Page 1

Supporting Voluntary & Community Action

September / October / November 2011

Inside this issue: Voscur AGM Voscur members’ benefits update VCS Infrastructure Support Service – what it’s about? Relaunch of the Carers’ Centre BCC Community Investment Budget Autumn/winter training and learning Consultation on the new VCS Assembly Munro Review of Child Protection Open Public Services white paper ICT alternative software options

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Tailor-made products and services for the over 50s

• Home Insurance • Car Insurance • Travel Insurance • Gas and Electricity • Personal Alarms • Funeral Plans

For a no-obligation quote, visit: Age UK Bristol Canningford House, 38 Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6BY Tel: 0117 9281 555 (open Mon to Fri 10am - 1pm & 2pm - 4pm) or call 08000 853 741 or visit

Home, car and travel insurance are provided by Ageas Insurance Limited. Gas and Electricity is provided by E.ON Energy Solutions Limited. Age UK is a registered trademark of Age UK (Charity no 1128267). The use of the name and logo Age UK is done so under a licence agreement between Age UK and Age UK Enterprises Limited, its commercial services arm. Net profits are donated to Age UK. Age UK Enterprises Limited, Linhay House, Ashburton, Devon TQ13 7UP. ID9975 11/10 MP2210V2APR11 CS040112_11 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 2

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Contents 4 Editorial 5

New Members


Voscur Updates

19-20 Consultation on new VCS Assembly Find out about the proposals and how to give your views


Member benefits Collaboration, Leadership & Fundraising Conference Voscur AGM

Infrastructure Support Service (ISS)

Platform 51 – the organisation and its services

ISS – what it’s about?

The Munro Review of Child Protection

Case study of organisation through ISS process Introducing our two new Development Workers How the service has worked so far

12-13 Bristol City Council’s Community Investment Budget Essential information on the range of grants available


24-25 Health and Social Care Report from the Community Governor at the United Hospitals Bristol Relaunch of the Carers’ Centre

26-27 Neighbourhoods and Communities Member profile: Bristol Wood Recycling Project turns 7 Quality of Life survey 2011

28-29 “Opening up public services”

Volunteer Bristol

review of the Government A White Paper

New name, website and membership package

15-17 Voscur’s Autumn Training and Learning Programme 18

Feedback on VCSES views on your voice and representation

22–23 Children and Young People

Bristol VCS Directory


Voluntary community & social enterprise sector survey results

Training and events Get involved in Green Volunteering

30-31 ICT ther options to Microsoft O programmes

32 Diary

How Black and Other Minority Ethnic community groups can channel their voice and influence

Keep up to date with Voscur online:

Thrive! is available on disc. Please contact the office if you would like to receive your Thrive! this way. The newsletter is also available online as a pdf at

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.

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Thrive! Editorial The campaign group ‘False

understand TUPE legislation.

Economy’ (

See the training and learning

VCScuts) recently produced a

programme on pp. 15-17 for

report, highlighting the impact

details of these and other Voscur

reduced government spending is

courses available this autumn.

having on the voluntary sector. This will come as little surprise to groups in Bristol. In November £240,000 will be cut from Bristol City Council health and social care funding to voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations; those still funded will see their grant cut by 6 per cent. Volunteering Bristol has also seen its funding reduced; leading to a reduction in the number of days they are open to the public. Ironically, this comes

In a challenging climate there is even more reason for the VCS to work together. The draft proposals for the new Bristol VCS Assembly are open for comment until 25 October. This is a genuine consultation – nothing in the draft proposals is fixed in stone. Please do contribute to ensure the right structure and support is put in place for the VCS to have a ‘strong voice and influence’– see pp.19-20.

just as the Government wants to

With so many challenges, it’s

encourage more volunteering.

important that we also highlight

Steve Dale, Volunteering Bristol’s

the new opportunities for the VCS.

Chief Executive writes about the

The recent Government White

pressures his organisation is facing

Paper ‘Open Public Services’ sets

on p. 14.

out the vision for a greater role

Across the city, VCS organisations are facing difficult decisions. Many are having to make redundancies and close projects even though they are successful, highly valued by the communities they serve and supposedly seen by the government as being at the heart of the ‘Big Society’ and Localism agenda. While Voscur is working hard to try and assist VCS organisations to thrive, we are also providing support to those having a tough time by helping them manage redundancies and

4 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 4

Matthew Symonds Participation Manager

for the VCS – and other providers – in delivering public services. Voscur have produced a briefing on the key proposals in the White Paper, on pp. 28-29.This year’s Voscur AGM will explore further the opportunities for the VCS. The AGM’s title is ‘How ‘Big’ is our role in society?’– see p. 7 for details. The speakers will be confirmed by the time you read this (check the Voscur website), but there’s no doubt the debate that follows will be lively. Please join us and contribute.

Key to symbols Equalities Article Training Information & Resources Event

September / October / November 2011  Issue 14

22/08/2011 12:04

New Members Artspace Lifespace Ltd.

05600 947619

0845 894 3434

An artist – led initiative that

secures vacant properties and

turns them into sustainable & thriving creative centres. 0117 376 3457

Gospel Generation Community Choir

Savannah Development Foundation The Savannah Foundation supports

A Gospel Community Choir which

the empowerment and capacity

meets in Westbury Park and Easton,

building of African and Caribbean

with concerts every term.

elders and the younger generation.

Cube Microplex

0117 939 1866

0117 9078901

A cinema and arts venue in Central


Bristol, run by volunteers. 0117 907 4190

Hungerford Community Association

The Community Centre hosts a

Creative Learning Agency Our website is our main service – through it we aim to provide

range of activities for residents in BS4. A Christian Church Fellowship

We buy properties and develop

is also based there with a youth

them as centres that bring


charities, social enterprises,

0117 977 8968

the information they need to


deliver creative workshops.




Midlands and Bristol Refugee Housing

The organisation provides

Easton Learning Centre Free or subsidised training for individuals or businesses. Includes

The Ethical Property Foundation

artists, teachers and others with

0117 954 4031

community and campaign groups together. We provide affordable office/work space, and fair and transparent property management. 0117 916 6488

supported housing services

The Poetry Can

for a range of communities,

The Poetry Can is a poetry

including refugees.

development agency based in Bristol. We present and support a

Maths and English NVQ Levels 1 & 2;

0117 914 0486

Customer Service and others.

0117 902 2288

the Bristol Poetry Festival.

Pilot Supported Accommodation

Supported accommodation and a

Bristol BS1 5RH.

EcoMedia Collective CIC We help communities, clients and events use social broadcasting to engage with more people online

program of activities and support to adults who have been homeless or are leaving institutionalised accommodation.

range of high profile poetry events and activities each year, including

12 Great George Street,

0117 933 0900

and on mobile devices.

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Voscur Updates

Stop Looking Back.....Start Thinking Ahead! The Collaboration, Leadership & Fundraising Conference

Quentin Elston & Samantha O’Sullivan, Mogers Solicitors.

21st September 2011, Future Inn Hotel, Bristol The operating climate for charities

• Building Partnerships and Collaborations within the third sector

Presenting on ‘One Hour To A Better Leadership Partnership’. We are committed to supporting

and not-for-profit organisations

This is a great opportunity for

the charity and not-for-profit

has never been tougher.

Trustees, Chief Executives, Finance

sector and would like to offer

Organisations need to maximise

Directors and Senior Managers

places at a subsidised rate of £20

every penny of their income and

to expand their knowledge on

per person. All delegates will be

achieve optimum return on any

how to reduce operating costs,

able to park at the venue free of

disposal income and investments,

increase funds and manage the


while the pressure is on to run

fundamental changes within the

as streamlined an operation as

third sector.

possible. With this in mind, Charity Business has collaborated with sector specialists to design a conference to address the critical issues facing charities, not-for-

register visit our website: www.thinkingaheadconference.

Speakers include: Mark Freeman, Chief Executive

Voscur will be exhibiting at the

on ‘Building Collaborative

conference. You will be able


to find out more about the

Nicola Day, Director, Rathbone

enterprises, focusing on:

Greenbank Investments.

• Increasing Funds

at Charity Business. Presenting

profit organisations and social

• Reducing Costs and Overheads

For more information or to

Presenting on ‘Ethical Investment For Charities’.

Infrastructure Support Service and have your say on the draft VCS Assembly consultation (see pp. 19-20).

FREE Voscur membership for small VCS groups The Voscur board has revised

• Free over the phone or email

Voscur membership criteria

advice and signposting from

and have introduced FREE

Voscur staff

membership for groups with low/

• Free promotion of your events and news on the Voscur website

income). If you’re already a Voscur

diary and notice board

category, then we’ve already contacted you and adjusted your

views each month) • Reduced cost advertisements

no income (£0 – £10,000 annual member and you fall into this

webpage gets over 20,000

• Complementary quarterly Thrive! Magazine • Reduced cost training (there

in Thrive! Magazine We’ll be developing additional new members’ benefits over the coming year – look out for more details.

account. If you’re not a Voscur

are over 40 training courses

Joining Voscur is easy – join

member yet, you’re missing out

each year)


on great benefits including:

joiningonline or call

• Reduced cost job advertisements (our jobs

6 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 6

0117 909 9949

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How ‘Big’ is our role in society? The Voscur Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday 9 November, at 1pm. The theme of this year’s AGM is ‘How ‘Big’ is our role in society?’ Speakers* and discussion groups will consider: • How real are the opportunities for the voluntary and community sector (VCS) in delivering services to the public? • Is there a role for smaller VCS organisations in the `Big Society` and how will partners support their potential? *Speakers’ details to be confirmed as we go to press. For more details and to book your place, visit:

VCS Directory This autumn, we’re updating the

groups/organisations in Bristol.

online searchable directory of

We’ll be contacting you over the

voluntary and community sector

coming months to check that

For more details about

groups in Bristol. The directory

your details are up to date – but

the VCS Directory and

holds details of over 650 groups

with your website log-on, you can

how to enter or edit

and is a fantastic resource for

keep your own directory detail up

your directory details, visit

people wanting to find out more

to date. or

about voluntary and community

Issue 14  September / October / November 2011

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call Voscur on 0117 909 9949.


22/08/2011 12:04

Infrastructure Support Service (ISS)

The new support service Voscur’s groundbreaking Infrastructure Support Service (ISS) aims to provide free support to Bristol groups most in need. The ISS recognises that groups

groups who use it, particularly

how effective Voscur is in terms

need targeted support to help

for new, small and equalities

of the support we provide. We will

improve their services or the way

groups – to help them become

carry out a screening process to

their services are run. The ISS is

more independent. We recognise

ensure the work is targeted at the

therefore planned so that it can

the value of training as part of

right groups; we will undertake

be as flexible as possible and

this process so we will respond

organisational health checks

be tailored to meet a variety of

to emerging needs and provide

and then agree action plans so

needs. Some groups may want

tailored training on governance,

groups can assess what they need

a one-off session to help them

performance improvement and

to improve and take action to

be better prepared for funding

funding and financial stability. A

achieve their goals; finally we will

applications and generating

number of these sessions will run

monitor how groups improve and

income; or help to develop a

in local community hubs – to make

our effectiveness as part of this

specific policy. Another group

it easier for groups to attend. We


may want a series of support

will also offer a series of training

sessions to develop a new project,

bursaries for each group to attend

including help with gathering

courses on Voscur’s general

data around evidence for the

training curriculum.

project and producing outcomes;

Of course, it’s still early days but we will have regular reviews and use feedback from those who have used our service to make our

There are several ways we can

own improvements. An effective

monitor whether the groups who

service will bring not only long-

are most in need are receiving the

term benefit to individual groups

We really want the ISS offer to

service; how it is helping them to

but to the sector as a whole.

be as generous as possible to

improve their performance and

or a series of training sessions on organisational governance.

Paddy Nisbett Support Service Development Worker – Governance and Performance Improvement I joined the Voscur team earlier

organisations, plus serving on

and personal development

this year, after working for the

a number of VCS management

workshops. I see myself as a

Black Development Agency (BDA)

committees in Bath and Bristol.

facilitator/enabler. As well as these

as Outreach and Development Worker for two years.

I work part-time for Voscur and use the rest of my time

I also bring experience from

to develop my own business:

working with a Local Authority

teaching Tai Chi; providing

around community involvement,

life- coaching support; running

managing a few voluntary

problem-solving, visioning,

8 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 8

experiences, my practice is also guided by the following saying, ‘Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach them how to fish, sustainably, and they can feed themselves for life.’

September / October / November 2011  Issue 14

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Infrastructure Support Service (ISS) Corinne Thomas Support Service Development Worker – Fundraising and Financial Stability I joined the team in July after

home, both as a volunteer for

public sector organisations and

spending an idyllic six months

a local youth charity and as a

companies. I am really looking

travelling around the world

Development Worker.

forward to working with VCS

and re-locating to Bristol from London. I am now enjoying putting roots down in Bristol and getting to know my new

I have a varied background of working in partnership with local VCS groups, national charities,

groups in Bristol to help them take control of their own financial future.

An early journey through the Infrastructure Support Service (ISS) – a case study Many VCS organisations are keen

enabling feedback from members

formal evidence of the outcomes

to understand how the ISS is

who are our clients.

of their service to the community.

working and how it will develop

However, Harmony Plus Bristol

during its early stages. Although

The case study

still under development, we

The Chair of a charity called

for the mediation services it

already have an emerging process.

‘Harmony Plus Bristol’ contacts

provides to members of the BME

The following case study highlights

the ISS team in September. The

community in central Bristol. It

some of the key stages in that

organisation is losing a long-term

also has resources that it feels

process. In later magazines we aim

grant from March 2012, its main

are currently underused: available

to produce further clarification,

source of income for a number of

rooms in the building it owns as

and give ‘real life’ case studies,

years. The group does not have

well as several staff members

an up-to-date business plan or

skilled in high-level mediation.

feels it has a good local reputation

Stage 1: Making contact

Stage 2: Fact-finding meeting

The Chair of Harmony Plus Bristol calls the ISS.

The Development Worker finds out as much as

A member of the ISS team at Voscur screens the group to find out if they are eligible for support. The group is eligible for up to 10 hours of ‘intensive support’ from the ISS. A meeting is booked with an ISS Development

possible about the group and its background. The board members talk about their concerns for the future. The Development Worker uses a ‘health check’ tool to find out where support is most needed.

Worker and three board members to start the

Together, they agree some goals, which include:

support process.

improving business planning skills and exploring new sources of funding.

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Infrastructure Support Service (ISS) Stage 3: Action Planning Based on the information provided, the Development Worker proposes an action plan for Harmony Plus Bristol: 1. An ‘Introduction to business planning’ session with board members. 2. A sustainable funding session with key members of the organisation. 3. A referral to the Ethical Property Foundation for buildings’ advice. 4. Offer of a subsidised training place on a ‘Tracking evidence and outcomes’ course.

Stage 4: Taking action and outcomes The group agrees the action plan and undertakes the activities with the aim of achieving the following outcomes: • A greater understanding of the business planning process and outlining goals for their own plan. • Awareness of the benefits of tracking and evaluating casework in order to provide evidence for future funding applications. • Improved knowledge of buildings regulations and opportunities for leasing space. • Identifying opportunities for new funding streams including trading.

Stage 5: Reviewing

Stage 6: Future Plans

The Development Worker assesses the results

The Chair of Harmony Plus Bristol is asked to

of the activity with the Chair of Harmony Plus

report back on their progress six months after

Bristol. As well as discussing the results of

receiving initial support from the ISS team:

ongoing evaluations, the Development Worker asks the Chair a series of questions to find out how effective the support provided was and what it achieved.

• A further two members of the board group have attended business planning training and a draft plan is in process. • A trading ‘working group’ has been set up to

The end of the intensive support service

explore income generation opportunities –

concludes with a discussion of future goals for

both for leasing their building and staff using

the organisation.

their skills as mediation trainers. • A series of tracking tools have been developed to capture the impact and outcomes of the mediation service. This evidence is now being used in future funding applications.

10 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 10

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Infrastructure Support Service (ISS) FAQs What is screening?

What is a goal?

What are outcomes?

The ISS is under contract to

To help VCS groups develop

Outcomes are the hoped

prioritise the support it provides.

and grow, the role of the ISS will

for results of an activity. The

Screening will usually take place

be to agree targets or goals for a

outcomes of the ISS are all based

over the phone by a trained

group to work towards.

around improving performance

member of the team. It ensures

for VCS groups. Often, VCS

that every VCS group is treated

What is an action plan?

the same that they meet criteria

A Development Worker and the

valuable outcomes from the

for support.

group may agree a course of

services they provide but they

planned actions which clearly

do not always record them.

groups themselves produce

What is ‘intensive support’?

outlines the commitment

Depending on the results of the

required by the group and the

What are evaluations?

screening, VCS groups will either

support the ISS can provide that

Throughout the ISS service, VCS

be eligible for ‘intensive support’

enables the group to develop.

groups will be asked to evaluate

which is up to 10 hours or ‘oneoff support’ of around 2.5 hours.

What is a referral?

or assess the support provided. It is an opportunity for the ISS

The ISS team has a range of

What is a ‘health check’?

team to review the tools and

external agencies it can refer

their approach to providing

It is a series of questions

groups onto. These agencies

support as well as for VCS groups

designed to find out what skills,

have specialist expertise

themselves to see how they are

resources or processes the VCS

in certain areas, such as


group may need to improve on.

volunteering, or buildings advice.

How the service has worked so far As part of the new Infrastructure Support Service (ISS) all groups go through a screening process so we can determine their needs and the type of support required if they are eligible. The charts below give

£50k p.a. income

been referred to external agencies.

Groups whose main activity

 13%  of groups screened were

is working with equalities

not eligible for support.

communities and/or socially excluded groups:

 71%  of groups screened are currently receiving support or their

an overview of the types of group

 47%  of groups screened work

currently applying for, or receiving

with socially excluded groups and

support under the new ISS.

equalities communities.

Figures quoted are as of

 27%  of groups screened work

31st July 2011

with equalities communities.

Income of groups screened

Groups that have contacted

for governance/performance

for support:

the support service so far:

improvement support:  29% 

 41%  of groups screened under

 16%  of groups screened have

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support needs are being explored. Percentage of groups looking for support to improve their funding/finance:  41%  Percentage of groups looking


22/08/2011 12:05

Bristol City Council’s Community Investment Budget

Essential information on the range of grants available the period from 1 April 2012 to

1. Centres for Community Action Grant

31 March 2015. It lays out the

Total available £350,000 citywide

Total available £300,000 citywide

Organisations must manage a

The recent Needs Assessment

community building, centre or

for Community Advice Services

city farm to apply for this grant

identified the need for a network

and demonstrate that they work

of community-based organisations

towards building their strengths

to enable people living in deprived

and optimising their economic,

areas of the city, communities

social and environmental

of interest and those on a low

sustainability. Applications are

income, to have improved life

invited for grants of up to £40,000


The Investment Strategy covers

objectives for the Community Development Investment Budget. Funding for some services is now based on a commissioning model. There are also three-year funding agreements with specific voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations that promote or improve the economic and social well-being of deprived and disadvantaged communities in

per organisation. However,


applications for over £40,000 will

The grants process is linked

that are currently in receipt of

with Safer Bristol, who will offer grant funding to organisations supporting recovery from

be considered, from organisations an Investment Grant above this level. Funding at this level must be shown to be essential to meet

2. Stronger Communities Grant

Funding is available to local community-led organisations whose activities include providing effective targeted information, signposting or advice to communities for whom access needs, language or cultural

substance misuse in communities.

evidenced need.

Applying for funding

Centres must be able to prove

securing services more difficult.

that they contribute to the

Applications are particularly

Application packs are available

following three outcomes:

sought from organisations

to download from the Bristol e-Procurement System (BePS). The application and guidance is also available from our website at investmentandgrants All applications must be submitted through BePS by 12 noon on Monday 10th October 2011.

Applications are encouraged in the following areas:

12 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 12

competence are likely to make

• Access to services for deprived or disadvantaged communities is broadened and extended. • Participation by VCS groups and individuals in activities that

providing services to the following groups: • Older people • Young people • Disabled people, including

improve their quality of life is

people with mental health



• Centres optimise their sustainability.

• People from BME communities, particularly newly arrived and refugee communities • People living in areas of high

September / October / November 2011  Issue 14

22/08/2011 12:05

Bristol City Council’s Community Investment Budget increased contact with recovering substance users will break down barriers, building foundations for long-term recovery from substance misuse problems. Grants are being offered to encourage voluntary organisations to become more involved in community-led activities that enable recovering substance misusers to re-integrate and become active members in their communities. Funded organisations will need to

Trinity Centre, a centre for community action

show how they contribute to the deprivation, especially on the outskirts of the city for whom transport access may be a barrier

3. Supporting recovery from substance misuse in communities Total available £100,000 citywide

following outcomes: • Improve the knowledge and understanding among the general public about drug

Organisations are able to apply

(Safer Bristol funding)

for up to £30,000 for this grant.

The new government drug

recovery to reduce the levels of

However, applications for over

strategy: “Reducing Demand,

fear and blame.

£30,000 will be considered, from

Restricting Supply, Building

organisations that are currently

Recovery: Supporting People to

and promote community

in receipt of an Investment Grant

Live a Drug Free Life” sets a clear

participation and increased

above this level. Funding at

ambition for individuals to achieve

contact with recovering

this level must be shown to be

recovery and live a drug-free

substance misusers in order to

essential to meet evidenced need.

life. There is understanding that

tackle stigma and encourage

Funded organisations will need

people do not use substances in

community cohesion.

isolation from what is happening

• Increase the number of

to demonstrate the following

and alcohol dependency and

• Develop new ways to support

in the rest of their lives. Recovery

recovering substance misusers


involves tackling the symptoms

engaging in community

and causes of dependence and

activities in order to sustain

• Access to and information

enabling people to reintegrate

their recovery.

outcomes for the target service

about services is broadened and extended for deprived or disadvantaged communities. • Bristol residents have improved life chances through access to good quality information, signposting and advice.

into their communities. Stigma is a major barrier to the successful recovery of substance users, preventing them playing a more positive role in communities

The Investment & Grants Team

and reintegrating into society.

Tel: 0117 903 6437/9 Email: investmentandgrants@

Support and promotion of community participation and

Issue 14  September / October / November 2011

Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 13

For more information about these grants contact:


22/08/2011 12:05

Volunteer Bristol

Welcome to Volunteer Bristol In our last Thrive! article, we promised a few changes to Volunteering Bristol. We are pleased to announce a new name – Volunteer Bristol – a new website and, importantly, a new membership package.

now few, and the competition for them is great. The government, despite its Big Society rhetoric, is offering very little in support of volunteering. In fact, it has promised that volunteer centres will need to stand on their own two feet in the future. We also predicted new charges to

on like this indefinitely. This is why

In our efforts to build a more

help us to sustain our service. We

we are changing.

sustainable volunteering

have tried to keep these as fair as possible. If you are part of a not-for-profit organisation which involves volunteers in its work or would like to do so in the future, then please join us. You will find more details on our new website:

brokerage service for Bristol, we

Everybody is talking about volunteering as a way to meet some of the challenges we all face because of the recession. It can help to keep overstretched services going. At the same time, it provides opportunities for people to develop valuable skills;

Why the new name? It’s tempting

to get relevant experience on

to claim that we had to let the

their CV; and in some cases, to

‘ing’ go because of the cuts – we

fight off the decline in confidence

could no longer afford so many

and self-esteem which can set in

letters in our name! This isn’t

after a period of unemployment.

strictly true, but it does tell you something about our current situation. Whilst our funding has been cut by 40%, our name has only been reduced by 15%! Likewise we are continuing to deal with more volunteering enquiries than ever before with fewer resources to do it. We cannot go

14 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 14

However, our ability to meet the increasing demand from

will be asking organisations to pay a fee, to generate future funds. It won’t entirely fund our service, but it will help. Given that we have a database of over 2,500 people who are looking for volunteer roles and up to 300 new people a month registering as volunteers, we hope that you will consider it good value for money and we look forward to welcoming you. If you have comments or questions, please contact

volunteers and from volunteerinvolving organisations has been drastically effected by the cut to our grant from Bristol City

Find out more at

Council. As most of you will know, alternative sources of funding are

September / October / November 2011  Issue 14

22/08/2011 12:05

Voscur’s Autumn Training and Learning Programme

Supervision Skills for Volunteer Managers   Fully booked 

Commissioning for Beginners

Thursday 15 September, 9:30am-3:30pm

Venue to be confirmed

Windmill Hill City Farm, Phillip Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 4EA

Sophie Bayley, Voscur & Mark Hubbard,

Sophie Bayley, Voscur and Jenny Idle, Volunteering Bristol

Wednesday 21 September, 9:30am-1pm

Bristol Compact If you think commissioning may be relevant to your organisation – this course is for you. It will give

Supervision is a formal way of supporting volunteers

you a broad understanding of the principles of

on one-to-one basis or in groups. This new course is

commissioning, the stages of the commissioning

offered by Voscur and Volunteering Bristol as part of

cycle as well as how and when VCSE organisations are

the Volunteer Management project.

involved in best practice commissioning processes.

Fully booked: to book unto the waiting list email

TUPE: What it is and how it can apply to your organisation Monday 19 September, 1pm-4:30pm The GreenHouse, Hereford Street, Bristol, BS3 4NA Jeremy Harrison, Charity HR In the current economic climate, mergers of organisations could mean that TUPE regulations apply. The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of

It will help you understand the terminology and de-mystify some of the myths and fears around commissioning.

Recruitment of Volunteers Wednesday 28 September, 9:30am-3:30pm Venue to be confirmed Sophie Bayley, Voscur and Jenny Idle, Volunteering Bristol This session will cover volunteer motivation, barriers to volunteering, recruitment techniques and processes and action planning.

Employment) Regulations (TUPE) protects employees’

This course is offered by Voscur and Volunteering

terms and conditions when a business is transferred

Bristol as part of the Volunteer Management project.

from one owner to another. Voscur, in partnership with Charity HR, offers this workshop specifically designed to support voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations.

Issue 14  September / October / November 2011

Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 15


22/08/2011 12:05

Voscur’s Autumn Training and Learning Programme

Managing Redundancies now or in the future

Trustee Series 1: Why am I on the committee?

Thursday 29 September, 4pm-6:30pm

Thursday 13 October, 6:30pm-9:30pm

Burges Salmon, 1 Glass Wharf, Bristol, BS2 0ZX

Venue to be confirmed

Benjamin Loxton and Faith Salih, Burges Salmon

Sophie Bayley and Paddy Nisbett, Voscur

Employment Law Team

This session will give anyone who has the role of a

Voscur has teamed up with Burges Salmon solicitors

trustee, a basic overview of their legal duties and

and Pro-Help to offer a seminar on managing

responsibilities and is ideal if you have recently

redundancies for VCSE organisations.

become a trustee or just want to brush up on

This session, for trustees and anyone who

your skills.

manages staff, will cover the legal background to redundancies, practical advice on how to manage a redundancy process and alternatives to redundancy. There will also be an opportunity to discuss particular concerns on a one-to-one basis after the talk.

Retention and Support of Volunteers Wednesday 19 October, 9:30am-3:30pm Venue to be confirmed Sophie Bayley, Voscur and Jenny Idle,

We’re working with NAVCA to deliver a training session on empowering the voluntary sector – full details to be confirmed Tuesday 11 October, 9:30am-3:30pm Venue to be confirmed

Volunteering Bristol This session will cover the importance of induction, other ways of supporting volunteers, supervision, why people stop volunteering, recognition and action planning. This course is offered by Voscur and Volunteering Bristol as part of the Volunteer Management project.

Mark Hubbard, Bristol Compact and NAVCA See website for details

Trustee Series 2: Good Governance – how to be a better trustee Thursday 20 October, 6:30pm-9:30pm Venue to be confirmed Sophie Bayley and Paddy Nisbett, Voscur This session complements ‘Why am I on the committee?’ and looks in greater detail at how Trustees can be more effective in their role.

16 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 16

September / October / November 2011  Issue 14

22/08/2011 12:05

Voscur’s Autumn Training and Learning Programme

Volunteers and the Law Thursday 10 November, 9:30am-1pm

Free Training for Small Charities – The FSI Roadshow   FREE 

Venue to be confirmed

16th & 17th November 2011, 9.30am-4.30pm

Sophie Bayley, Voscur and Jenny Idle,

The Greenway Centre, Bristol

Volunteering Bristol

Free (a deposit of £50 is required but will

This course is for anyone who manages volunteers

only be banked if a cancellation is made after

and would like to know more about the relevant

9th November)

legal implications.

Please note: all free places are allocated on a first-

This course is run by Voscur and Volunteering Bristol

come-first-served basis to individuals from 100%

as part of the Volunteer Management project.

You can influence Thursday 1 December, 9.30am-3.30pm Venue to be confirmed Matthew Symonds and Sophie Bayley, Voscur

not-for-profit organisations with an annual raised (voluntary) income of less than £1.5 million. Booking is not currently open but please register your interest with Louise at the FSI office. Email specifying which day(s) you would like to attend and which courses you are most interested in: • Corporate Fundraising

Learn how to influence strategic planning and

• Demonstrating your Impact

policy making.

• Developing your Fundraising Strategy • Funding from Trusts and Foundations

Update your Equality and Diversity Policy In December – to be confirmed

• Major Donors • Marketing and Communications • Working with Statutory Funders and Prime Contractors

Ruth Pitter and Sophie Bayley, Voscur

The FSI and Institute of Fundraising are working

To register your interest in this course email

in cities nationwide. Each Roadshow gives its

together to deliver free expert training sessions delegates the opportunity to learn new fundraising, marketing and communication skills to run their

10 Steps to the perfect tender Monday 5 December, 9:30am-3:30pm

charity effectively. There is also time to network with other charities from the area and hopefully develop strategic links.

Venue to be confirmed Mark Hubbard, Bristol Compact See website for full details

Issue 14  September / October / November 2011

Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 17


22/08/2011 12:05

Training and events

Green Volunteering Bristol’s got a lot to celebrate

Bristol, Bristol Natural History

running, where organisations can

when it comes to being green.

Consortium and Voscur are

post relevant vacancies and those

It’s the UK’s first Cycling City

working in partnership to improve

interested in volunteering can

and many of the country’s

the quantity and quality of green

search for opportunities.

most renowned environmental-

volunteering in the city, through

focussed organisations are based

a project funded by the European

here: the Soil Association and

Union, as part of the European

Sustrans, to name a few names.

Year of Volunteering. There will be

But we have no intention of

a range of resources, workshops

resting on our green laurels.

and events on offer on this

Bristol City Council, Volunteer

theme. A website is already up and

Find out more www.greenvolunteersbristol.

Black and Minority Ethnic Fair returns 4th October 2011, 1pm-6pm, the Council House After the success of last year’s

Groups are invited to book a

Bristol BME VCS Fair, the event

stall and have a 5 minute slot to

is returning. The Fair is an

present the work they do. Bristol

opportunity for BME-led groups

City Council, SARI, Avon Fire &

to showcase their work, promote

Rescue Service and Voscur are

their services and network with

jointly hosting the event.

For further information contact Charlene Lawrence: 0117 909 9949

other groups and agencies.

BME Voice and Influence consultation Following the BME VCS meeting

VCS Assembly and the Council’s

on 7 June, Voscur and Bristol City

review of their current voice and

Council are undertaking wide

influence structures including

consultation with BME groups

the Legacy Commission and the

and communities on how they

Race Forum.

want to be represented and have their voices heard in decisionmaking structures. The outcomes will inform how BME groups are actively engaged in the new

18 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 18

contact Ruth Pitter:

In the autumn, consultants will be engaging BME-led groups to direct their research, findings and recommendations.

For more information 0117 909 9949

September / October / November 2011  Issue 14

22/08/2011 12:05

Consultation on the new VCS Assembly

A new VCS Assembly for Bristol. Read the proposals and give your views Spread the word: your views

return them by post. If you would

proposals and discuss your views.

are being sought on the draft

like a copy of the proposals and

Each drop in sessions will take

proposals for a new Bristol

questions posted to you call

place in the meeting room,

voluntary community sector

0117 909 9949 or download

Ground floor, Royal Oak House,

(VCS) Assembly. The aim of the

them from:

Royal Oak Avenue, Bristol,

new Assembly is to ensure that the VCS has a strong voice and influence, and there are clear and structured ways for consultation and representing VCS views. vcsassemblyconsultation


BS1 4GB. No need to book – just come along! Friday 23 September, 10am-12pm Tuesday 27 September, 2pm-4pm

To help gather your comments

Wednesday 5 October, 10am-12pm

The draft proposals have been

and questions, a VCS Assembly

Tuesday 11 October, 2pm-4pm

informed with help from a

blog has been set up where you

Thursday 20 October, 10am-12pm

steering group of volunteers from

can read the draft proposals

Bristol’s voluntary and community

and post your comments and

sector. Examples of other VCS

questions in response to each

Engaging small and equalities groups:

Assemblies and Forums from

section. You can visit the Bristol

We really don’t want to miss

around the country have also

VCS Assembly blog at:

out on the views of small and

been researched. Before the VCS Assembly is finalised, we want your thoughts and ideas. Consultation began


In person:

equalities groups – so we’d like to meet you on a one-to-one basis. To arrange a meeting for your small or equalities group, please contact Matthew Symonds

on 25 July and continues until 25

Five drop-in sessions are taking

October to gather the views from

place during September and

the wider Bristol voluntary and

October. These give you the or

community sector.

chance to look at the draft

0117 909 9949

at Voscur:

There are a number of ways that you can make sure your feedback is noted: In writing: Draft VCS Assembly proposals can be downloaded from the Voscur website. There are a number of sections, each with some consultation questions. You can fill in these questions and

Bristol VCS Assembly website

Issue 14  September / October / November 2011

Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 19


22/08/2011 12:05

Consultation on the new VCS Assembly

Draft VCS Assembly proposals The aim of the new VCS Assembly

Draft Values: VCS groups and

is to involve, support and

organizations who wish to be

to oversee progress on

complement existing VCS groups

part of the VCS Assembly would

Assembly priorities

and special interest forums and

be asked to support values

networks (such as the equalities

including, Equality and Inclusion,

forums, advice networks etc) – not

Advocate for the VCS, Partnership,

to replace them. Each individual

Respect and the Compact. See full

VCS group or organisation will

details online:

have their own views and the


VCS Assembly will not replace an organisation’s right or ability to speak for itself. However, there

Draft structure of The Assembly: • VCS website – an online resource to bring together

shared views and concerns in the

information from different

VCS. The VCS Assembly and its

parts of the Assembly. weekly by Assembly staff, with

strong voice and influence on

contributions welcome from

these issues.

all Bristol VCS organisations

• Provide a place for the VCS to raise and discuss issues • Influence decisions on important issues for the VCS • Enable clear and structured

• Support VCS capacity building to engage with public sector • Build awareness of VCS in the public and private sector

20 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 20

VCS organisations who will help contribute expertise and knowledge from the VCS at

short and fast updates, communication between participants (often called tweeters) and helps flag up discussed

and with the VCS

• VCS Advocates from Bristol

is a micro-blog, it enables

the views from the VCS to be

networking and support for


• Assembly on Twitter – twitter

what current issues are being

• Promote good communication,

• Quarterly Assembly printed

and groups.

ways for consultation and represented

fortnightly VCS e-bulletin

• Assembly blog – updated

and support the VCS to have a

Draft Aims of the VCS Assembly:

• Assembly updates in the


are some issues where there are

Networks will help to coordinate

• An Assembly Steering Board

• VCS Assembly and Network meetings (held each month –

Find out more.

except August)

The consultation on the

• Three themed Networks –

draft VCS Assembly proposals

Children and Young People;

continues until 25 October. To

Health and Social Care;

see the full draft proposals visit

and Neighbourhoods and



September / October / November 2011  Issue 14

22/08/2011 12:05

Voluntary community & social enterprise sector survey results

Does the Bristol VCSE have a strong voice and influence? During the summer we surveyed

Do you know how to ask for

voluntary community and social

feedback or where to find it?

enterprise (VCSE) sector groups in Bristol to find out their views on existing representation, voice and





influence structures. The findings will help to inform a baseline to measure the effectiveness of future VCSE representation through the new VCS Assembly. Here are some of the findings:

We asked…

Which of these statements

If you have used any of the

structures do you think is the

existing VCSE Representatives,

most important?

about VCSE representative

how did you feel your views were heard and responded to? Very well Well Not well

Not well at all Don’t know

VCSE representative Which one of these statements

structures must report on their


about how VCSE representation



should work do you think is the

9% 0% 52%

VCSE representative structures must identify priorities for the

most important? VCSE representatives should be chosen by an open and democratic process


VCSE in an open, transparent and democratic manner



VCSE representatives must they have the right skills to fulfil the role or be willing to undertake training


VCSE representatives must come from a diverse range of different VCSE groups (for example themes, geographical communities or communities of interest)

Issue 14  September / October / November 2011

Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 21



22/08/2011 12:05

Children and Young People

Platform 51 in Bristol three programmes: Inspire, In Touch, and Chrysalis. Inspire is a program designed to help women improve their skills and get into education or employment by focusing on effective communication skills, pathways to education, financial confidence, CV writing, and interview tips and skills. The In Touch project supports women at risk of or suffering from mild to moderate post natal depression though counselling, support groups, complementary therapies, yoga and various therapy sessions. Chrysalis offers support

Mother and daughter playing at the Centre

to women in the criminal justice system by facilitating access to

Girls and women today face

welcome girls and women from all

problems that are often subtle

backgrounds including those who

or misunderstood. Despite shifts

may have dropped out of school;

in attitude and changes in law,

women from black and ethnic

Marisa, 28, a service user at the

women are often unheard,

minority backgrounds; refugees

Centre said: “The Centre provides

isolated and face discrimination.

or asylum seekers; women who

a safe and very supportive

This is costly both to women and

have been involved in the criminal

environment that gives girls and

to society. Platform 51 Bristol

justice system; those with learning

women opportunities to have their

provides services both at its centre

disabilities; young mums and

voices heard, to meet others and

in Knowle West and throughout

mums-to-be and those with mental

form new friendship groups. By

the community. This outreach

health problems. Implementing

providing continuous skill building

approach makes Platform 51

several projects across Bristol, the

and training opportunities, it aims

extremely flexible; with the ability

Centre in Knowle West features

to enhance and empower the lives

to meet girls and women who

weekly drop-in sessions for girls and

of women across the city�.

are the hardest to reach and who

women across the city, providing

most need help. All the girls and

on-the-spot support and advice in

women that Platform 51 meet are

regards to education, employment,

encouraged to take part, speak

housing, legal or financial matters

up, make decisions and share their

and any other situation where they


may find themselves vulnerable.

Platform 51 is the operating name

Services, activities and campaigns

of YWCA England & Wales. They

running at the Centre link across

22 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 22

employment, education and voluntary placements.

To find out more: 0117 9638775 or or

September / October / November 2011  Issue 14

22/08/2011 12:05

Children and Young People

We need to talk about the kids: The Government’s response to the Munro review of child protection Professor Eileen Munro was

themes, before addressing

The Government is also working

commissioned by the government

the fifteen recommendations

with representatives from across

in June 2010, to conduct a review

for reform and their phased

the youth sector and young

of the child protection system.

introduction to support local

people to develop a Positive for

An initial report was released in

transition arrangements.

Youth vision that emphasises the

October 2010. The final report, published in May 2011, is entitled

The themes are:

“A child-centred system” and looks

• valuing professional expertise

importance of targeted help and support for those young people who are at greatest risk of

at the issues and the environment

and sharing responsibility for

negative outcomes and highlights

that allows problems to occur.

the provision of early help

the benefits of early help. The

The review is a holistic approach to child protection and bases its proposals on evidence and experience. The Government believes a child protection system

• developing social work expertise

views received from the youth

and supporting effective social

sector representatives will help

work practice

shape a cross-Government policy

• strengthening accountabilities

statement which will be published

• creating a learning system

in the autumn.

is needed with less centrally

The response was informed by an

controlled prescription and

Implementation Working Group,

interference, and greater trust and

drawing on expertise from local

responsibility in skilled professionals

authority children’s services, the

working at the front line. The

social work profession, education,

government’s official response is

police and health services. Under

the ‘first step’ in achieving this.

“the provision of early help”,

The government has adopted

the vision is for transparent

the principles Professor Munro

local arrangements that set out,

proposes for an effective child

amongst other issues: the particular

protection system and responds

need in a given locality; the range

to each of the fifteen areas for

of professional help available

reform she identifies.

to local children, young people

Professor Munro’s recommendations represent a system-wide response to reforming the child protection system. The Government considers each of Professor Munro’s four reform

For the key messages and full Munro report go to: munroreview Positive for Youth vision

and families through statutory, b0077531/positive-for-youthdiscussion-papers

voluntary and community services

Voscur’s Children and Young

to specifically meet these needs; and the training available locally to support professionals working at the front line of universal services.

Issue 14  September / October / November 2011

Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 23

Find out more:

People Network children


22/08/2011 12:05

Health and Social Care

UHB Foundation Governor Report In my first few months as a governor, I have had some pleasant surprises. I had anticipated the hours spent reading papers of Board, Membership Council and Committee meetings, and the energetic debate in the meetings themselves. Even though I had been involved with UHB in some capacity since 2004, I was still expecting the steep learning curve of fulfilling a new role in the organisation.

What I had not expected was to

May 19th brought one of the

I also look forward to the next

participate in so many enjoyable,

frequent Executive Walk Rounds

3 years serving as Community

informative and inspiring events.

when I joined the CEO and the

Governor and hope that the

Chair of the Board on a tour of

members of Voscur will contact

the newly refurbished surgical

me on any matters concerning

floor in the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

the Trust and its services.

Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12th was celebrated by a crowd of off – duty nurses who came to support some of their colleagues receiving Recognition Awards for exceptional service. There were also two scholarships awarded through “Above and

Again, it was inspiring to hear the staff enthusing over their new accommodation and explaining how it would improve the service they can give to patients. One of the more serious, but

Sybil Davidson, an ex Matron at

none the less informative and

UHB .I had been involved in the

interesting occasions was on May

decision-making about who should

18th when the Trust’s Clinical

be the recipients and once again

Services Strategy was presented

marvelled at the energy and

to about 100 senior staff. For

commitment of staff.

the past year, a group has been

their 10th anniversary on April 21st with a Tea Party. It had been a dressing – up day at the hospital and each ward had chosen a theme. The corridors thronged with pirates, knights on ‘horseback’, wonderful animals and, not least, the prize-winning “Where’s Wally?” Team.

24 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 24

nominated University Hospitals Bristol Community Governor. You can contact Joan via the Voscur, phone 0117 909 9949 or email

Beyond”, an award named after

The Children’s Hospital celebrated

Joan Bayliss is the Voscur

planning for the difficult future which faces our NHS services, with the requirement for major savings and the increasing demands of an ageing population. Unsurprisingly, the workshop discussions were challenging yet also creative. I look forward to seeing how the new initiatives are rolled out in the future.

September / October / November 2011  Issue 14

22/08/2011 12:05

Health and Social Care

Carers’ Centre Relaunch The Princess Royal Trust for

Carers’ Holidays and publicised

“We are working in a challenging

Carers (Bristol and South Glos.)

Avon Gorge Hotel’s link to

and changing environment and we

relaunched as The Carers’

young carers.

need to move with the times. We

Support Centre during Carers’ Week. The Avon Gorge Hotel hosted more than 100 people, amidst balloons and banners.

Keith Sinclair, Chief Executive of The Carers’ Support Centre, said: “Our new branding aims to

need to express who we are and what we do more clearly, always reaching out to more carers.”

make us more easily identifiable

The charity will still be a member

The event showcased the

and recognisable to carers and

of the Princess Royal Trust national

organisation’s new branding; it

those who come into contact


let people know about the new

with carers.

Staff and gorilla at relaunch

New Carers’ Holidays scheme

Health and Social Care Network

The Carers’ Support Centre is now

The first of the Health and Social

offering mini-breaks for carers

Care Network meetings that will

who provide unpaid support and

form part of the new Bristol VCS

their families – in luxury holiday

Assembly (see page 20) took

homes in the Cotswolds and in

place on 21 July. The meeting

Torbay. As an introductory offer,

focussed on NHS Bristol’s plans

prices are all VAT-free for 2011.

to Modernise Mental Health Services in Bristol, the Bristol

For more information:

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) 2010 and the development

Find out more For details of future Health and Social Care Network meetings, news and other events visit networks/healthsocialcare

of the JSNA 2011. The notes and

To join the Health and Social

0117 965 2365

resources from the meeting

Care Network mailing list call

are available at www.voscur.

0117 909 9949 or email


Issue 14  September / October / November 2011

Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 25


22/08/2011 12:05

Neighbourhoods and Communities

Quality of Life in your Neighbourhood survey September 2011 20,000 residents in Bristol are going to be selected to take part in this important survey. If you are selected – please respond – your responses are important as they give the council and its partners (including the community and voluntary sector) valuable information to: • track and compare the quality of life in the city, • help plan public services, including the health service and • focus resources on the issues that most concern you. The 2011 Quality of Life Survey tells us a range of interesting details about life in Bristol: Some things that have improved: • respondents satisfied with their local neighbourhood (or area) as

disability, religion, sexual

The Stronger Communities award

orientation, ethnicity/race

– sponsored by a partnership

or gender

between Voscur and the Black

Some things that have got worse:

children’s playgrounds • respondents who feel safe outside in their neighbourhood during the day

• respondents participating

and working with community

a week

organisations. Avonmouth and

• respondents who are obese

Kingsweston Neighbourhood

• respondents who have

Partnership swooped off with

participated in creative activities in the last 12 months

the way the NP had ‘gone out to’

Find out more: Results from the last survey can be seen here

people in the community rather than expect them to just come to meetings. The entry highlighted how the NP was working hard to involve quite distinct communities within the one larger geographical area that makes up the NP.

Pride of Place Winners

influence decisions in their local



The first Pride of Place

Find out more:

• respondents who volunteer for

awards celebrating the work

a charity or local community at

of community groups in the

least 3 times a year

Neighbourhood Partnerships (NP)

discriminated against or

that award. The judges were impressed with

the same:

• respondents who have been

involvement, volunteering

in active sport at least once

Some things that have stayed

• respondents who feel they can

the NP that was most successfully supporting community

a place to live • respondents satisfied with

Development Agency – recognised

were announced at an award ceremony in the M Shed in July.

See who won what at the Pride of Place award ceremony at: prideofplacewinners

harassed because of age,

26 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 26

September / October / November 2011  Issue 14

22/08/2011 12:05

Neighbourhoods and Communities

Knock on wood To mark “Social Enterprise Day” on 17th November, we interviewed Ben Moss from the thriving environmental social enterprise – Bristol Wood Recycling Project. Q. The Project has just

collecting wood; the timber-

own social and environmental

celebrated its 7th birthday?

yard; or the workshop, making


Can you still remember the

products. In each area, volunteers

distant past – and how the

get the opportunity to learn a

organisation was set up?

range of useful work-related

Ben: We will definitely be in our

skills, such as – health and safety

current premises for the next 3

awareness; manual handling;

years. We’d like to develop the

how to handle tools properly.

workshop as a “Community Access

This is in addition to gaining

Base” – with a range of courses on

general work skills – turning up

offer. The Bristol Enterprise Zone

for work regularly, and working

is an up-coming development. In


our location, there promises to

Ben: I met the organisation’s co-founder, Nicola Padden, at the 2003 Community Recycling Network conference. We were both inspired by the presentation from Richard Mehmed, from the Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project. We felt strongly

Q. What’s your greatest

that a similar project was needed

success to date?

in Bristol. It took a year to find suitable premises before the organisation could officially start up. Q. How many people work for you these days? Ben: It’s hard to say exactly – it depends on the day. We have 6 paid workers, but there are many volunteers involved with the

Q. What lies ahead for you?

be some new micro-businesses starting up and a range of new media organisations to support

Ben: Still being here! We have

this. There should be exciting

developed into a well-organised,

times ahead.

structured business. And I had no business experience before starting the organisation. Q. What’s been the hardest

Bristol Wood Recycling


Project is at

Ben: Getting to grips with the nuts and bolts of a business –

13 Cattle Market Road, St Phillip’s, Bristol BS1 6QW.

policies and procedures.

It is open Monday-Saturday.

year, there were 47 volunteers

Q. The organisation is a

0117 972 3219

working for us, who contributed a

social enterprise. How

total of 635 days.

important is that?

Q. That shows how important

Ben: It is fundamental to us

The Social Enterprise Mark is a

volunteers are to the growth

and we have gained the Social

quality mark that can be gained

and success of the organisation.

Enterprise Mark. We want to

that identifies an organisation as

What do you offer in return?

raise public awareness of social

a social enterprise.

organisation. In the last financial

Ben: Volunteers can work in 3 different areas: in the van,

enterprises. We’d like to have some influence on for-profit, big businesses to consider their

Issue 14  September / October / November 2011

Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 27



22/08/2011 12:05

Bristol Compact

Public services: open for business The Government’s White Paper on Open Public Services came out in July. Mark Hubbard (Compact Liaison Officer), who works with public sector commissioners and the VCSE sector, describes the White Paper.

and that the best becomes better

• For communities – with

“The better our public services, the more we are helping those most in need. That is why those who resist reform, put the producer interest before the citizens’ needs, and object to publishing information about how services perform are conspiring to keep our society less free, less fair and less united.”

still.” The proposals are that there

extra powers for local areas

will be “a decisive end to the old-

to take control. Plus, it will

fashioned, top-down, take-what-

be easier to set up a new

you-are-given model of public

neighbourhood council.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg

• Decentralisation – Power should

services.” To achieve this, there will be five principles to aim for in modernising public services: • Choice – Wherever possible, there will be more choice available. be decentralised to the lowest

The paper contains more of the government’s thinking about reforming and opening up public services. The core principle remains: that services will be open to any provider. There are interesting indications of how some of that could work – these may help VCSE organisations develop their

appropriate level. • Diversity – Public services should be open to a range of providers. • Fairness – There should be fair access to public services. • Accountability – Public services should be accountable to users and taxpayers.

• For local government – more freedom to innovate. • For public service staff – professional responsibility and discretion will be restored and public service staff will have new opportunities to ‘spin out’ (e.g. employee-led mutuals) of the public sector. • For independent providers of all sizes from any sector – new opportunities for all types of provider to compete to deliver public services and to innovate and expand, as power shifts to a more diverse range of “purchasers”, including individuals and communities.

strategic approach to public

The government argues that their

service delivery.

approach will put “power in people’s

Types of service

hands” and this will “bring clear

The government recognises that

Rationale and principles

benefits for everyone involved in

a one-size-fits-all approach will

The paper highlights the need to

public services”:

not work. Different services have

reform public services. Although there is some acknowledgement of good practice, the overall stance is critical of current public sector practice. The motivation for change is “to make sure that everyone has access to the best public services,

28 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 28

• For individuals – people will have more choice. The money for the services to which they are entitled, will go to providers in response to the choices that people make.

different characteristics, which will shape how they are changed. The government categorises public services as: • Individual services – Personal services used by people on an

September / October / November 2011

Issue 14

22/08/2011 12:05

Bristol Compact individual basis. For example:

could mean for VCSE organisations

in education, adult social care,

(thanks to Director of Social

childcare, housing support and


individual healthcare. • Neighbourhood services – Services provided very locally and on a collective basis. For example: maintenance of public areas, leisure and recreation facilities, and community safety. • Commissioned services – These are local and national services. For example: tax collection, prisons, and emergency healthcare.

Your views and next steps The government now wants “to hear the views of everyone working in and using public services about how we can turn our vision for high-quality, efficient and modern public services into reality.” The questions they ask are available on the Bristol Compact website (see Info Box). After the `listening period` between July and September, the Government will develop a programme of work to implement reform. In November, the Government will set out how individual departments will make changes to public services over their remaining term in office. From April 2012, regular departmental progress reports will be published, setting out the steps that have been taken to open up public services.

What does it mean for VCSE organisations?

• Tendering for work is going to get more complicated – the market-place for service providers will become more complex. Your organisation will need to sell its services to individuals, companies, prime contractors and public sector. They won’t come to you. • Data rules – the government believes that open and transparent data equals liberation. Your organisation will need to be collecting and providing that information, if it’s delivering public services. • User satisfaction and evidence of impact will prove accountability – current levels of monitoring and reporting may become a thing of the past. Providers will be expected to demonstrate impact and satisfaction in innovative ways. • Payment by results will become normal practice – expect payment (in full/part)

More information

based on results achieved to be extended into many different service areas. • Look out for public sector standards and procedures applying to your organisation – for example: Freedom of Information regulations may start to be applied to any organisation delivering public services.

Below are some initial comments

www.openpublicservices. Bristol Compact: White Paper Open Public Services news/consultation-open-publicservices Bristol Compact response to Green Paper on Modernising Commissioning news/greenpaper

on this White Paper and what it

Issue 14  September / October / November 2011

Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 29


22/08/2011 12:05


Office must-haves Congratulations! You’ve set up

Most of us are familiar with

heed! Don’t assume all workers

a new office. Now you have a

the Microsoft Office suite of

have access to this software.

challenging decision to make:

programmes which have enduring

what Office Software are you

popularity. The current version

going to use to create your

Office 2010 is a powerful addition

documents and spreadsheets.

to any PC able to run it, and UK

You’ll want something easy to

charities are able to avoid the

use; value for money; that will run

£300 license fee and use the

on your current office machines

Charity Technology Exchange

(particularly if you’re using older or

(CTX) to purchase licensed copies

refurbished equipment); and that’s

at £19 + VAT. If any staff work

compatible with software others

from home or elsewhere, you

are using both within and outside

can purchase home and student

your office.

editions at under £100. But take

There are now an increasing number of free alternatives to the once dominant Microsoft product. If you have a good Internet connection, take a look at a service from Google simply called “Docs”. If you have a gmail account, you may have already seen it, as your email attachments are opened and stored automatically with Docs. Storing

The Unitarian Chapel, Bristol Fully serviced meeting space for voluntary organisations, charities, social enterprises and campaign groups

Space available for hire! For less than £15 per hour, your organisation can take advantage of our large, flexible and well equipped meeting hall in central St. Paul’s, Bristol. With space for up to 100 people and a fully fitted kitchen at no extra charge, the space provides the perfect location for a range of activities including meetings, training, workshops and evening events.

For more information, please call 0117 916 6489 or email

30 Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 30

September / October / November 2011  Issue 14

22/08/2011 12:05


documents on the web gives users

the Document Foundation –

used across 10,000 desktops at

greater scope for sharing and

replicates many of the functions

Bristol City Council.

working collaboratively. Google

of Microsoft Office but uses free

Docs has lots of extra tools to

and open document formats

facilitate this, although it does not

that anyone with an Internet

have all the features of traditional

connection will be able to open,

Office software.

either by downloading and

If you remain wary of using the Internet for storing your Desktop alternatives available as well. The freely licensed Libre Office – available from

installing it themselves, or by

Charity Technology Exchange

using a service like Google Docs.


Even better: it is 99.9% compatible

documents, there are free

Some useful links:

with doc and docx, the Microsoft formats. Many small organisations use Libre Office successfully and

Download Libre Office at: Google Docs:

– in its “Star Office” version – it is

St Michaels Parish Hall, Bristol Fully serviced meeting space for voluntary organisations, charities, social enterprises and campaign groups

Space available for hire! For less than £12 per hour, your organisation can take advantage of our light, spacious meeting hall. The space benefits from flexible seating, a breakout room, a fully fitted kitchen at no extra charge and even a piano! Conveniently located near the Christmas Steps Arts Quarter of Bristol, the space provides the perfect location for a range of activities including meetings, training, workshops and evening events. For more information, please call 0117 916 6489 or email

Issue 14  September / October / November 2011

Thrive 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 31


22/08/2011 12:05

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

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

Voscur Diary — September / October / November 2011 September 2011 Monday 19 September TUPE: What it is and how it can apply to your organisation (see P15 for details) Wednesday 21 September, 9:30am-4:30pm Stop Looking Back.....Start Thinking Ahead! The Collaboration, Leadership & Fundraising Conference Future Inn Hotel, Bond Street South, Bristol, BS1 3EN Wednesday 21 September Commissioning for Beginners (see P15 for details) Thursday 22 September, 12pm-2pm

Wednesday 19 October Retention and Support of Volunteers (see P16 for details) Thursday 20 October Trustee Series 2: Good Governance – how to be a better trustee (see P16 for details)

November 2011 Wednesday 9 November, 1pm-4:30pm How ‘Big’ is our role in society? – The Voscur AGM 2011 Wednesday 9 November, 5pm-7:30pm Launching a new Support Service for Bristol

VCS Reps’ lunch

Thursday 10 November

Royal Oak House

Volunteers and the Law (see P17 for details)

Wednesday 28 September

16-17 November

Recruitment of Volunteers (see P15 for details)

Voscur Fundraising Conference

Thursday 29 September


Managing Redundancies now or in the future (see P16 for details)

Bristol VCS Assembly Launch event

October 2011 Thursday 13 October, 12:30pm-3:30pm Children and Young People’s Network Meeting Malcolm X Centre, 141 City Road, Bristol, BS2 8YH

December 2011 Thursday 1 December You can influence (see P17 for details) Monday 5 December 10 Steps to the perfect tender (see P17 for details)

Thursday 13 October Trustee Series 1: Why am I on the committee? (see P16 for details)

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 11.09-11.11 v2.indd 32

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Thrive magazine  

Voscur Members Updates Voscur AGM and much more ....

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