Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Sector Forum: Archive Briefings 2012 - 2013


Opportunities for the Sector in Health & Social Care - 16th May 2013
@ Tuned In, Redcar.

The overarching aim of the Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Sector Forum is to provide voice and influence for; and with the local voluntary and community sector.  Health and social care is currently a huge area of challenge, opportunity and change and the forum wanted to ensure that representitives from the sector had the opportunity to hear, discuss, challenge and support some of the key people and policies that are driving this 'sea change'.

Feedback from the day has been very positive.  Julia Weldon, Director of Public Health talked about the new Health and Well Being Strategy and the health challenges we face in our borough.  Victoria Ononeze, Acting Assistant Director for Health Improvement  spoke about the draft Community Capacity Building Plan and how the sector could shape it's direction and take ownership. 


Patrick Rice, Head of Commissioning at R&CBC talked about the challenges of their commissioning approach and how the sector could be a key player in the delivery of local services and add value to existing and potential provision.  Finally Janet Evans, Commissioning and Market Development Manager outlined opportunities for the VCS in Joint Commissioning locally.

Following each presentation the representitives from the sector were posed a question from the presenters to discuss and feed back on.  The discussion was lively, very challenging and very engaging. John Pearson said of the event: 'It seamed like there were two languages in the room, a strategic language and one of street level outcomes. It reminded me of trying to talk through two tin cans and a piece of string. This is not a criticism; but we will need to hold the string tight and develop a common language that can go forward, and overcome the challenges we have today in this economic climate'.

There were also presentations by Healthwatch Redcar & Cleveland and the South Tees Hospitials NHS Foundation Trust about how they were engaging with local voluntary and community groups.

A number of suggestions were made on the day about how the Forum could follow up on this very successful event and the steering group is already looking to organise our next event very soon, so look out for details.


Copies of all the presentations can be found by clicking on the links below:

Adult Services Commissioning Approach - Patrick Rice

Health & Well Being in Redcar & Cleveland - Julia Weldon

Community Capacity Building Plan - Victoria Ononeze

Joint Commissioning - Janet Evans

Healthwatch Redcar & Cleveland




Connecting Together for Change Update

The members of the Voluntary Sector Forum Steering Group continue to work with our public sector colleagues to progress the priorities outlined in the Connecting Together for Change Work Plan.

Community Asset Transfer

RCVDA is working with key officers from Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council to support local organisations to develop community based activity and how local resources can be secured to support the delivery of these activities where needed.  Three key pieces of work have been identified to support local organisations.  The first piece of work we have agreed is the joint production of a simple guide for groups who may be thinking about securing or using local resources and buildings. This will be a basic introduction for many people on Community Asset Transfer and the Right to Bid as outlined in the Localism Act.

Secondly we are hoping to develop a training session for groups who are developing ideas and projects and want to start thinking about constructing their business case and support with this area of work.  Finally we will be supporting the local authority in a review of their Community Asset Transfer policy and seeking the views of VCS organisations who have had some experience of being involved in the process.

Employment opportunities and the Voluntary and Community Sector:   7th March at Whale Hill Community Centre 9.30 to lunchtime
An Event to explore how we can make the most of what the voluntary sector has to offer in partnership with others to address the support we can give to those looking for work.
Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations can host apprenticeships.
We probably do not know enough about what apprenticeships are offering and feel a bit concerned that we have part of a job but perhaps not a whole job for and apprentice. We would like to explore if there are was the some of the larger voluntary groups can offer an apprentice an opportunity to work across a partnership of voluntary organisations.
Are we making the most of the opportunities to bid for contracts
An opportunity to share how groups are faring in contracting for services and are there things we can learn from one another.
Are we making to most of support for Social Enterprise?
An opportunity to find out more about how social enterprises are developing in the current climate and the impact they are able to bring
Voluntary and Community Organisations offer ideal placement for volunteers to support them in being job ready.
Are we all making the most of the opportunities to help people develop the basic skills which prepare them for work and give them a reference. How do we market this support and can we make more of it by partnership work?

The state of the voluntary sector in Redcar and Cleveland
We now have the results of the survey recently conducted in the voluntary sector.  The headlines of the survey show:

Income and expenditure

Unsurprisingly 77% of groups report their income as staying the same or decreasing with 79% reporting their expenditure as staying the same or increasing. However 16% report both an increase in costs and a reduction in their income.

Staffing levels

36% of respondents report a decrease in staffing levels and the ratio of full to part time staff has switched significantly since the 2010 survey with much fewer full time posts.


31% of groups are utilising more volunteers for the delivery of services and 49% have maintained the number of volunteers with the majority of groups having between 11 -- 20 volunteers.

Volunteering continues to provide a vital economic contribution to the borough and a conservative estimate based on the volunteer hours reported by a relatively small number of respondents is in the region of £530,000.

Service users
Respondents to the survey reflect a significant increase in the number of local people accessing their service. 61% are working with more service users and 31% of groups are working with the same number of beneficiaries from the previous year.

Working Together: The Redcar and Cleveland Compact.

Awareness of the Compact within the VCS and public sector partners is significantly higher than anticipated. Encouragingly respondents from the public sector have a high confidence level that the Compact can improve relationships between public bodies and the VCS. Responses from the voluntary and community sector reflected less confidence than our partners but the level was still relatively high at 54%. We have included direct quotations from both the sector and partners at the end of the report to reflect some very encouraging examples of working together.

To view the full results of the survey, click here

We will be using the information that the Council hold about contracts and grants to reflect the changes in financial support and income groups have experienced from the local authority over the last three years to provide a much fuller picture of how things are changing within the sector locally.
To add this information, we are also encouraging groups to complete the Surviving or Thriving survey being conducted across the North East by VONNE and you can complete you questionnaire on line by the survey monkey  link  this will help us tell the story of the impact of what this means and if groups are Surviving or Thriving
Or you can complete a paper copy and send it back in a freepost return envelope which you can obtain from:

TVRCC on 01642 213852 or Unit 2a Cadcam Centre, High Force Road, Riverside Park, Middlesbrough, TS2 1RH
Do please complete the questionnaire if you haven't already as it will help us make the cast for the needs of the voluntary and community sector in the North East.
Closing date for completion of the questionnaire is 1st March.




Briefing: Summer 2012


Welcome to the Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Sector Forum briefing


The briefing is to update you on all the areas and issues the forum has been working through on your behalf.


It is important to highlight that the members of Voluntary Sector Forum Steering Group (representatives of VCS groups from across the borough) have each led on distinct areas of work such as Troubled Families, the Police & Crime Commissioner, Adult safeguarding, Compact, Engagement etc - to ensure your interests are represented and fed into local structures and programmes.

We have tried to keep this update short and snappy – but if you would like to know more detail about any area covered in the briefing; then please do clink on the links for more information or please do get in touch!

Jane Reast
Chair, Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Sector Forum

Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Sector Forum Event

27 May 2012 at Grangetown Neighbourhood Centre.


Working with Neighbourhood Management


This was a very lively meeting attended by a broad range of voluntary & community sector groups. The agenda reflected a number of important issues emerging in our borough and the morning included workshops that gave local groups the opportunity to share and inform how we work with partners, particularly neighbourhood workers and managers. Mandy Walker, Head of Neighbourhood for Greater Eston delivered a presentation on how Neighbourhood Management operates, which can be viewed here: <click here>

During the workshops, local groups talked about their experience of neighbourhood management and what they felt we; as a sector should do to work together more effectively. The flipcharts of that feedback can be found here:

The steering group is now working with Neighbourhood management on an event to bring together Neighbourhood officers and working and local groups to find out more about each other.



Troubled Families

Fran White the Troubled Families Co-ordinator gave a presentation on the Troubled Families initiative nationally and how this might look locally. <Click here to view> 



Transforming Local Infrastructure

Dinah Lane from Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency outlined the successful Transforming Local Infrastructure bid and what this means for groups in our borough and the future of support services. The partnership bid submitted by RCVDA, MVDA and TVRCC for the South Tees area poses a number of challenges for local support organisations and seeks to develop new ways to service the needs of local groups.

To read an outline of TLI and see a ‘visual’ picture of the programme, click here for the visual and here for the outline.



At the Hear of Giving - Tees Valley Community Foundation

Tees Valley Community Foundation is our local grant making trust, providing a range of funding and support across the Tees Valley. For more information go to:



Troubled Families Update


The Troubled Families Initiative was created and driven by central government and focuses on the reduction of funding being spent on a relatively small number of families who have a complex range of needs. In Redcar & Cleveland the programme is being implemented to transform the way we work with families that have complex needs.

A number of developments have taken place since the programme was implemented in Redcar & Cleveland. Frances White was appointed as Troubled Families Coordinator and a list was pulled together between a number of statutory agencies of over 300 families who meet two or three of the eligibility criteria; i.e. unemployment, poor school attendance, anti-social Behaviour.

A project management Board which includes a broad range of partners was established and it was agreed Family + Project (PCT and VCS Key Worker project) would form part of the Troubled Families Programme. Recruitment is in progress to appoint a Troubled Families Key Worker Coordinator and x3 Key Workers and R&CBC has commissioned Tees Valley Housing to Key Work with 40 families this year.

We have also managed to secure free training places for new Key Workers to access Level 3/4 Working with Parents and an evaluation of the What Works project which will be used to inform the Troubled Families Programme.


Fran White has also secured one day per week of an Officer from Adults and Children’s Performance Team to work with Troubled Families Coordinator and IT Colleagues to develop a system to capture family case management, outcomes and cost savings / avoidances. To view a copy of the Troubled Families presentation, <click here>



Connecting Together for Change


Members of the VSF Steering Group and officers from local public bodies recently came together through our Connecting Together for Change initiative to discuss and work on a number of key issues in our borough. We are rightly proud of what we have all achieved through this process, but we must not become complacent and this remains our opportunity to progress specific areas of work and to discuss issues and concerns on behalf of the sector. 


Sometimes these discussions are not easy to have, but to ensure we are working to represent the interests of the sector and local people, we will continue to positively challenge our partners; and ourselves to work better together!


Together we have identified a number of key areas that we feel will help build the capacity of the local sector and have developed a number of specific pieces of work to take these forward. This work is brought together in a Project Implementation Document (PID). This document can be viewed here: 


Through the Connecting Together for Change initiative a group consisting of Professor Brian Footit (Chair of Redcar and Cleveland Partnership), Jane Reast (Director of ROC), Lawrence McAnelly (Chief Executive of The Junction and Patrick Rice (Head of Commissioning, Business and Improvement, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council) have agreed to work as a team to review two recently commissioned services that have been through the procurement process.


The aim is to ensure that the commissioning framework is being adhered to by reviewing two recently awarded RCBC contracts. This builds on the work that Connecting together for Change members contributed to in working with the local authority establishing a new and improved commissioning framework.


The expected outcome is to Identifying lessons learnt through and open and transparent process and report back to the wider Connecting together for change by October 2012. The first stage (July 2012) is for the team to discuss and agree which two RCBC contracts that will be tested for compliance.


Members Briefing

In late April 2012, Doff Pollard of Tees Valley Rural Community Council led a members briefing on behalf of the VSF as part of the training programme for Redcar and Cleveland Councillors. This was attended by approximately 10 local councillors, several of whom are senior ( including The mayor and the cabinet member) and significantly involved in the voluntary sector within their community.

The presentation which was based on the presentation made to the Voluntary Sector Forum and was well received and led to a significant discussion about where information to support voluntary groups within wards was held for members and what is the state of the sector. The points raised were fed back to officers. The session was appreciated to the point that a further session has been booked for the next programme of training.


To view the presentation, <click here>



VSF Steering Group

To view the minutes of the last VSF Steering Group meeting, <click here>



Police & Crime Commissioner


The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill provide that, in May 2012, 42 of the 43 Police Authorities in England and Wales will be abolished and, in 41 force areas, replaced with a Police & Crime Commissioner. The PCC will have a budget which will include the policing grant from the Home Office, various other grants (including non-ring fenced Drug Interventions Programme funding) and funds raised through local authority precepts in the force area.

Police and Crime Panels outside of London will comprise of a representative from each local authority in the force area with a minimum of 10 councillors and 2 co-opted members. There will be an opportunity for the Panel to increase their number of co-optees, both councillors and independents, up to a maximum panel size of 20. The Secretary of State will have a role in considering the appointment of these additional members.

Regular briefings are produced by the Home Office on current developments. To view the latest briefing from VONNE <click here>



Redcar & Cleveland Healthwatch Event


A Redcar & Cleveland Partnership branded Healthwatch event was held on Wednesday 20th June 2012 at Redcar & Cleveland College. The Health & Social Care Act requires local areas to strengthen the way in which the views of patients, users of health and social care services and the public influence the development and delivery of local services. One of the main ways of achieving this will be through the creation of a new organisation, Local HealthWatch, which will commence in April 2013.

The event provided an opportunity to find out more about information and influence how Redcar & Cleveland Healthwatch is designed and delivered. As well as a presentation from Mark Adams (PCT) on the background to Healthwatch there was also feedback on consultation to date, a question and answer session and plenty of time for people to have their say during facilitated workshops.

In total 64 people from a diverse range of backgrounds attended the event. The event identified the priorities for Healthwatch as well as the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to ensure it is successful. The findings will be incorporated into report developed by the Council who have a lead role in commissioning the Healthwatch service. For more information go to:





To contact us please email or phone on 01642 440571 and we will put you in touch with the relevant VSF member.

Below is the complete list of the documents in this briefing
PID (Project Initiation Document) for Building Capacity June 2012
South Tees Transforming Local Infrastructure - Briefing Note for Redcar & Cleveland Partnership Leadership Forum
Transforming Local Infrastructure South Tees - key components visual
VSF steering group minutes - 28 June 2012
Redcar & Cleveland elected members' briefing
VONNE briefing - Police and Crime Commissioners April 2012
Neighbourhood Management in Redcar & Cleveland