Wiltshire Council’s Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy
The strategy was launched at the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Assembly in September 2012. The strategy sets out the council’s corporate approach to working with and supporting the VCS in a way which is consistent with the Wiltshire Compact.
What is the Communities and Voluntary Sector Support Team?
The team was set up in July 2009 as the result of a recommendation to Cabinet – one of the suggested outcomes of the Voluntary and Community Services (VCS) Review (a joint review undertaken with the council, NHS Wiltshire and voluntary and community sector organisations).
Since that time the team remit has expanded to include work on military civilian integration, services to carers and financial inclusion. The aims of the team are to provide clear information on policy and practice relating to the council’s relationship with VCS organisations; support the VCS in relation to information about grant funding; provide information within and outside the council about the types and amounts of VCS activity funded by the Council/NHS Wiltshire; advise officers and councillors about VCS developments, issues and news; to be a first point of contact for VCS groups and organisations; ensure that relevant proposals with the VCS are taken forward appropriately; ensure that council spending in the VCS is spent wisely and fairly to achieve the best results for Wiltshire residents. Meet the team
What is their work plan?
- To develop and implement the Wiltshire Council VCS Strategy including consistency of VCS funding and align spending with council priorities;
- Manage the new VCS funding and performance monitoring frameworks with the sector;
- Work with the VCS to ensure that Wiltshire has a thriving Voluntary and Community Sector;
- Lead on and support the Wiltshire Compact – the set of principles within which the Public Sector and the VCS work together;
- Provide support and training within the council and in communities about how VCS activity can strengthen communities;
- Work to increase volunteering in the county and to publicise the benefits volunteering can bring to the individual, to the council and to communities;
- Manage the pooled NHS and council budgets for carers to ensure that the Carers Strategy and action plan is implemented and carers needs are met effectively;
- Lead on military and veterans work for the council including the Community Covenant Grants Panel and a wide range of projects outlined below.
Measuring the Impact of the VCS in Wiltshire
How does a voluntary or community organisation know that what it does is making a difference to the lives of the people or communities they are seeking to serve?
Wiltshire Council has partnered with the University of Bath to undertake a research project looking into the economic and social impact of Wiltshire’s voluntary and community sector. Find out more about this area of work
A carer is someone who provides unpaid support to a family member, partner, friend or neighbour. This could be because they are ill, frail, disabled or have mental ill health or substance misuse problems and these people could not manage at home without support. Find out more about carers.
The Communities and Voluntary Sector Support unit works closely with a number of partner organisations to encourage, support and develop volunteering in the county. There are countless ways in which people help out in their local communities and plenty of opportunities for others to get involved and benefit from the many rewards that volunteering brings. Find out more about volunteering.
Military and Civilian integration
The aim of the MCI Partnership is to optimise the economic and social benefits of the military presence in the county. In turn, such integration will benefit Armed Forces personnel, their families, veterans and local communities.
Wiltshire’s second Armed Forces Veterans Conference was jointly hosted by Wiltshire Council and Help for Heroes and held at Tedworth House on 6 March 2013. The conference brought together 70 delegates from a range of service providers in the voluntary, charity, and statutory sectors. The conference was held to foster stronger links between organisations which work with veterans and to further develop the action plan that supports Wiltshire’s Veterans’ Charter.
The Wiltshire Compact is an agreement between local public sector bodies and organisations of the voluntary and community sector to support and improve partnership working between the sectors. It is also a model for relations between organisations in the same sector. Find out more about the Wiltshire Compact.
Wiltshire Compact was shortlisted for a 2012 National Compact Award. Chair, Peter Baxter attended the awards ceremony on Wednesday 7 November at Central Hall Westminster.
Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) awards
The Wiltshire VCS Awards scheme is designed to recognise good practice and good performance, encourage sharing of success stories and to celebrate the many excellent and innovative things happening in the county. Find out more about the VCS Awards
Funding and Grants
Wiltshire Council provides over £27 million worth of funding to voluntary and community sector organisations in Wiltshire. This is either in the form of grants or where the council commissions a service. Find out more about funding and grants.
With Wiltshire’s specialist Funding Advice organisation – the Charities Information Bureau – ceasing to operate at the end of March 2013, the council is undertaking a survey about the future of funding information and advice. If you are a voluntary or community organisation in Wiltshire please help inform what a future service might look like by completing the survey.
Closing date: 28 April 2013
Resilient Communities Partnership (RCP)
The community and voluntary sector support unit is working with other partners through the RCP to agree priorities and actions which will contribute to Wiltshire’s vision for resilient communities.
Find out more about the resilient communities partnership (Please note this page is under review). Our new chair is Verena Buchanan.
Tackling financial inclusion
The community and voluntary sector support unit is working with other partners on ‘Wiltshire Money’ to tackle financial exclusion. People are financially excluded when they do not have access to basic financial services and products. Find out more about tackling financial inclusion.
Corporate equality and inclusion
We consult about equality and diversity work across the organisation, in service provision across the county and in partnership with other organisations in Wiltshire. Find out more about equality and inclusion
Communities and Voluntary Sector Support
Library HQ (Chapman's)
0300 456 0100
Last updated: 15 October 2013