Dacorum CVS – Summary of our work


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Dacorum CVS – Summary of our work

  1. 1. Dacorum CVS – Summary of our workDacorum CVS (working name Community Action Dacorum) is based in Hemel Hempstead,Hertfordshire, UK. We are a Registered Charity (No: 288080) and a Company Limited by Guarantee(No: 1745852), have an annual turnover of £1.7 million and a staff team of 27 Full Time Equivalent.We were originally formed in 1947 on the designation of Hemel Hempstead as a New Town and theneed for an organisation to draw together the existing and new communities within the town. Our work at a local levelThe work we undertake at a European level is underpinned by our active engagement at a local level.Listed below is a brief introduction to this work, which has running through it the strands ofcommunity involvement, community cohesion, lifelong learning and targeting support to thosefacing disadvantage in society: 1. Supporting NGO’s Our core activity is to provide advice, support and information to NGO’s who are based in or serve the Borough of Dacorum. Advice includes areas of funding, governance, policies and procedures. Support includes a printing service, hire of equipment and the organising of outdoor community events in the summer, at Halloween and Christmas. Information includes training, e-mail bulletins and putting people in touch with each other. In addition we have a representational role for the NGO sector in engaging with strategic planning, the preparation and delivery of the Sustainable Community Strategy and responding to consultations. We work at a local and regional level 2. Community Transport We have a fleet of nine minibuses we hire out to community organisations. There is in excess of 2,000 hires pa, as well as the operating of three bus routes. Alongside this we operate a social car scheme to help individuals with mobility difficulties and without their own transport to access hospital or doctor appointments, the shops, visit friends etc. We arrange over 1,800 such journeys pa.1|Page
  2. 2. 3. Herts Interpreting and Translation Service (HITS) This service has two roles, firstly we are a Registered Exam Centre for the Chartered Institute of Linguists and tutor students to sit the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI). In 2007 and 2010 we won the Nuffield Award for the best Exam Centre in the country, in 2002, 2009 and 2010 we had the best performing student in the Local Government Option and in 2010 the best performing student in the Health option. The students we train provide the nucleus of interpreters we call upon in delivering our service. We have contracts in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire and arrange around 8,000 assignments each year, primarily in the field of Health and Local Government. We have a call for over 70 languages in any one year. More information www.hertsinterpreting.org 4. Next Steps IAG We commenced in May 2011 as a provider of Information, Advice and Guidance sessions to assist adults aged 19 years + to make informed decisions in relation to their future career and learning options. We have three graduate trained Advisors and will provide support to 100 people per month 5. Cultural Learning Project This project delivers a range of training courses in community locations. These include English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), which dovetails with HITS in terms of includes Aromatherapy, Art, Belly Dancing, Cookery (Chinese, French, Indian and Italian), Mandarin and Yoga. We particularly target learners from ethnic minorities and train around 370 learners each year. 6. CAD Books and Learning We operate from retail premises in Hemel Hempstead town centre which are used as a second hand book shop and a venue to host our ESOL classes and Next Step advice provision 7. Paradise Furniture For the past thirteen years we have operated a furniture reuse service. We receive donations of unwanted furniture and sell these through the warehouse, with a policy of 50% discount to individuals on means tested benefits. We have over 3,500 items of furniture go through the warehouse each year.2|Page
  3. 3. 8. Paradise Training Based on the same site as the Furniture scheme, the training scheme delivers courses in a wide range of subjects, examples include fork lift truck driving, brickwork, block paving, music studio, plumbing, plastering, tiling, arts and crafts, beauty and IT. Our present client groups are migrant workers (referred by the GMB Union), young people in education, young people not in education, employment and training, individuals at risk of or having been made redundant or having been out of work for 12 months plus. We train over 800 individuals each year. We have just won on National Television lottery funding for a project to convert a minibus into a mobile music studio to train young people – more info http://www.peoplesmillions.org.uk/regions/london/projects/paradise-sounds-project 9. Connect Dacorum Connect Dacorum is delivering a local Corporate Social Responsibility initiative by linking local businesses with local good causes. We highlight how all parties can benefit from working together and provide businesses with a range of options on how they can engage. We work with large multinational companies through to self employed businesses. The range of engagement covers gifts in kind, cash gifts, employee volunteering, work placements, environmental good practice and sharing expertise. More information – www.connectdacorum.org.uk 10. Shopmobility The Shopmobility service is based in Hemel Hempstead Town Centre and hires scooters and wheelchairs to individuals who have either a temporary or permanent mobility difficulty. We have a total of 8,000 hires pa. 11. Dacorum Domestic Violence Forum (DDVF) We host the Forum and employ the Forum Co-ordinator. DDVF is a platform for NGO’s and public sector agencies to come together to share knowledge, experience and to ensure the profile of Domestic Violence is maintained and addressed. We arrange public facing events and in October each year organise theatre workshops for 14 year olds in local secondary schools to draw attention to what makes a good relationship. 12. Raising Knowledge Making Connections We have funding to arrange a training course programme to promote the work of local voluntary community groups to front line staff of public authorities and to residents who play an active part in their local community3|Page
  4. 4. At a European level 1. Recent concluded projectsWe have been involved in transnational projects since 1997 and over the past five years have beeninvolved with the following:2006 / 08 – European Year of Workers Mobility – Lead partner on project entitled Meeting theInformation Needs of Economic Migrants (MINEM), with partners in Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, Spainand UK. The project produced a DVD on working in the East of England, produced an InformationPack to assist migrants moving to a new locality and undertook research in each partner locality2007 / 08 – PROGRESS funding for project entitled Network to Know – we were lead partner withother partners from Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Spain and UK. The project objective was theexchange of experience and knowledge relating to the use of European Structural Funds. This wasundertaken through study visits and preparation of good practice guides. For more information –www.networktoknow.eu2008 / 10 – PROGRESS funding for project entitled Championing CSR Across Borders – we are leadpartner with other partners from Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia and Portugal. The project is exchangingexperiences through study visits, piloting CSR lessons in academic settings and the creation ofbooklets outlining employee volunteering and work opportunities for individuals facing disadvantagecase studies. For more information – http://www.csracrossborders.eu2005 – SENIORS - an exchange visit programme for volunteers age 50+ between France, Ireland,Poland and UK2005 / 07 INTERREG funding for REVOS project – with 14 partners in nine countries this projectexplored how the public sector supported NGOs in each participating country2007 – Active European Citizens – PEP Project (Participating in European Projects) with partners inItaly, Malta, Slovak Republic, Spain and UK – looking to raise awareness on European funding in eachlocation and encourage participation2009 – QUIN Project – with partners in Cyprus, France, Italy, Malta and Spain – the project hasconducted workshops in each locality to seek opinion in the areas of community cohesion, Europe,immigration and migration. The findings from each partner location have been compiled into aRecommendation Report and Guide for Useful European websites . For more information -http://www.quinproject.org/4|Page
  5. 5. 2. Current European Projects2010-12 - Active Now – a project funded through Grundtvig Senior Volunteering programme. Weare partnered with an NGO in Italy and are exchanging three volunteers each year who are spendingthree weeks volunteering in each location2011-12 – DEEP.Com – a project funded under Transversal KA4 looking at how to improve thedissemination and exploitation of European project outcomes. We are one of 10 partners in eightcountries, which is led by the Business Club of Austrialia. The project objective is to develop a webportal which will enable projects funded through the Lifelong Learning Programme and creatingtraining products to trade with the wider academic and commercial world. In essence, the aim is toensure the sustainability of project outcomes.2011-13 – Raising Horizons - a project funded through Grundtvig Senior Volunteering programme.aspending three weeks volunteering in each location2011-13 – Tools for Empowering Though Language - we are one of seven partners participating inthis Grundtvig Partnership. The project exchanges methods, tools and experiences relating to thetuition of the host country language to migrants and immigrants who have arrived in the country. Inthe UK this is English for Speakers of Other Languages and is the similar in the other partnercountries2011 – A Community Based Approach to delivering a diverse range of learning – we hosted thisTransversal Study Visit in November 2011 attended by seven learning professionals from seven EUcountries. We received very positive feedback relating to the benefits of the visit2012 – Active Citizenship, Volunteering and Active Ageing – What do they mean to me? – we aredelivering this course in March 2012 for 14 learners from across the EU, plus a small number of locallearners. This has been funded through the Grundtvig Learner Workshop Programme. 3. European Projects due to commence Transversal Study Visits – we have received approval to host a study visit in February 2013 on the theme of our approach to co-ordinated Community Learning Europe for Citizens Programme – we are a partner to an application led by an Italian partner entitled Social Networks for Local Empowerment (SOLE). This will operate from April to December 2012Paper written by: Mark Mitchell, Chief Executive, Dacorum CVS 48 High Street, Hemel Hempstead, Herts. HP1 3AF, UK Tel: +44 1442 253935 Fax: +44 1442 239775 E-Mail: mark@communityactiondacorum.org.uk Web: www.communityactiondacorum.org.uk5|Page