the most vulnerable people

of 180 tonnes of CO2 (if this food

in touch. Equally, if anyone knows

in the city. 5K members include

was sent to landfill). FareShare

of potential food partners then

FareShare South West, The Trussell

has established relationships with

please let us know.”

Trust and a number of faith-based

most of the major food retailers


and manufacturers, either on

Andy Street, 5K’s Chair, said: “Each of the member organisations is already making a major impact, but we hope that by working cooperatively, we will be able to do much more to combat poverty in this city.”

FareShare South West has been operating in and around Bristol for just over six years. Every week, it delivers food to over 120 charities and organisations working with disadvantaged people from all walks of life within Bristol, Bath, Somerset, Gloucester


a national or regional basis, and is therefore able to access significant quantities of food that can then be distributed to those in need. FareShare is also working with all the foodbanks across the city, and providing food on a regular basis.

The Trussell Trust operates the largest and fastest-growing foodbank network across the UK. It has over 400 operational food banks, and in 2012-13 it provided food to nearly 350,000 people – almost triple the number for the previous year. Currently there are three Trussell Trust foodbanks operating within Bristol (East,

Jacqui Reeves, CEO of FareShare

North and North West). People in

South West, said: “The need

need are issued with a voucher

for food across the South

that can be redeemed for food

West has grown massively and

at one of the foodbanks. The

we see this continuing. We

aim is to meet emergency need,

would not operate without the

providing families and individuals

dedication and commitment of

with food for at least three days.

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

Photo by Alameda County Community Food Bank CC BY-ND 2.0

Over 90 per cent of food given

established relationships with

out is donated by members of the

some national supermarkets who

public. Food donations are given

now ‘top up’ the donations made

by individuals, schools, businesses,

by their shoppers by 30 per cent.

Some facts about our foodbanks:

The system relies on voluntary and

Between April and

community sector organisations

September 2013,

and frontline care professionals

people used Bristol

across the city who identify

foodbanks. Over a third –

churches and other community organisations. Since March 2011 the three Bristol foodbanks have provided food to over 12,100 adults and children. According to the Trussell Trust, that number has risen from 1,700 in the equivalent period in 2012. People donate non-perishable, in-date food to the foodbank so that volunteers can put together nutritionally balanced food parcels as designed by dieticians.

people in need and issue them with a foodbank voucher.


1,383 – were children.

Foodbank clients then bring their

North Bristol foodbank

voucher to a foodbank centre

saw the biggest increase in

where it can be redeemed for

footfall, up from 68 in 2012

three days’ emergency food. Longer-term support is also provided where the need is


1,124 in the equivalent

six-month period in 2013.

greatest. Volunteers are able to

Huge numbers of people also

Supermarket collections are one

signpost people to agencies able

visited Bristol’s North West

of the main ways that food is

to address longer-term issues.

foodbank, which saw the

donated: these are food drives

number of people it helped

held at supermarkets where

increase from 962 to

volunteers give shoppers a ‘foodbank shopping list’ and

If you would like to

ask them to buy an extra item

find out more about

or two for local people in crisis.

the 5K Partnership, or

Volunteers sort food to check that

make contact with any of the

it is in date, and ‘bank it’ ready

organisations involved, visit:

to be given to people in need.


during the space of a year. East Bristol foodbank helped

999 people, compared to 714 people during the same period in 2012.

The Trussell Trust has recently

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014


Painting the town green In 2015, Bristol will become the Green Capital of Europe. This historic opportunity will put our city on the world stage like never before. Whilst a huge amount of work is already taking place across Bristol to make it a fairer, greener, more sustainable city, there are many opportunities for local individuals and voluntary and community groups to get involved... The European Green Capital

community leaders and

Award was set up to reward cities


achieving high environmental

groups. Bristol

standards, and to encourage them


to commit to further improvement

that only with

vision within

and high-quality sustainable

these two

their area of

development. Bristol, with its

forces working


history of grassroots environmental


activism and its thriving eco-

would the city

technology sector, is the first city in

be a beacon of

the UK to have won it.

sustainability to the UK,

Working with Bristol City Council, the Green Capital Partnership produced a bid that captured the imagination of the European

Europe and the world.

The Green Capital Partnership

judges with its emphasis on

The Bristol Green Capital

learning, innovation and leadership.

Partnership is a network of

Crucially, the judges were impressed

businesses, voluntary groups, community organisations and

member organisations and individuals tasked with establishing a

and creating a network for support and collaboration to deliver it. Some of these action groups are topic based (e.g. water, transport), and drive forward change and improvement in their area. Other groups have cross-cutting roles to support and enable the Partnership itself (e.g. communications, inclusion, etc.).

with Bristol’s

social enterprises, which has been

particular style

working for almost a decade to

of leadership:

make Bristol a low-carbon city with

a strong

a high quality of life for all.

a new platform to ensure wider

Action groups

the city, which will continue and

top-down commitment to sustainability from a directly elected Mayor, in addition to work with local


In the run-up to 2015, the Partnership has established a series of action groups – groups of

These groups will use Bristol’s year as European Green Capital as participation in green activities in intensify well beyond 2015. A full list of these groups is available from

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

Why should you get involved? Voluntary Sector groups will be a key part of Bristol Green Capital 2015. Any group committed to

volunteering is happening, because

Bristol’s ‘green credentials’ and

working together and sharing

promote cooperation in the run-

resources, will do so much more to

up to the year of celebration

achieve that vision.

which aims to promote new green

As part of its commitment to support activity in the run-

a vision of a fairer,

up to the beginning

more sustainable,

of Bristol’s term as

greener Bristol has a part to play.

European Green

There is no part

Capital and Big Green

of the city where

Week 2014, Voscur will be working with the

green volunteering

sector and partners to

isn’t going on.

host an event on 12 June in

There is amazing

central Bristol.

work being done in our neighbourhoods, in our schools and on our streets by hardworking volunteers who give their time and energy because they believe in what they’re doing.

In addition to providing a showcase for the tremendous range of work around sustainability that is being done across the city by voluntary and community groups, the event will also provide a valuable

and communities across the city. To book your place visit: bYFVNB

How your organisation can get involved • Sign the Green Capital Pledge at www. contact/pledge • Join a Green Capital Partnership Action Group (contact details available at: www.

The Green Capital Partnership

opportunity to engage with key

is determined that Bristol’s

issues and network with those

to the West of England

time as European Green Capital

involved in the Green Capital

Carbon Challenge at:

should belong to the whole city.

working groups, such as those


The partnership wants to reach

focusing on food and the new

out to the neighbourhoods

economy. The event promises to


and communities where green

be an opportunity to celebrate

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014

• Sign your organisation up

Balloon image taken from a photo by Rognonton CC BY 2.0

parks and green spaces, in our

initiatives and practices to people


Support Hub training Business Planning

Good Practice in Social Media

Wednesday 2 April 2014, 9:30am - 1pm

Thursday 15 May 2014, 9:30am - 1pm

Many organisations know they have to change the way they are funded but are stumped when it comes to making it happen. This is where planning comes in. This session will go through the principles and practice of making a solid business plan. It will give you the tools to begin your own specific plan and show you some templates and examples to get you started.

This interactive workshop will encourage you to reflect on the kind of things you share – updates, chitchat, sales pitches – and help you avoid some of the common pitfalls. As well as providing some guiding principles, you will be given examples of how enjoyable and productive using social media can be.

Developing a Fundraising Strategy

Minute Taking for Administrators

Thursday 24 April 2014, 9:30am - 3:30pm

Wednesday 21 May and Wednesday 4 June 2014, 9:30am - 1pm (course over two half-day sessions)

Not sure where to go next with fundraising or feeling like it is a lot of work for little gain? If so, this course is for you. It introduces fundraising strategies and explains why they are useful, looks at external challenges and opportunities and starts to think about a variety of funding sources.

All organisations need minutes. They are essential if teams, committees and boards are to have a clear record of the decisions made and the actions required. Whether you minute the occasional team meeting or more formal meetings, the aim of this course is to provide you with the tools to minute with confidence.

Recruiting Volunteers

Being a Good Trustee

Tuesday 6 May 2014, 9:30am – 3:30pm

Thursday 22 May 2014, 6:30pm - 9:30pm

The session will cover volunteer motivation; barriers to volunteering; recruitment techniques and processes; developing adverts for volunteer roles; and action planning. This session will be run by Voscur and Volunteer Bristol.

Governance has never been more crucial, and in challenging times a strong board is increasingly essential to survive and thrive. This course clearly sets out trustee roles and responsibilities, and suggests a range of tools to help ensure your board learns and leads (rather than impedes) your organisation’s impact.

Supervising and Supporting the Wellbeing of your Staff Thursday 8 May 2014, 9:30am - 1pm This course offers participants opportunities to explore and understand the potential to improve the supervision and supportive frameworks within their organisation/workplace.

Volunteer Organisers’ Forum (Volunteer Bristol members)

Monday 12 May 2014, 9:30am - 12pm

Preventing Injury to Children and Young People Wednesday 4 June 2014, 1pm - 4pm With around 13,500 preventable childhood injuries being treated by emergency departments in Bristol every year, this is a big issue for families and those who work with them. Get the most up-to-date knowledge about serious childhood injury and how to prevent it in the course of your work. This session includes the chance to visit the Lifeskills entre.

A chance for volunteer managers to meet up to discuss volunteer management issues and share good practice.


April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

Train the Trainer

Being an Even Better Trustee

Tuesday 10 - Wednesday 11 June 2014, 9:30am 3:30pm

Thursday 26 June 2014, 6:30pm - 9:30pm

This two-day course is for those who deliver training within their organisations and whilst not having a training qualification, want to improve skills and techniques. It will guide you through the principles of training and provide you with tools and resources for making your training more engaging and interactive.

Focused on governance, managing risk, effective meetings and how to make the most of the skills in your trustee team, this course is designed to support your development beyond the basics of being on a board. A natural follow-on for people who have previously attended ‘Being a Good Trustee’ or have some trustee experience.

Lunchtime training: Mind the Gap: Fill in the Gaps in your Organisation’s Knowledge 2. Outcomes, what are they? Wednesday 21 May 2014, 12pm - 2pm This session will explain not only what outcomes are, but why they are important. It will help you to decide on outcomes which will meet the needs of your communities and will inspire funders. It’s all about the difference which your projects make.

Struggle to find time for training? Gaps in your team’s knowledge? These lunchtime sessions, which we deliver in our training room at Royal Oak House, are designed to be flexible. You can come to one, two, three or all four sessions – and bring your lunch if you wish.

Photo by Rubbermaid Products

1. Events Planning and Management, Tuesday 29 April 2014, 12pm - 2pm This session will provide you with a framework for ensuring that your events are well planned and successful. Voscur will share ideas and tips, based on its experience of planning and managing great events.

3. Introducing your organisation to Twitter Tuesday 24 June 2014, 12pm - 2pm Do you feel as if the whole world is tweeting and you are being left behind? Are you nervous about giving it a try? Come and find out what it’s all about. You don’t need a smartphone for this session, but if you have one, please bring it with you. 4. Creative and Effective Team Meetings Thursday 17 July 2014, 12pm - 2pm What do you get out of team meetings? Are they boring and unfocused, or creative and inspiring? This session will explore how you can use creativity to make meetings more effective.

‘Early Bird’ rates available for four weeks before the day of the training. To book or to find out more, please go to: Alternatively, you can call us on 0117 909 9949.

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014


Good governance: managing conflicts of interest Jane wanted to join the board of

Trustees pointed out that it is

conflicts of interest. Until that

a community transport charity

not surprising that conflicts of

time, the Charity Commission

- however, she also managed a

interest arise when some people

website provides a range of

garage specialising in servicing and

are trustees of more than one

resources to help you identify,

repairing small vans and buses.

charity and have many interests.

prevent and manage conflict-

During talks with the chair of the

Some are consultants, some run

of-interest situations, including

charity to discuss the roles and

businesses or work for other

writing a policy, keeping a register

responsibilities of a trustee Jane

charities; some have extensive

and guidance on gifts to trustees

declared her *interest*. It was

links in local communities. Indeed,

(see link in box below).

agreed that she could make a

these are the kind of dynamic

huge contribution to the board

individuals that bring useful skills

and that she would absent herself

and experience to boards.

from all decisions relating to the

Paula Cannings, who runs Voscur’s popular trustee network and trustee training, said: “Conflict

Conflicts of interest arise when

of interest is a topic that often

there is the possibility of board

comes up. Voscur’s network

members (or their families,

and training sessions provide a

friends, businesses) benefiting

great place for trustees to share

from a board decision. Conflicts of

experience and learn from each

“A conflict of interest is any

loyalty can occur when a trustee’s

other. We also provide resources

situation in which a trustee’s

friend is employed by the charity,

and expert advice on this and a

personal interests or loyalties

for example.

range of other topics that trustees

repair and servicing of vehicles. This is a great example of a conflict of interest and how it should be dealt with…

could, or could be seen to, prevent them from making a decision solely in the interests of the charity,” says Nick Mott, Head of Policy Development, Guidance and Review at the Charity Commission. Ninety eight people attended an event organised by Voscur in partnership with the Charity Commission in Bristol earlier this year. Conflict of interest was high on the agenda. Half of the trustees present said that they had

interest can be devastating for organisations. Handled well, these demonstrate that the organisation has integrity and is focused on its mission (that is, it is putting its beneficiaries’ interests first). It is important that charities identify any potential conflict, put in measures to prevent it happening, and record any action taken.

dealt with conflicts of interest on

The Charity Commission will soon

their boards.

be issuing new guidance on


grapple with. Come and join us!”

Handled poorly, conflicts of

Voscur is running some training sessions for Trustees on 22 May and 26 June, see p16-17. Next trustee network meeting: 15 July 2014, visit: www. For Charity Commission guidance on conflicts of interest, visit:

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

What is financial sustainability? Steve Sayers, Chief Executive at Windmill Hill City Farm, shares his view and experience around how best to make our services financially sustainable in a time of growing demand and shrinking funds... Anyone in the voluntary sector who has ever submitted a grant application will be familiar with the question ‘how will your project become financially sustainable?’ It’s a difficult question to answer, especially as our services are often for people who can’t afford to pay us directly for support – that’s usually the reason we’ve applied for grant funding in the first place. Most people would agree that as the ‘age of austerity’ starts to really bite, demand for voluntary and community services is growing at the same time that government provision is being cut. From a purely business perspective, greater demand for our services should be a good thing, but we’re not in this to profit from people’s misfortune and without adequate funding for these services, this demand goes unmet. Austerity and the trend towards procuring rather than commissioning services are challenging the relationship between the voluntary sector and local authorities. We are encouraged to bid for contracts and local authorities can safely rely on voluntary sector

Two of the locals at Windmill Hill City Farm

organisations to deliver services; however, I would argue that organisations should not become reliant on local authorities for survival. Organisations that don’t win bids find greater competition for charitable or earned income to survive. So to my view on being financially sustainable as an organisation (at the risk of teaching grandma to suck eggs). First, voluntary sector organisations need focus and selfdetermination. We need to know what we’re about and why we exist to avoid just chasing money to survive. We need to make the case for addressing a social need, probably in terms of investment and return

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014

rather than in terms of helping ‘the needy’. We then need to be able to prove we can address the need effectively – evidence and accountability are today’s watchwords. For the City Farm, financial sustainability is the ability to adapt and respond, to balance earned income with grants and contracts. It’s a massive challenge, not just to find the funds (and to control the costs), but also to take hard decisions when familiar services have to end. We will never meet all the need we identify, but with a focused mission and a flexible approach we will improve the lives of those who most need it. More overleaf...


A Farm Tale - two examples from Windmill Hill City Farm When Bristol City Council put out its youth and play work to tender, it was immediately clear that the Farm’s adventure playground would be under threat. Despite attempts to build a consortium to bid for the contract, and efforts to include the service in the new commission, there came a point where we had to recognise it was going to close. Staff and service users were transferred into the care of the new provider (LPW) and the Farm was left with a set of structures too risky to open unsupervised (with no funds for supervision) and an indoor activity centre with little activity. Some negotiation with the local authority secured capital to redesign the outdoor space into one that is now a playful public space. For the most part it is enjoyed by all ages for free. It also has the capacity

to host closed sessions from which we can earn an income. For the indoor space we have attracted Pinnacle People (a social enterprise) as a full-time tenant, who are running training for unemployed people. A double win as the work is right on the button of our charitable aims – and we get a rent for their use of the space. To contact Steve Sayers, email or call 0117 963 3252. Find a range of resources around finance and fundraising on our resources hub at:

Photo by Incase CC BY 2.0

Power of the crowd From the interest at Voscur’s recent ‘Fund It!’ event, it is evident that crowdfunding is creating a buzz among voluntary and community sector (VCS) groups as a possible way of generating income from individuals who want to support their cause. Sponsorship by a large number of donors, each making a small individual donation, allows organisations or individuals to take their ideas forward and make them a reality with the power of


the crowd. Jonathan May from Hubbub, who brought his expertise to the crowdfunding workshop at our ‘Fund It!’ event, says, “We hope it stimulates you to think creatively about new ways to engage communities.” It may surprise you to find out that in 1997, the rock band Marillion crowdfunded the tour which promoted their seventh

album, raising $60,000 through the internet. This is believed to be the first online crowdfunded project. The first crowdfunding website appeared in 2001 and by 2012 there were 500 crowdfunding platforms online; 2012 marked a milestone with the first £1m crowdfunded project.

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

So, is crowdfunding for you? Indiegogo has compiled a list of mistakes to avoid:


According to Hubbub, there are four key stages to a crowdfunding project.

Crowdfunding is not winning the Lottery

• Preparation is the key to success. • Campaigns require effort and constant promotion.


Build your tribe: use your contacts, a blog, Facebook and Twitter.


Get excited! Set your fundraising target, post a video, decide on ‘rewards’ for your supporters.

• Make sure you have a plan before you start.


Setting a goal which is too high


• Crowdfunding is part of your fundraising strategy, not a magic bullet. • Use it to fund a specific project or activity.


Jumping the gun when marketing

• You have only one chance to make a first impression. • Timing is everything. • Your marketing schedule is key.


Dry, business-like pitch

• Tell a compelling story. • Personal touch, transparency. • Know your audience.


Ask for what you want: identify people who will be your first sponsors, use all your networks, contact people, use social media, get your project in the news, reach out to your local community, add updates to your crowdfunding site. Say “Thank you” (it might sound simple but it is very important!)

Useful links and resources: You can download a free Crowdfunding Handbook on the Hubbub website (just scroll down the page to find the link) account/create Crowdfunding: Kickstarter is aimed at creative projects: Indiegogo is ‘a welcoming, supportive community that embraces collaboration, fearlessness and authenticity.’ It has been helping people to raise funds since 2008: Fundsurfer is the ‘UK’s newest and most innovative crowdfunding platform.’ It is based in Bristol. This is not an exhaustive list, but if you take a look at these sites, you will get an idea of the types of projects which are looking for funding.

Voscur’s Support Hub supports voluntary and community sector organisations in a range of different areas – visit: or call 0117 909 9949 for more information.

• Use visuals.

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014


Ensure you have a happy, healthy team It seems we have been lamenting

devastating. If you do not know

This service is for local VCS

the ‘current economic climate’

where to start, Voscur can help.

organisations. Initial advice is

for some time. Yet the latest Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) research shows times are changing in the job market. “After years of labour market stagnation,” it states, “jobseeking intentions have reached a two-year high.” Talented people are changing jobs and how employers look after employees is in the spotlight, so management processes and progression opportunities will become even more

Unsure of which areas are the

Once your requirements and

most important to focus on, they

eligibility are established, we can

contacted us for advice.

offer information and support to

resources. Unsurprisingly, there are disproportionately more grievances and disputes in the VCS than any other sector, and the investment required to

resolve your issue and move your

“We have limited HR expertise

organisation forward.

internally,” they state. “The organisation may have to enter

Relevant issues include: advice

into a commissioning process in

regarding employment terms,

the next year, so we want to make

conditions and contracts; drafting

sure that we are ready for this.”

and maintaining a staff handbook;

requested advice about

that they are running on limited

is required.

policies may be out of date.


sector (VCS) organisations is

Voscur members if further advice

staff and is concerned that their

The organisation has initially

voluntary and community

a special rate is available for full

supporting has ten part-time

important factors for successful

The challenge for so many

free to eligible organisations and

One organisation we are currently

guidance about producing and updating policies and procedures; managing specific disciplinary

employment contracts and their

or grievance issues; consulting

staff handbook - common areas

staff and managing TUPE*

of concern for the VCS. Aware

transfers; and assistance with the

of this local need, Voscur, in

redundancy process.

partnership with Cornhill HR, provides tailored support about

In most cases, we provide

day-to-day HR management, so

enough advice in an initial hour of

is able to offer this group some

consultation for an organisation

specialist support.

to ‘get on with’ an issue; more complex issues may require

prioritise human resources (HR)

“We are really excited about this

management is often not readily

service,” they say. “We have been


struggling to provide good-quality

* TUPE: Transfer of Undertakings

HR support for our employees.

(Protection of Employment)

They deserve it, but we haven’t

Regulations 2006.

However, there is no denying that it is essential to get HR right as the cost of getting it wrong can be


further discussion.

been able to afford or justify the cost.”

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

Photo by peteself CC BY-SA 2.0

Good staff management - a current issue for many groups A report by consultancy firm Deloitte predicts that the most pressing HR issues facing organisations in 2014 will be providing leadership and holding on to talented staff who may be tempted to look for a new job. Here are some options for keeping your staff and volunteers motivated: • Give staff and volunteers opportunities to express their views and come up with creative ideas for the future. Be willing to make changes and keep staff updated on how their ideas are used. • Provide ways for staff to develop their careers within the organisation, so that they are less tempted to leave. This might include continuous learning, chances to take on more responsibility and apprenticeships. • Use staff appraisals and supervision meetings to focus on coaching and developing the skills of employees, as well as recognising and rewarding good work.

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014

• Ask staff what would help to motivate them in their roles. Consider reviewing the organisation’s management practices, working environments and staff benefits. • Communicate the vision and strategy of the organisation clearly to all staff and volunteers. If the trustee board and management provide clear leadership, then this will help staff to contribute more effectively and feel more secure in their roles.

For help with HR or employment issues, call Voscur on 0117 909 9949. For more resources on HR matters, visit our resources hub: www.supporthub.


Love is in the airwaves Do you listen to community radio? Have you even used it to promote the work of your group or organisation? It might be time to take a closer look...

Many of us will be familiar with the large, local radio stations, BBC Radio Bristol and Heart FM, but do we know about our local community radio stations, who have been producing communityfocused radio content for over ten years?

target community and show how they will benefit people within that community. This is usually achieved by training local people in broadcasting skills or helping local people and community groups spread the word about their work.

In Bristol, we are talking about BCfm 93.2FM and Ujima Radio CIC 98FM.

BCfm and Ujima Radio are committed to offering air time to communities and local VCS groups and collaborate on air through the recent Voscur award-winning “One Love Breakfast Show”.

Community radio can present a number of opportunities for the voluntary and community sector (VCS); indeed, the stations themselves have evolved out of the same successful community development model which has formed the foundations of many of the VCS organisations in our city. Community radio stations, all not-for-profit, can only obtain a community radio licence if they can demonstrate that they will meet the needs of a specified

Pat Hart, presenter of the One Love Breakfast Show, is passionate about the reasons why this needed to happen: “A shared breakfast show means a combined audience and increased reach for local community work and campaigns and general promotion,” he said. Rhiannon Evans from Victim Support was interviewed recently


and found it “offers an essential link to the local community which can’t be solely captured by the mainstream broadcasters”. Ujima Radio’s chair, Roger Griffith, added: “Our One Love stage at Bristol St Paul’s carnival last year attracted over 25,000 people for the majority of the day. It reflected both stations’ messages of celebrating diversity whilst also promoting unity and community cohesion across the city.” BCfm is a registered charity and carries out a range of charitable and community-orientated activity across the city. Over nine languages can be heard throughout the week, including broadcasts to local Somali, Polish and Spanish-speaking communities. BCfm was awarded the BME Community Award for improving people’s lives in 2013. Pat was delighted with this recognition for the station, which has been fighting injustice in the city since it began back in 2007. “We were honoured to receive this on behalf of all of those working voluntarily for community radio in Bristol,

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24 Photo by Cogdogblog CC BY-SA 2.0

volunteers whose enthusiasm and dedication keep them fresh and relevant. “It’s essential that we stay connected with our communities,” said Pat. ”It’s our lifeblood.”

Participants from a Ujima radio youth project, producing their own show

including our cousins at Ujima Radio,” he said when he collected the award. “The award means so much to us because it is from the people of Bristol.”

“Community radio offers an essential link to the local community which can’t be solely captured by the mainstream broadcasters.” Rhiannon Evans, Victim Support

Ujima Radio CIC, began life as a media training project and secured an OFCOM licence to broadcast in 2008. One of the key messages in Ujima’s vision is to showcase local talent, and raise awareness of issues and campaigns that support the local community. It offers a platform for black and minority

ethnic communities in Bristol in particular, but not exclusively. It provides news, current affairs, community campaigns and cultural discussion programmes, as well as music of African and African Caribbean origin. Ujima Radio is also a social enterprise or Community Interest Company (CIC) providing support and training in all aspects of media for disadvantaged young people and community members. One example of a recent project working with disadvantaged young is its ‘Dubplate to Dubstep’ project, a heritage media project with local young people creating two short films, three radio shows and an educational online resource. The project secured six young people further training at the BBC, two of whom were offered a long-term paid placement with BBC Bristol. Both BCfm and Ujima Radio are run almost exclusively by

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014

Edward Kellman of Nilaari (a community-based drug-treatment provider that administers accessible, high-quality and culturally appropriate counselling, advocacy and support, primarily to black, Asian and minority ethnic (BME) adults and young people) was on Ujima Radio recently talking about social value and procurement alongside representatives from the city council, Voscur and the Bristol Pound. “Community radio is a great opportunity to get our voices heard and hopefully make sure funding agencies and the local authorities take note of what we are saying,” said Edward. If you have a project or campaign that you would like to promote, why not contact BCfm and Ujima Radio? They are always on the hunt for local issues and content to broadcast - what have you got to lose?

Both stations broadcast on FM (BCfm at 93.2FM and Ujima Radio at 98FM) and online at www. and www. To get in touch and to submit your stories, contact both stations on their respective websites.


Local ways to engage young people and reduce risky behaviours Organisations can play an important role in the resilience and wellbeing of children and young people, by developing connectedness and sense of belonging. This can have a positive effect in reducing participation in risky behaviours such as substance misuse and crime. Risky behaviours (also referred

Behaviour through the Provision

activities. We asked Alistair Dale

to as ‘exploratory behaviours’

of Information” by the Centre

and Delroy Hibbert to tell us about

in the Chief Medical Officer’s

for Understanding Behavioural

their organisations; how they are

annual report 2012: “Our Children

Change, March 2013, shows that

engaging young people; how

Deserve Better: Prevention Pays”)

interactive activities are best at

they measure the impact of their

can be reduced if young people

changing behaviour.

work (particularly in relation to

can engage with organisations and interventions that increase their sense of belonging. The Department for Education’s report entitled “Reducing Risky

Local organisations Full Circle and Youth Moves deliver interventions in two different parts of Bristol, that help reduce risky behaviours and engage young people in

engagement and reducing risky behaviour); and how the delivery of Bristol Youth Links has changed the way they deliver services (if at all). Here is what they said:

Youth Moves Alistair Dale “Meet young people on their terms then build up a relationship with individuals and groups.”

Youth Moves is a youth work organisation based at The Park, Knowle West, providing direct services to young people aged 8-19 years old across South Bristol. We believe passionately in the power of youth work as an informal education tool which allows us to work with young people and help


them to develop personally and socially during the transition from childhood to adulthood. Our services include sports, music and environmental projects, alternative education programmes, youth and play sessions, and more targeted one-to-one or outreach services to engage harder-to-reach groups. We are always looking for innovative and creative ways to meet with new young people, particularly those who are hardest to engage. This has included developing our mentoring service through the Breakthrough programme, building a parkour facility and club, opening our music studio at The Park, and more. However, the best way is still to get qualified youth workers to interact directly with the young people, meet them on their terms on the (cont...)

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

streets/in youth provision/schools and then build up a relationship with individuals and groups.

attendance levels), the police (on levels of antisocial/criminal behaviour), and the community.

We measure the impact that we make in a variety of ways that include:

Our service has been operating for more than ten years and has a good reputation. The Bristol Youth Links commissioning process has meant that we no longer get local authority youth service funding. Luckily we have a very resourceful board of trustees and staff team. We have adapted, make more by trading our services, and have increased donations and grant funding to keep Youth Moves going. More

• Talking to the young people and getting their thoughts about their own personal journeys. • Staff evaluations of young people’s engagement levels. • Collecting testimonies and evidence from partners such as schools (on exclusion and

Full Circle Delroy Hibbert “The best way to measure success is by talking.”

We provide a range of activities for children and young people including a Girls Club for 7 – 13-yearolds, open access youth club (mixed) aged 13 – 19 years at Docklands Youth Centre in St Pauls, open access youth night for 7 – 13-year-olds (mixed) and a female-only night for over-13-year-olds at Docklands. Activities include sports, music production, recording, arts and crafts, computer games and socialising, plus holiday programmes. We engage young people in a variety of ways. We recently started an all-female night for over-13year- olds in response to a request from a member of the Somalian community for a single-sex space where young women could engage in sport and other activities, as they were discouraged from using mixed venues for religious and cultural reasons. Simultaneously, young women who were happy to

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014

on Youth Moves at:

attend a mixed venue were not keen on doing sport and other physical activities in front of young men. Docklands was the only centre locally we could use to ensure it was single-sex. Since then numbers have been steadily increasing, particularly Muslim girls and women. The best way to measure success is by talking. Our consultation with the young people at the youth club, about their feelings about Docklands Youth Centre and other community buildings in St Pauls, showed that young people were almost unanimous in saying that if they were not at this activity they would be on the streets of St Pauls. Police crime figures show an increase in anti-social behaviour and youthrelated crimes for the Ashley ward in the first six months of 2013 when, due to local authority changes in youth funding, Docklands was largely closed to young people. Bristol Youth LInks has changed the way we work. We lost our funding for youth delivery, and were forced to close activities and reduce work with young people. The problems that affect young people remain. We found alternative funding and restarted work with young people, using more volunteers rather than paid staff. Full Circle’s ability to adapt has been key to its survival over the 34 years of its existence. I have also been delivering youth work and helping with cooking at Wednesday night sessions at Docklands! More on Full Circle at: www.


The Care Bill explained The Care Bill (the bill) is an important piece of legislation that is likely to become law this year but comes into effect in 2015. The act covers a large number of social care issues, but the two main areas are: 1. Clarifying and enhancing the role of local authorities in social care. 2. Plans to improve government support to fund the cost of care. The role of local authorities in the provision of care is clarified by setting out a consistent approach to eligibility for public care and support. The bill says assessments must focus on a person’s needs and what they want to achieve, so a package of care is designed around this. The bill also sets out a clear approach to charging.

set up a Safeguarding Adults Board, which must work with local people to develop plans to protect vulnerable adults. Safeguarding Adults Reviews are also strengthened; for example organisations or individuals must provide information to them if requested.

include the value of any home (unless a partner or dependent lives in the home). This will mean more people can benefit from state support towards the cost of residential care.

Carers’ rights are also strengthened. Carers have previously been entitled to an assessment of their needs, but not entitled to support. Now carers will be entitled to support if they are eligible.

Local authorities will have a duty to promote the efficient and effective operation of the local market in care services – that there is variety of services of high quality and there is sufficient information on market needs to allow providers to develop new services. There is also a duty to hold and provide information on local providers.

The support for care costs in old age and disability has been reduced from the original proposals in the Dilnot report, which recommended a lifetime cap for payment of care at £35,000. The plans are now for a cap of £72,000 on the eligible cost of care over a person’s lifetime, based on an assessment of ‘substantial’ care needs (local authorities will have to make the assessments). The cap does not include the daily living costs of accommodation, food or energy bills for residential care. These ‘hotel costs’ are to be set at £12,000 a year for residential care, where an individual can afford to pay.

Following the mid-Staffordshire Serious Case Review, the role of local authorities is strengthened. They will have a legal duty to

From April 2016 the financial limit used in assessing state support for residential care will rise from £23,250 to £118,000, which will


The Care Bill sets out a new legal right from 2015 for people to defer care home costs, meaning they do not have to sell their home during their lifetime. Many local authorities run such schemes already. What will be the impact for VCS organisations? We hope the duty on local authorities around market shaping will lead to clearer information on future trends – so providers can develop services to meet those needs. With more people likely to receive support for care costs, we anticipate a growing need for more advocacy and information services for those in receipt of care, particularly as ‘behind the scenes’ cost of care can count towards the personal cap on the cost of care, and people will be uncertain about how the cap will work. The bill gives local authorities discretion to authorise third parties to carry out certain care and support functions of a local authority. There may be pressure on local authorities to contract out more of their care functions;

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

Photo by Kai Hendry CC BY 2.0

we could see, in the future, the independent sector carrying out much of the work traditionally delivered by social workers. We asked local contacts about their thoughts on the impact of the Bill. Here’s what they said: Mike Hennessey, Service Director, Bristol City Council People Directorate: “There is a requirement on the Council to market shaping so we will be talking to the VCS about potential demand and trends for services to better enable them to respond. We will do this through a Market Position Statement which will provide the evidential background and is expected to stimulate a vibrant and innovative variety of care and support options. Part of the changes we make locally will be to look for a focus on commissioning for outcomes which will be of interest to the VCS. “The Care Bill also gives a new duty

to local authorities to help people who will be self-funding with an assessment. Many of these people do not currently come through to us for an assessment, so there is likely to be an increase in the number of people we signpost and who may wish to purchase services direct.” Keith Sinclair, Chief Executive of The Carers Support Centre: “There has been real success in gaining major changes to the law after years of campaigning to improve young carers’ lives. “Introducing new measures through both the Care Bill and the Children and Families Bill will ensure that young carers are considered in the assessment of the person they are caring for and are given a right to their own assessment for support, regardless of the amount or type of care they provide. The bills, which are due to come into force this spring, will give the 166,000 children in England who look after

Issue 24  April / May / June 2014

their parents, siblings and family members stronger rights to an assessment and support. “Adults and carers will have the same rights to an assessment on the appearance of needs. For carers this means that the previous requirement to provide ‘substantial’ and ‘regular’ care will be removed. The whole family will also be entitled to an assessment. Assessing what capabilities and existing resources a person may have needs careful consideration so that local authorities do not unduly rely on family and friends to provide care and support.”

To read more about the Care Bill go to Voscur’s Voice and Influence resources web page at: www.voiceandinfluence.


Neighbourhood focus: Easton and Lawrence Hill If you want an example of a neighbourhood where community engagement is thriving then look no further than Easton and Lawrence Hill. Over the past two years the Neighbourhood Forums in this area have grown from small community meetings to busy hubs of local action (over 100 residents and voluntary organisations attending the meeting in February 2014). The Neighbourhood Forums are part of Bristol City Council’s Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Partnership. Meetings are organised by Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Management (ELH NM), a community-led organisation based in the area. Stacy Yelland, who works for ELH NM, spoke to us about their plans for the coming year: “We are really pleased with how well the Forums have developed and that is a real indication


of how much residents in this community care about their area. We hope to continue that growth through 2014 and use the Forums as a way for local people to influence decisions happening in the city. Of course there are challenges ahead as cuts to the public sector mean more pressure on services, but that only strengthens our resolve to have a strong voice for this area. As well as the Forums, we have got lots of other activity on the cards for the coming year. On Thursday 17 April we are organising a fun Easter egg and treasure hunt for young people in Barton Hill and on Thursday 24 April we are holding a ‘think space’ which will be an opportunity to

discuss and debate the topic of leadership in our community. We will continue producing our quarterly newsletter, Up Our Street, which is packed with local news and features stories about residents and community groups doing amazing work in this neighbourhood. In October we will hold our fourth annual ‘Thank You Awards’, which is always a fun celebratory event. Anyone who wants to know more can visit our website www. and subscribe to our updates. You can also follow us on Twitter (@upourstreet), on Facebook or call 0117 903 9975. The next Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Forum is on Thursday 8 May 2014, 6.30pm to 8.30pm, St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School, Somerset Square, Bristol.

April / May / June 2014  Issue 24

Residents working with Bristol City Council and Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Management to improve their local park.

Women in Bristol politics The next local elections will be held on 22 May 2014 to decide who our councillors will be for the next two years, until the change of the election cycle in 2016. Even though the result of these elections is not yet known, one thing is clear - the number of women elected as councillors is unlikely to rise above the current figure of 28.5% (which equates to only 20 out of 70 councillors). The Bristol Women’s Commission, a groundbreaking initiative set up to oversee and champion the implementation of the Charter for the Equality of Women and Men in Local Life (which was signed by Bristol Mayor George Ferguson in March 2013 ), is currently looking at the issue of women in public life. The Commission’s view is that it is essential that the numbers of women serving as councillors rises to a number that adequately reflects the make-up of Bristol communities. This is not simply to address the issues of justice and fairness but also effective representation and policy-making. Participation: inspiring and enabling individuals to become a Councillor In order to address this issue, Bristol Women’s Commission

is recommending the adoption of a special code of conduct by the city council. Recommendations include ensuring that job descriptions for councillors are both provided and publicised, and clearly stating the support offered to carers and disabled councillors once elected. Examples of good practice such as the shadowing opportunities offered through the very successful ‘Operation Black Vote’ campaign (which was designed to bring more black and minority ethnic groups into political life) are also highlighted, along with a suggestion of an ‘outreach roadshow’ to promote the work of the council to community groups, schools, and colleges. In addition, the Commission is encouraging political groups and parties to get involved, introducing initiatives such as shadowing and mentoring schemes for prospective candidates and making sure that unreasonable demands are not put on potential candidates with caring duties. The commission is also urging parties to make a public commitment, stating how they will ensure no one gender constitutes less than 40% of its


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To take the concept of representative leadership a step further, the Commission has also made a number of recommendations relating to gender inequality in council structures, practices and cultures more generally, as well as some around city boundaries and how wards are decided. They hope that by refining and reforming these areas, there will be more opportunities for new people to get involved with the council, which should result in more representative leadership for our diverse communities.

To read the full briefing paper, visit: For more information on the Bristol Women’s Commission, visit: www. bristol-womens-commission/


Issue 24  April / May / June 2014


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

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

April, May, June 2014 - training & events April 2014 Date






Business Planning

St Werburghs Centre



What is Social Investment?

Trinity Centre



Health and Social Care Network meeting - Small and Local in South Bristol (two repeat events planned in North Bristol and Inner City/East Bristol in May - details tbc)

The Withywood Centre



Developing a Fundraising Strategy

The Gatehouse Centre



Events Planning and Management

Royal Oak House meeting room

May 2014 Date






Recruiting Volunteers

Easton Business Centre



Children & Young People’s Network meeting

Barton Hill Settlement



Supervising and Supporting the Wellbeing of Your Staff

Southville Centre



Volunteer Organisers’ Forum (Volunteer Bristol members)

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust



Good Practice in Social Media

Knowle West Media Centre



Minute Taking for Administrators (part 1)

Barton Hill Settlement



Outcomes, What are They?

Royal Oak House meeting room



Being a Good Trustee

Barton Hill Settlement

June 2014 Date





9:30am - 1pm

Minute Taking for Administrators (part 2)

Barton Hill Settlement


1pm - 4pm

Preventing Injury to Children and Young People

The CREATE Centre

10th & 11th

9:30am - 3:30pm

Train the Trainer

St Werburghs Centre


10am - 4pm

Painting the Town Green - the City and the Sector

Trinity Centre


12pm - 2pm

Introducing Your Organisation to Twitter

Royal Oak House meeting room


6:30pm - 9:30pm

Being an Even Better Trustee

Barton Hill Settlement

For details of all the above training and events, visit:

Voscur is a registered charity and a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Company no. 3918210. Charity no. 1148403. Printed on 100% recycled paper using vegetable-based inks

Thrive April - June edition 2014  

Voscur's quarterly magazine, jam packed with news and resources for Bristol's voluntary and community sector...

Thrive April - June edition 2014  

Voscur's quarterly magazine, jam packed with news and resources for Bristol's voluntary and community sector...