The prospects for local infrastructure: straws in the wind?


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The presentation was a workshop at Evolve 2014: the annual event for the voluntary sector in London on Monday 16 June 2014.

This presentation was chaired by Terry Perkins, Development Officer (NAVCA).

Find out more about the Evolve Conference from NCVO:

Find out more about the work NCVO does around funding:

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  • Challenges for infrastructure

    Unprecedented cuts
    Welfare reforms – increasing need & demand
    Increased competition
    Grants to contracts
    Infrastructure being bypassed
  • Unsettlement of infrastructure?
    There is significant change underway:
    Closures, reductions in services and changes of focus
    Mergers and partnerships
    Moves towards new funding models
    New relationships with local business
    New relationships with the private sector

    Rob MacMillan’s themes:
    New support needed
    Changing delivery mechanisms
    Hollowing out

  • Emerging findings

    Communications: many people still don’t know what the sector does

    Austerity – less funding v increasing demad
    Transfer of services & ‘assets’ but not resources
    New finance models – PbR, social investment, SIB

    Scope for more, but resource intensive
    Cross sectoral?

    Harder for local small & medium

    Markets – rhetoric leading practice?

    Voice & influence – vital for small advocacy groups, but getting squeezed

    Infrastructure reclaiming Community Development
  • TLI

    Mergers, partnerships, alliances , hubs:
    Resource sharing
    Shared services
    Sustainable funding:
    Local giving
    Placed-based brands

    Harnessing business capacity:
    Skills sharing
    United Way – business relationship CSR (London, Merton.

    Rethinking voice & engagement:
    Virtual Voices Panel (Worcestershire)
    Virtual assembly (Wakefield)

    Online solutions – blended with face to face support
    Diagnostic & referral systems

  • NAVCA’s Independent Commission is intended to put the future of local infrastructure in our own hands

    There will be challenges and choices…………….but many are already adapting

    Time to hear from a couple of them…… but before that, any questions?
  • The prospects for local infrastructure: straws in the wind?

    1. 1. Workshops PM3: The prospects for local infrastructure: straws in the wind? Chair: Terry Perkins, Development Officer, NAVCA Speakers: Neil Cleeveley, Deputy Chief Executive, NAVCA Jake Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer, Hackney CVS Sally Polanski, Chief Executive Officer, Community and Voluntary Sector Forum
    2. 2. Changing environment • Infrastructure specific funding gone • Frontline first • Shifting geographical boundaries (CCG, PCC..) • Marketisation – demand led funding • Tailored support
    3. 3. Unsettled outlook
    4. 4. Independent Commission on the Future of Infrastructure Key tasks: • Gather evidence • Invite views • How infrastructure responds to challenges • Propose practical action
    5. 5. Transforming voluntary action support
    6. 6. It all started with the luncheon clubs… Jake Ferguson Chief Executive Officer Hackney CVS
    7. 7. About Hackney • 2,000+ VCS groups, very diverse - 80% under £50k turnover • Respectful and productive relationships between VCS and public sector • Lots of provider networks • Formal mechanisms for VCS to participate in strategic decision making structures, grant panels etc. • Lots of co-production of local strategies
    8. 8. About Hackney CVS • £1.5m turnover – mix of income from public sector (Council/NHS/MOPAC), BIG Lottery Fund • 19 staff with 24 sessional young people • Juggling 20-30 projects at any one time - Lead lots of consortia and partnerships • Have had BASIS, TLI and other funds but not as a main source of income • Provide two hubs in Hackney – income from hot desks and conference room c£35k • Major income from leading partnerships and proactive business cases to public sector
    9. 9. Some of our partnership work We are not a typical CVS in that we do direct delivery with local partners e.g.: • Families First Family Intervention programme - BIG • Mayor’s Mentoring Programme - GLA • Stop and Search work - MOPAC • Social Prescribing & Innovation grants - CCG • Healthwatch – LB Hackney • Take Care of the Pennies – Lloyds TSB • Luncheon Club contracts – LB Hackney
    10. 10. So what’s this about luncheon clubs? Heard in 2011 that Council were cutting luncheon clubs Worked with Council to look at alternatives Agreed to model SPV in Manchester Secured £50k development money from Council to develop SPV Then used TLI to continue its development So what are the key lessons? • Work with the commissioners with the problem/offer solutions • Ensure you have sector buy in – any SPV needs members! • Mirror best practice and be confident about your approach
    11. 11. So where are we now? • Hackney CVS now managing £120k luncheon club contracts and supporting 20 clubs to develop and work in partnership • SPV has secured £270k three year Carers Contract for Hackney with 15 partners • SPV is leading £5.75m bid around older people and social isolation with 50 VCS and public sector partners • SPV is leading bid to reduce hospital admissions and improve discharge rates
    12. 12. The lack of grants & resources for local VCS support Solutions: • Hackney Giving • Joint bid writing and development – has secured over £3m this way • Pro-bono help from business sector staff • Supporting cohorts of sector more, fewer one to ones • Apprentices and volunteers – we would be lost without them!
    13. 13. Bringing the voice of local people to the decision making table • We still use elected VCS reps but public sector want more from users/residents • Community Insight approach has provided very valuable • Started using approach after riots • Mayor’s partnership event in July will feature video, audio and written evidence from 14 local community groups about how Hackney is changing.
    14. 14. What’s next? • Making sure we have the capacity to continue to expand and diversify • Continue to be proactive in taking business cases to the public sector • Retain experienced and committed staff team • Work with sector to tackle big issues for Hackney through partnerships – domestic violence and childhood neglect, young black men
    15. 15. Over to you… Either on your own or in groups with the people around you, use the “twitter “ cards on your chairs to answer the questions on the next slide, comment, raise new questions or generally entertain the audience (in an infrastructure related way!). In the spirit of twitter, keep your comments short and succinct.
    16. 16. Over to you… • How can we, as infrastructure bodies working in more complex and challenging times, ensure the smaller and BMER VCS don’t lose out? • How can we keep grants on the agenda and available locally? • How can we survive as infrastructure bodies financially?
    17. 17. Case study: Brighton and Hove Community Works Sally Polanski CEO Brighton and Hove Community Works
    18. 18. Sharing our learning • How our recent history helped secure our future • What we offer the public sector • Developing our services for others
    19. 19. Our recent history • TLI merger • New and unprecedented City Council Policy on Third Sector and Communities • Joint Commission on infrastructure, community development and community engagement
    20. 20. We want voluntary and community action to have the greatest possible impact on people in Brighton and Hove. We put in place the support and networks that make it happen.
    21. 21. Who was involved in our TLI project? • CVSF • Business Community Partnership / Skills Exchange • Volunteer Centre • Performance Development Service • Working Together Project • Southeast Wellbeing Consortium • Trust for Developing Communities • Plus Strategic Working Group, independent Chair and the wider VCS
    22. 22. Our immediate future • Community Works Third Sector and Communities Partnership: £1.6mn contract 2014-17 and complex delivery chain • Taking Account 3: Economic and Social Audit of the Voluntary and Community Sector • Political uncertainty in the context of greatest cuts yet
    23. 23. Our offer to the public sector Partnership - Prospectus model for commissioning - Social Value Policy Panel - Consultation and engagement … but not as we knew it Value - Consultancy - Special Purpose Vehicle for umbrella contracts - Networks Flexibility - Shifting policy/priorities - Crisis support
    24. 24. Developing our services To our members - Target groups aligned with city priorities - Consultancy, training and paid for services To others - Specialist consultancy and community engagement - Business partnership - Focal point for volunteering services
    25. 25. Over to you… It’s “twitter” time again. Just to remind you of the rules… Either on your own or in groups with the people around you, use the “twitter “ cards on your chairs to answer the questions on the next slide, comment, raise new questions or generally entertain the audience (in an infrastructure related way!). In the spirit of twitter, keep your comments short and succinct.
    26. 26. Over to you… • In the context of cuts, how can infrastructure offer representation AND partnership to the public sector? • How do we, as infrastructure organisations, balance achieving diverse membership and inclusion with facilitating delivery partnerships that may exclude and divide? • Our remit is vast. We do a lot of things – some fairly well, others potentially less so. What do we want to do brilliantly and how do we make that our key to success in the future?
    27. 27. Questions and discussion
    28. 28. Thank You Neil Cleeveley Deputy Chief Executive NAVCA Tel: 0114 289 3954 Email: Web: Jake Ferguson Chief Executive Officer Hackney CVS Tel: 020 7923 8357 Email: Web: Sally Polanski CEO Brighton and Hove Community Works Tel: 01273 234023 Email: Web:
    29. 29. Evolve 2014