The Voluntary Sector Coordinator Project supports voluntary organisations andcommunity groups in Wandsworth to develop, collaborate and communicate both with each other and the NHS to work together in addressing health equality.

Interim Project Co-ordinator, Julie Bristow

The Wandsworth Voluntary Sector  Co-ordination Project has been funded since June 2016 by the NHS in Wandsworth, specifically the part of the NHS that plans and pays for NHS services, known as Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group or CCG, initially as a two year pilot to:

  • Help the voluntary sector to be stronger and better connected, and act as a link to the CCG 
  • Help the voluntary sector evidence what it can do to keep people healthy, physically and mentally
  • Help the CCG identify where they might invest in the voluntary sector  - in projects that are helping people to get in good health, both physically and mentally
  • Identify and share good practice across the sector and with the CCG, looking for opportunities to replicate or build u projects that are improving peoples wellbeing
  • Help groups or organisations form partnerships, both with each other and the CCG

Prior to the project being launched, representatives of several voluntary sector organisations came together, agreeing that the sector in Wandsworth is not as well organised as it could, and should be. It is known that many individual groups and organisations are making significant contributions to improving access, reducing health inequalities, improving health outcomes, keeping people out of hospital and more. However, the benefits are often not identified or recognised outside the local group and thus their benefits not shared across the population. It is often easier for people to get to a local group setting than to a clinical venue and people are likely to engage in activities in an environment that they are familiar and comfortable. Such activities are largely inexpensive and good value, well attended and can have a demonstrable contribution towards reducing health inequalities and improving health outcomes. If appropriate financial and or staffing resources were available this type of provision could be up scaled up or replicated in other areas in the borough.  Currently the work of the voluntary sector is largely opaque to the CCG, while the work of the CCG remains mysterious to the rest of the sector. Therefore the co-ordination project was established to act as a link, enabling both to take steps towards developing a shared understanding and realising how to work together towards shared outcomes.

This project recognises however that there are some existing mechanisms, networks and organisations which already support, develop and connect the voluntary sector and many existing routes for the sector and the CCG to share information.  The intention of this project is to support, link up, and work collaboratively with all individuals and organisations, adding value rather than duplicating or attempting to replace.  

The project has identified its priorities and activities through direct engagement and consultation with the wider sector and will continue to build knowledge and understanding, using a dynamic and adaptable approach and a variety of methods, including going to groups where they are at.  The project has shared its first report ‘Initial Findings and Recommendations’, read the first report here: (WVSCP Initial Findings and Recommendations June-October 2016)

The projects other activities will include:

  1. Helping to develop skills and capacity in the sector – particularly in collaboration and impact evaluation by increasing access to existing opportunities; co-ordinating free/inkind training; applying for funding to roll out this training.
  2. Providing a platform for organisations to share their work, learning and best practice as well as network and discuss shared issues through a voluntary sector forum, supported by a quarterly newsletter.  The forum will also be attended by Council and CCG commissioners.
  3. Draw together, evaluate and contribute to existing mapping initiatives and online directory Care4me. This will enable the project to inform the CCG what organisations or groups are already providing services, identify what support they might need to improve their outcomes, and avoid duplication.
  4. Increase awareness among GP’s of voluntary services through existing portals – possibly including facilitating opportunities for voluntary groups to present their services to GPs through the GP Forum, therefore increasing awareness and uptake of local people into voluntary sector services.

The next voluntary sector forum will take place on:

Wednesday 24th May 2017

Time: 10.45am to 1pm, followed by a networking lunch

Venue

St Mary's Church
Putney Bridge Approach
SW15 2JQ

For further information:
Contact the interim project manager Julie Bristow on 0208 516 7768 or Email: julie@wandcareall.org.uk

Notes and Presentations of Previous Forums

Notes of the Voluntary Sector Forum 8th February 2017

Community Partnerships Team Presentation Voluntary Sector Forum 8th February 2017

Prevention Framework Presentation Voluntary Sector Forum 8th February 2017

Share Community Presentation Voluntary Sector Forum 8th February 2017

Notes of the Voluntary Sector Forum 22nd June 2016

Notes of the Voluntary Sector Forum 30th November 2016

Voluntary Sector Co-ordination Project Presentation to November 2016 Voluntary Sector Forum


Other Project Documents