Voscur Impact Review 2018-19

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Impact review 2018-19 Enabling Bristol's social economy to build a more equal city

Supporting Voluntary Action

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Strategy into action

Chief Executive Officer

Lin Whitfield Chair

We are pleased to share with you our annual report for 2018-19, highlighting our work and impact over a transitional year for both Voscur and the VCSE sector in Bristol.

Moving into the year 2019-20, we will continue enabling and supporting Bristol’s VCSE sector and work to ensure our individual and collective efforts are impactful, recognised and valued.

Now in our 23rd year as Bristol’s VCSE support and development agency, we are honoured to continue delivering our own charitable purposes by working with our members and the wider sector to improve the lives of the people and communities we all serve.

This year’s annual report shines a light on each of these objectives with case studies highlighting our collective efforts to achieve our strategic vision.

Throughout the year we have continued to align our business plan priorities - support, leadership and influence - and services with Bristol’s One City Plan (see www.bristolonecity.com) and made space to create and contribute to some exciting new initiatives.

Being able to demonstrate and articulate the difference we make as an organisation and a sector is more important now than ever before. So, we continually ask ourselves: how do we know we’re making a positive difference? What is our impact?

Delivering Bristol’s First VCSE Strategy In January 2019 we launched, on behalf of the sector, the city’s first VCSE Sector Strategy (Into a New Era).


Sandra Meadows

Taking a lead from the new strategy, we have worked throughout the year to align our services to the six strategic objectives which were identified by the sector, partners and stakeholders as key to the sector’s future development and sustainability.

Delivering Impact

Given the breadth of Voscur’s services, we felt it important to pose these questions through an independent review, so we engaged researchers to evaluate our services using QuIP (Qualitative Impact Assessment Protocol) methodology. The research showed that our key services and impacts are well aligned with the challenges and opportunities affecting local groups and organisations, and we’ve been working this year to act on the study’s findings. Further insight will be shared in this year’s analysis in spring 2020.

Winners of the 2015 'Voscurs', Bristol's social impact awards. Photo by Liam Gast

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Bristol City Council Infrastructure Support Service During 2018-19 we continued to be responsive to the changing needs and priorities of local charities and social enterprises. There was a strong emphasis on financial independence, whilst maintaining focus on social impact through new approaches to delivery. We also worked to ensure that service delivery was in line with Bristol City Council’s Corporate Strategy 2018-23 and One City Plan, whilst supporting the sector’s engagement and contribution to these key strategic frameworks. Enabling Collaboration and Partnership One of our main objectives is to enable and facilitate greater cohesion, collaboration and partnership within the VCSE sector and with our partners. As you will see, much of our work this year has involved leading and contributing to collaborative projects: working closely with public and private sector partners to enable growth and development

through programmes funded by, for example, Bristol City Council, Power to Change, The Big Lottery and our local community foundation, Quartet. We also created and contributed to specific programmes of work to ensure both the organisation and sector was more fully embedded as a key strategic partner in citywide decision-making. For example, the development of a new VCSE Sector Leaders Network, supporting engagement and contribution to the work of the Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire CCG, Bristol’s One City Plan and One City Approach, Bristol City Funds Initiative, two Mayoral Commissions (Race Equality & Women) and other citywide strategic developments (see Voice and Influence activities). For Voscur, our members and the wider sector, 201819 was a significant year of change. Our sector’s response to a fast changing political, social and economic environment has seen more collaboration and innovation than ever before. So, as we rise to meet new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities, let’s continue to work together to realise the ambition of a fair, healthy and sustainable city, where everyone can share in its success.

Strategic objectives for Bristol’s VCSE sector •

Distributed leadership

Financial independence – a more commercial approach

Facilitating access to data and information

Independent voice

Increased collaboration, partnership and cohesion

Greater resilience and adaptability

For more information on Bristol’s VCSE strategy, see: www.voscur.org/partnership/strategy-and-relationships 3 1 AR 2018-19 V2.indd 1

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Service outputs and social impact Voscur’s real impact, via our members, is measured by the difference felt in individual people’s lives in the city. The numbers behind that impact also helps to tell Voscur’s own story. Across 52 training courses and events, this year we:



of trainees to increase their organisation's capacity Supported

£953k of funding bids

Delivered training to


groups Helped to bring


of new income into the city

Engaged excluded social entrepreneurs: Developed fundraising skills in



of startup clients from priority wards


Graphic credit: Raw Pixel/Freepik

Delivering impact and making a difference

“You knew your stuff in more detail

"Because of this session,

than any other training session, on

I’m going to adapt our language and use more images to capture our audience. The Action Plan template will also be very useful."

anything I've attended. It was brilliantly

Zoe Morgan, from Carers Support Centre, attended Introduction to Social Media

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organised and prepared - so thorough. This reflects huge respect for Voscur and for attendees. Thank you for all you put into this. It was extremely useful and practical."

Antonia Reynolds, from Happy City, attended Practical Financial Management for Charities

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Delivering impact and making a difference

Training and learning To drive improvement in organisations' capacity, our training programme is divided into five themes (collaboration, planning, influence, finance and leadership), each with three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

"The session gave me a good understanding of many roles, and lots to think about. I can now put it into practice."

Our most popular training course during the year was ‘Being a Good Board Member’, a session aimed at new or prospective trustees. As trustees are volunteers who give their time outside of their jobs or day-to-day responsibilities, this course was delivered in the evening as a comprehensive 2.5 hour session. To help trustees work towards higher standards of governance, Voscur also offers a follow-up session, ‘Being an Even Better Board Member’ at intermediate level. In light of the growing demand for organisations to use social media channels and build their online presence, Voscur ran an ‘Introduction to Social Media’ course in March 2019. Twitter was the biggest concern for attendees, so our next step was to deliver an ‘Introduction to Twitter’ lunchtime briefing.

Published adverts for

2039 staff and trustee roles Researched and promoted


Mano Candappa, from Bristol Refugee Rights, attended Being a Good Board Member

Produced or sourced and shared


digital resources to increase organisational performance

funding opportunities via our online channels

As the first line of practical advice continues to shift online, steady growth in web engagement shows Voscur to be a reliable gateway to organisational support: •

Referrals to the website from social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) increased by 11% year-on-year.

Direct arrivals to the website (when users do not arrive via a search engine or internet referral, but type the web address themselves) increased by 21% year-on-year. This suggests more people remember Voscur’s services and turn to them without wasting time searching online.

Popular search queries taking people to the website included ‘Voscur jobs Bristol’, ‘charity jobs Bristol’, ‘Voscur training’ and ‘social prescribing Bristol’.

Applying lessons from our Digital Leadership programme (see page 11) to our own services, next year we’re planning a range of website developments in response to customer feedback to help us and our members work more efficiently. Graphic credit: Katemangostar/Freepik

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Bristol’s VCSE Strategy Objective 1: Distributed leadership Voscur’s new and growing Sector Leaders Network embodies the strategic theme of strong and distributed leadership and supports the Bristol VCSE sector’s independence and resilience. The network also plays a key role in helping organisations and communities in the city have a greater voice and stronger influence in strategic decision-making across Bristol. It was launched last year as a development of our Advocates programme, to efficiently link grassroots activists with policymakers. Sector Leaders have the opportunity to take part in citywide discussions, help to develop policy and strategy through appointment to strategic boards and partnerships, and mobilise local communities to collectively shape decision-making. In the past year, the network has grown to 29 members, 10 of which sit on strategic boards and contribute to developing citywide strategy. Sector Leaders lead beyond their organisation, contributing to wider VCSE sector initiatives. So far, members of the network have: •

Brought together an NHS VCSE leaders group, which has gathered evidence on falls that helped inform a community care strategy.

Helped establish Playful Bristol (see www.playfulbristol.org): a consortium of play organisations that led development of a new play strategy for the city.

Represented the sector in a roundtable discussion on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) entrepreneurship, and helped to shape an inclusive social enterprise development programme to support BAME entrepreneurs.

Mapped the VCSE sector’s offering to the probation service, to encourage better use of community rehabilitation services.

Photo credit: Raw Pixel

Distributed leadership

Over the next year we aim to grow the network to at least 40 members and to continue to increase the role of VCSE input to the city’s policies and strategies.

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Distributed leadership

Case Study: Why I joined the Sector Leaders Ruth Green, Community Development Manager at BS3 (www.bs3community.org.uk), joined the Sector Leaders earlier this year. She explains why grassroots involvement in strategic decision making at a city level is vital to successful communities: “The VCSE sector tends to be very fragmented, so the more we can learn about one another the more we can identify areas of common interest and so explore ways to work together. “We each don’t need to do everything, rather we should identify needs and support people who are the experts to deliver against those needs and work alongside us. “If we can collectively agree some principles then we can have a collective voice when we talk to, and negotiate with, the CCG, community health, Bristol City Council and others to help change the way that each of them view communities [see page 15 for the Healthier in Partnership case study]. “We can then help them do things differently so that the VCSE sector is seen as an equal partner that supports their work, rather than being used to fill gaps created from services being withdrawn.”

Why leadership matters in the VCSE sector www.cloresocialleadership.org.uk/assets/ resources/Talking-Leadership.pdf a report, published July 2019, with qualitative research on leadership in the sector. Key takeaways: we need more empathy and self-awareness in leadership, and we must look beyond traditional hierarchies to be more flexible and open-minded. www.acevo.org.uk/resources/podcast the podcast from ACEVO (the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations). Podcast guests have so far included Duncan Dunlop, CEO of Who Cares? Scotland; Girish Menon, CEO of ActionAid UK; and Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award.

Become a Sector Leader today: www.voscur.org/sector-leaders-apply AR 2018-19 V2.indd 5

Photo credit: Hello I'm Nik via Unsplash


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Bristol’s VCSE Strategy: Objective 2 - Financial Independence In 2019, nearly three-quarters of charity leaders nationally said there was more uncertainty in their operating environment than in previous years1, and charity income from government dropped to its lowest proportion for almost 20 years2. Reductions in funding for non-statutory services are likely to continue - compounded further as a new government deals with Brexit in 2020. Although Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire NHS recently commissioned a social enterprise to deliver a £1bn community health services contract, charities and social enterprises in Bristol still face considerable funding challenges. A number of major citywide programmes are also coming to an end: Golden Key, Bristol Ageing Better, Building Better Opportunities and the Social Enterprise Innovation Programme. Unsurprisingly, we’ve seen the demand for fundraising support has changed little this year and we expect this to continue through 2019-20. This is why the financial independence theme of the VCSE Strategy is so crucial – plus, it ties into Bristol’s One City Plan goal to make Bristol’s social economy inclusive and sustainable. While a mixed income approach is still debated in some areas, it is also clear that social enterprise and social investment are growing in our sector. For example, our partners Bristol & Bath Regional Capital are leading the deployment of social investment through City Funds, and Power to Change is supporting the ‘Mayor’s Asset Group’ to find new ways of working with VCSE organisations interested in taking on community buildings and land for the benefit of local residents and communities.

Financial independence - A more commercial approach

In addition to being part of these initiatives, Voscur has also worked to: •

Support organisations, bringing £3.3m of new income into the city, and develop financial independence through enterprise and investment.

Maintain and, in many cases, expand community services, helping to offset the reduced local government spending on disadvantage.3

Increase the diversity of new entrepreneurs working to establish tomorrow’s charities and social enterprises, through our SEIP partnership with Bath University and the School for Social Entrepreneurs Dartington.

Co-design and deliver a long-term development programme for organisations shaping business plans around their assets, including some of the most disadvantaged residents and groups in the city.

How does this translate into financial independence? It shows that more organisations are embracing a shift from asking to earning, or from grant fundraising to resourcing a vision. For individual groups that are successful, this should mean greater financial independence – and for the city as a whole, we’re working to ensure it also leads to a stronger, more diverse and sustainable social economy. 1 = Small Charity Leaders Insight Report, Garfield Weston Foundation and Pilotlight, 2019. 2 = Charity Almanac, NCVO, 2019. 3 = New Policy Institute & Lloyds Bank Foundation (2018): www.npi.org.uk/publications/local-government/quiet-crisis

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Financial independence - A more commercial approach

Case study: Social Enterprise Innovation Programme The Social Enterprise Innovation Programme (SEIP) was a partnership with Voscur, 3SG in BANES, CVS South Gloucestershire and the School for Social Entrepreneurs, accelerating the impact and influence of social businesses in the West of England. Voscur contributed its Kick Start social enterprise start-up programme to the partnership. Over three years, this programme has made a targeted contribution to economic development in some of the city’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and helped to connect the different roles Voscur plays in supporting Bristol’s social economy. It sets out to address some of the key barriers to social enterprise, especially those faced by people from disadvantaged communities: “I don't know where to begin! I need help developing my idea, understanding the business and funding world, and which business models are right for me.” The programme took a rounded approach to support: getting the right skills mix in the pilot team, plugging the gaps, understanding what people don't know, and taking the best steps to address this. As our SEIP support enters a new chapter, we’re building on the SEIP programme’s key outputs:

• 131 applications were approved. • 108 individuals started the programme. • 94 individuals completed the programme. • 56 (62%) of entrepreneurs were from priority neighbourhoods. • 14% were unemployed and claiming benefits. • 46% identified as BAME. • 8% identified as disabled.

“Everything in Kick Start was useful. I now have a road map of how to start things,


Kick Start attendees came to us with social enterprise ideas that included a Muslim women's empowerment organisation, a cafe that gives back to local charities, a community-managed garden in East Bristol, and a men's mental health campaign. AR 2018-19 V2.indd 7

Solange Welch, Kick Start attendee

Photo credit: Raw Pixel

and how to get funding."


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Bristol’s VCSE Strategy: Objective 3 Facilitating access to data and information In the last two years, charities nationally feel their digital capability has reduced rather than increased, with skills and funding the two main barriers to a more strategic approach.4 Given the financial challenges outlined earlier, this is hardly surprising. But if charities and social enterprises are going to make Bristol’s economy more inclusive and equal – more of a social economy – they’ll need to ensure that information, data and technology help to level the playing field with commercial rivals. Bristol’s VCSE Strategy therefore sets out clear ambitions to support our sector’s services with digital skills and better evidence of impact through effective data management and reporting. Bristol is a national leader in technological innovation and development, but digital maturity within local charities and social enterprises often lags behind. So the Digital Leadership programme led by Voscur during the year – with Dot Project and West of England Civil Society Partnership – specifically targeted smaller and less well-resourced groups for support (see case study). This approach also contributes to the One City Plan by supporting organisations working with marginalised and disadvantaged communities to increase their connectivity with digital services. This approach also contributes to the One City Plan by supporting organisations working with marginalised and disadvantaged communities to increase their connectivity with digital services. As part of our regular work, Voscur also worked to increase local data and digital skills by: •

Publishing at least one new digital resource on our website every week.

Sharing links to open data sources and facilitating support to use them effectively.

Increasing our own digital engagement via Twitter (monthly impressions are up by 105% and followers by 8%), our website (sessions are up 7%), weekly email bulletin (subscribers are up 32%) and digital training.

Investing in systems and skills development in-house, to improve our own use of digital and share that experience with local organisations.

Contributing to the local authority’s development of a Social Value Policy and toolkit.

Facilitating access to data and infomration

Our work on social value, and our pioneering use of the Qualitative Impact Protocol methodology, led to our role in Social Value UK’s Bristol Roadshow in 2019, raising the profile of data management and suitable tools with local groups. This event highlighted the complex language, systems and meanings attached to data and its value, and the importance of turning to these when proving social value.

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More information: https://bit.ly/2ZKi3yF (Bristol City Council’s Social Value Policy) www.socialvalueuk.org www.voscur.org/insight/bulletin

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There’s a growing digital divide between wellresourced and under-resourced charities and social enterprises. To address this, Voscur led a collaborative programme to develop digital leadership skills and confidence, targeting marginalised communities in Bristol and the West of England. The programme used the trusted relationships that Voscur and other local support organisations have with smaller VCSE groups. We delivered targeted digital training from Dot Project in webinars, virtual drop-ins, face-to-face sessions and peer networks.

Facilitating access to data and infomration

Case study: Digital leadership programme

In addition to boosting Voscur’s tools and confidence to provide more digital support, the programme exceeded its original goals and impact, consciously targeting groups in disadvantaged communities like Lockleaze, South Bristol, Yate and Weston super Mare. Outcomes of the Digital Leadership programme:

• 121 individuals reached from 96 charities, of whom 63% were female, 18% BAME, 8% had a disability and 40% were aged under 24. • 81% said their level of knowledge and/or confidence had changed significantly. • 49% felt significantly more able to perform their role effectively. • 98% said they were going to make changes to their digital approach. Next steps In 2019-20 we aim to continue our partnership with Dot Project to help organisations develop their digital skills. We will focus on web delivery and also share the learning we have gained from Voscur’s investment in our own office systems, as well as open data.

Useful open data sources www.opendata.bristol.gov.uk (Bristol Open Data) www.theodi.org (Open Data Institute) www.ons.gov.uk (Office for National Statistics) www.threesixtygiving.org (360 Giving) www.yougov.co.uk (YouGov) AR 2018-19 V2.indd 9

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Bristol’s VCSE Strategy: Objective 4 - Independent Voice During periods of social fragmentation, the need for voices to be heard and respected is more important than ever – particularly if we are to avoid increased marginalisation. Bristol’s charities and social enterprises represent a progressive force for inclusion, but they also face pressures which can increase division between neighbourhoods, communities of interest and organisations. Having collectively identified the need for a ‘shift in the balance of power back down to the grassroots’ through our work developing the VCSE Strategy, we now have a collective responsibility to provide the leadership and support that works towards a shift in power. Voscur has contributed to this goal through three types of work:

1. Direct outreach to engage priority communities in organisational development Our dedicated Community Outreach Co-ordinator is key to this - building relationships with new and emerging groups as well as projects such as the Social Enterprise Innovation Programme and enabling partnership development for organisations supporting refugees and asylum seekers.

2. Leadership and development support for specific equalities groups Voscur’s CEO remains a member of Bristol’s Commission on Race Equality and Bristol’s Women’s Commission and works closely with Black South West Network (BSWN), Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI), BeOnBoard and Bristol City Council on initiatives that support greater inclusion and diverse leadership and representation in the city. During the year, Voscur also acted as an advisory partner to Bristol’s Voice & Influence Partnership, delivered through The Care Forum, which prioritises the inclusion of older, disabled, LGBTQ+, BAME or faith communities.

3. Voice & Influence within policy and strategy development Voscur Sector Leaders play a key role in the city, ensuring that the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector is involved in decision-making on a broad range of issues. Sector Leaders contribute to key strategic partnerships, boards and forums, working with representatives across a range of sectors, whilst advocating on sector issues and contributing from a sector perspective. Equality, diversity and inclusion are integral to Voscur. To reflect this at a decision-making level, we secured places on strategic boards for a range of independent organisational voices, such as Bristol Multi-Faith Forum and Babbasa. We are also helping to shape policy and system change through work led by the University of Bristol such as the Bristol Forum and Everyday Integration projects.

More information:

Independent voice

www.blacksouthwestnetwork.org www.bristolforum.org.uk www.thecareforum.org/voiceinfluence-partnership

Photo credit: Shawn Miller

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Independent voice

Case study: Avonmouth Community Centre Nigerian church group on Sunday; Kenyan refugees for Zumba on Monday; men’s group on Tuesday; underfives for toddlers group and soup on Wednesday… just another average week at Avonmouth Community Centre. At the heart of Bristol’s industrial zone, Avonmouth Village is also home to people who are among the most deprived in England with particular challenges in terms of education and employment, public health and community cohesion. Currently undergoing renovation work, Avonmouth Community Centre is both a marker of the area’s past (the building was originally a school, built in 1886) and its future (younger, more active and diverse). In recent years, Voscur has provided support with governance, funding and advice for refugees and asylum seekers. The Association that runs the Centre has taken on responsibility for its management from the City Council, and it’s now home to the local library, MP and councillor surgeries, a lunch club using food grown at the neighbouring community garden, and a range of health and wellbeing services: from bowls to ballet. In an area short of leisure facilities and with a high proportion of young people not in education, employment or training, the Centre offers activities for school-age children every day, including dance, martial arts and an after school club. Though geographically and socially on Bristol’s margins, the Centre is an example of the need to listen to and amplify diverse voices within a community. With the skill and determination of its staff and attendees, it shows what a sustainable and responsive community centre should be like.

"We want to maintain a community centre and library now and for future generations, but this is often challenging. The support we have received from Voscur has been invaluable to our community. " Jac Blacker, Avonmouth Community Centre AR 2018-19 V2.indd 11

Photo credit: Avonmouth Communuty Centre


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Bristol’s VCSE Strategy: Objective 5 Increased collaboration, partnership and cohesion Throughout the year, we increased our learning to enable effective partnerships and collaborations. Our approach and depth of experience has supported a fertile environment for collaborations to secure investment and direct resources towards the greatest possible impact. Bristol in Partnership is the protocol that sets out the sector’s approach to co-production and collaboration. This new framework brings greater focus on the principles and behaviours necessary for effective partnership during a period of economic uncertainty and increasing social challenges. To date, Bristol in Partnership has been used successfully to expand market opportunities for charities, community groups and social enterprises – Healthier in Partnership, for example (see the case study on the right).

West of England Civil Society Partnership During the year, the partnership incorporated as a new community interest company, comprising directors from South Gloucestershire CVS, 3SG in Bath and North East Somerset, VANS in North Somerset, The Care Forum, Wesport and the West of England Rural Network. Its focus is developing strategic alliances and partnership across geographical borders in order to better support and develop the VCSE sector at a subregional level and attract inward investment – 2019’s Digital Leadership programme, for example.

The National Lottery Community Fund – ‘Pitch Your Project’ Programme Delivered in collaboration with The National Lottery Community Fund, this programme was aimed at addressing the inequalities in South Bristol. Instead of supporting local groups to send application forms to lottery grant managers, they gave the area a budget and helped residents allocate funding based on presentations made by local organisations. Following outreach, support and advice to interested community groups, we held an event to showcase the impact that strong partnerships and focussed support can deliver.

Increased collaboration, partnership and cohesion

As a result, 11 community groups secured up to £10,000 each for a community festival in Filwood, a community improvement programme in Bedminster, inclusive fashion for young disabled people, help for families struggling with benefits, creative holiday programmes for vulnerable children, and opportunities for isolated people with mental health issues to meet people and get involved in social activities. Most of the successful groups had not previously been funded – a great example of enabling an often overlooked area of the city to realise its own ambitions by providing resources and opportunity.

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Increased collaboration, partnership and cohesion

Case study: Healthier in Partnership Having long since acknowledged the social drivers of poor health, policymakers have continued to grapple with the implications of this evidence and the crucial role it demands for VCSE organisations in preventative wellbeing. Our Healthier in Partnership project, for example, aims to improve VCSE involvement in all levels of the Sustainability Transformation Partnership (STP) – NHS services across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. In partnership with the STP, The Care Forum and Voluntary Action North Somerset, this project was part of an NHS England learning programme aimed at sharing our approaches with others. The goal is to integrate care with community services delivered closer to where people live. Project activities (an evidence review, interviews, focus groups and a co-produced partnership event) involved many Bristol organisations and stakeholders, and led to the most current understanding of VCSE involvement in the STP. We now have a clearer alignment between primary care and VCSE sector services. Themes from the review stage were:

• Communications, language and culture • Shared strategic leadership • Joint knowledge of services and pathways • Diversity and points of access • Locality-based working and specific communities The project will continue into 2019-20 and focus on a joint action plan and further integration - ultimately, this project will support VCSE organisations’ involvement in STP decision-making and developments. This means community-led VCSE services can contribute even more towards bringing health services into local communities.

Could you benefit from a collaboration? Email our Head of Partnerships and Commissioning: mark@voscur.org AR 2018-19 V2.indd 13

"Wonderful day in Bristol learning about #HealthierInPartnership and how VCSE and statutory organisations can work better together to help people across our region. Inspiring and educational; thank you."

Diabetes UK South West, event attendees, via Twitter

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Bristol’s VCSE Strategy: Objective 6 Greater resilience and adaptability Both nationally and locally, financial challenges for voluntary organisations have become much tougher over the last ten years; at the same time, demand for their services has gone through the roof. A large part of Voscur’s purpose involves helping VCSE groups to develop greater resilience and adaptability, so it continues to lead the city's social economy and the aims it shares with the One City Plan. This means supporting organisations to develop stronger governance, achieve and measure a more lasting impact, create strong processes and explore different ways of funding. Our development services focus on targeted outreach to communities and individuals who might otherwise be excluded from support. Support requests might involve volunteers wanting to take their tiny self-help group to the next level, a group of socially-committed entrepreneurs looking to trade with a social purpose, a well-established organisation needing to improve their impact measurement, or a key local service that needs to develop alternative funding streams in order to ensure sustainability. In total over the year we completed 412 such organisational development support cases – over the phone, via email and through face-to-face meetings.

Greater resilience and adaptability

Notable priorities for local groups this year included planning and managing change, sustainability and collaboration. Social enterprise development, financial diversification and inclusion all look set to be hot topics next year.

To help your organisation succeed, contact us on: 0117 909 9949 info@voscur.org www.voscur.org

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Photo credit: Raw Pixel 21/01/2020 10:59:03

Greater resilience and adaptability

Case studies: Youth Sector Support Fund, Scent CIC and East Central Safeguarding Youth Sector Support Fund (YSSF) In 2018 we began work to support youth or play organisations in the city to improve performance, develop systems and partnerships, and explore new opportunities for income generation. More than 50 organisations have had Voscur’s support so far. Some of these groups have secured development grants. Some have been supported to seek delivery funding from trusts and foundations. Others have received targeted help to strengthen governance and management systems to the quality standards funders require. Those looking to reduce grant dependency and increase financial independence can access our “Project 2020” support, which explores trading and social investment.

In March 2019, we ran a Children and Young People sector conference as part of the YSSF. 95% of practitioners said this conference, Sustaining the CYP Sector, helped them develop their organisation’s sustainability.

SCENT CIC We first met SCENT CIC when they were referred for support after being successful in their YSSF application. The grant panel was very impressed by their targeted and exciting creative provision for disadvantaged young people, but felt that they needed a longer-term funding strategy if they were to continue providing a sustainable service. We helped review how the CIC currently works, how they can become more fundable, and supported them to identify and apply to core funders.

East Central Safeguarding Since the start of YSSF we’ve been in conversation with Felix Road Adventure Playground and other local youth organisations about their concerns with some aspects of safeguarding in Easton. These collaborative conversations have evolved into a new partnership that is taking forward a community-led action plan. We have supported this key work by organising a conference and coordinating the resulting Steering Group. This is a really positive example of adapting to increased and changing demand on services. As well as enabling resource and skills-sharing, this proactive approach will help to build resilience in each member organisation and keep children safe while they play and grow.


Photo credits: Kevin Laminto via Unsplash; Raw Pixel.

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Thank You Our Members Thank you to each and every Full Voscur Member, Associate Member and Individual Member. We are proud to serve your interests and help you grow, learn and collaborate.

Our 2018-19 Board Members Elected from our membership, for their support, direction and guidance: Sandy Hore-Ruthven (Chair), Creative Youth Network (resigned January 2019) Steve Sayers (Vice-chair), Windmill Hill City Farm Matt Wortley (Treasurer), individual member (elected January 2019) Joanna Holmes, Barton Hill Settlement Alex Kittow, Southmead Development Trust Dan Lyus, WE Care and Repair Kamaljit Poonia, Ujima Radio Suzanne Thompson, The Restore Trust Laura Welti, Bristol Disability Equality Forum (resigned October 2018) Lin Whitfield, individual member Sian Jones, individual member (elected January 2019) Diane Robinson, individual member (elected January 2019) Sam Thomson, The Ardagh (elected January 2019)

Our 2018-19 Staff Team Polly Allen, Chris Bienvenu, Katie Finch, Lucy Fletcher, Maria Franchi, Richard Foote, Lorna Henry, Ellie Hooper, Mark Hubbard, Dr. Sarah Jackson, Sui Lau, Jennifer McLamb, Sandra Meadows, Meera Pandya, Ria Powell, Vicky Redding, Phoebe Westwood, David Whittaker, Jenny Wildblood.

Our 2018-19 Volunteers Ade Olaitan, Sue Williams.

Our Partners Bristol City Council Bristol & Bath Regional Capital Black South West Network Dot Project SLR Consulting Quartet Community Foundation School for Social Entrepreneurs Locality The Care Forum

Bristol Commission on Race Equality (CoRE) Councillor Asher Craig, Councillor Carole Johnson, Desmond Brown, Sandra Gordon, Veron Dowdy,

Thank you

At our AGM in January 2019 we announced the appointment of Lin Whitfield as Voscur’s new Chair of Trustees. Lin is a highly experienced independent consultant with extensive knowledge of the sector having worked with a wide range of organisations locally and nationally.

In addition, we were delighted to welcome Sam Thomson, CEO of The Ardagh Community Trust, and freelance consultants Di Robinson and Sian Jones to the Voscur Board.

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Thank you

Nishan Canagarajah, Esther Deans MBE, Ann Degraf-Johnson, Sumita Hutchison, Maya Mate-Kole, Nick Young.

Bristol Mayoral Commission for Women (BWC) Sue Arrowsmith, Jackie Beavington, Councillor Harriet Bradley, Diane Bunyan, Joanne Butler, Councillor Jude English, Penny Gane, Councillor Helen Godwin, Patricia Greer, Jane Harrington, Councillor Margaret Hickman, Theresa Hussey, Sumita Hutchison, Jacqui Jenson, Alice Jones, Joanne Kaye, Stephanie Marshall, Sandra Meadows, Sue Moss, Helen Mott, Alex Nestor, Alicia O’Grady, Sarah Pullen, Jana Smidkova, Professor Judith Squires, Teresa Sullivan, Deborah Waddell, Donna Whitehead, Kalpna Woolf.

Our 2018-19 Voscur Sector Leaders Thanks to those of you who have supported us during 2018–19, including:

Our 2018-19 Funders, Donors and Sponsors Bristol City Council (Neighbourhoods & Communities Team), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), KPMG, Power to Change, Quartet Community Foundation, VWV.

Lastly... Our thanks to the many individuals and organisations not specifically mentioned here but who shared their time, skills, specialist knowledge and other resources to support Voscur and Bristol’s VCSE sector throughout the year. Your support and contribution is very much appreciated and we look forward to continuing our work together in the coming years.

Graphic credit: Bristol City Council

Aisling Bennett, Oasis Hub North Bristol Poppy Brett, Lifecycle Dom Wood, 1625 Independent People Fiona Castle, Imayla Mya-Rose Craig, Black2Nature Nia Crouch, UWE Bristol David Dravie-John, Pax Productions Ltd. Julie Edwards, BAND Graham England, ARA Elaine Flint, Wellspring Healthy Living Centre

Frances Fox, The Bridge Foundation Antony Hill, Barnardos Patsy Hudson, Off the Record Suzi Mackenzie, Scope (Bristol Reggae Orchestra, Bristol Mediation) Debra Newrick, Bristol Women's Voice Alex Raikes, SARI Rachel Robinson, Learning Partnership West Janine Starr, Oasis Hub North Bristol Suzanne Thompson, Restore Trust Buba Touray, African Voices Forum

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

/voscur /voscur

Image credits (front and back cover):Adrian Scottow


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Supporting Voluntary Action Voscur, Royal Oak House, Royal Oak Avenue, Bristol, BS1 4GB

Voscur is a registered charity and a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.  Company no. 3918210.  Charity no. 1148403

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