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Dacorum CVS – Summary of our work
Dacorum 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 the
need for an organisation to draw together the existing and new communities within the town.



                                Our work at a local level

The 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 of
community involvement, community cohesion, lifelong learning and targeting support to those
facing 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
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
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 community


3|Page
At a European level

    1. Recent concluded projects

We have been involved in transnational projects since 1997 and over the past five years have been
involved with the following:

2006 / 08 – European Year of Workers Mobility – Lead partner on project entitled Meeting the
Information Needs of Economic Migrants (MINEM), with partners in Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, Spain
and UK. The project produced a DVD on working in the East of England, produced an Information
Pack to assist migrants moving to a new locality and undertook research in each partner locality

2007 / 08 – PROGRESS funding for project entitled Network to Know – we were lead partner with
other partners from Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Spain and UK. The project objective was the
exchange of experience and knowledge relating to the use of European Structural Funds. This was
undertaken through study visits and preparation of good practice guides. For more information –
www.networktoknow.eu

2008 / 10 – PROGRESS funding for project entitled Championing CSR Across Borders – we are lead
partner with other partners from Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia and Portugal. The project is exchanging
experiences through study visits, piloting CSR lessons in academic settings and the creation of
booklets outlining employee volunteering and work opportunities for individuals facing disadvantage
case studies. For more information – http://www.csracrossborders.eu



2005 – SENIORS - an exchange visit programme for volunteers age 50+ between France, Ireland,
Poland and UK

2005 / 07 INTERREG funding for REVOS project – with 14 partners in nine countries this project
explored how the public sector supported NGOs in each participating country

2007 – Active European Citizens – PEP Project (Participating in European Projects) with partners in
Italy, Malta, Slovak Republic, Spain and UK – looking to raise awareness on European funding in each
location and encourage participation

2009 – QUIN Project – with partners in Cyprus, France, Italy, Malta and Spain – the project has
conducted 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 a
Recommendation Report and Guide for Useful European websites . For more information -
http://www.quinproject.org/




4|Page
2. Current European Projects



2010-12 - Active Now – a project funded through Grundtvig Senior Volunteering programme. We
are partnered with an NGO in Italy and are exchanging three volunteers each year who are spending
three weeks volunteering in each location

2011-12 – DEEP.Com – a project funded under Transversal KA4 looking at how to improve the
dissemination and exploitation of European project outcomes. We are one of 10 partners in eight
countries, which is led by the Business Club of Austrialia. The project objective is to develop a web
portal which will enable projects funded through the Lifelong Learning Programme and creating
training products to trade with the wider academic and commercial world. In essence, the aim is to
ensure the sustainability of project outcomes.

2011-13 – Raising Horizons - a project funded through Grundtvig Senior Volunteering programme.
aspending three weeks volunteering in each location

2011-13 – Tools for Empowering Though Language - we are one of seven partners participating in
this Grundtvig Partnership. The project exchanges methods, tools and experiences relating to the
tuition of the host country language to migrants and immigrants who have arrived in the country. In
the UK this is English for Speakers of Other Languages and is the similar in the other partner
countries

2011 – A Community Based Approach to delivering a diverse range of learning – we hosted this
Transversal Study Visit in November 2011 attended by seven learning professionals from seven EU
countries. We received very positive feedback relating to the benefits of the visit

2012 – Active Citizenship, Volunteering and Active Ageing – What do they mean to me? – we are
delivering this course in March 2012 for 14 learners from across the EU, plus a small number of local
learners. 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 2012

Paper 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.uk

5|Page

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Dacorum CVS – Summary of our work

  • 1. Dacorum CVS – Summary of our work Dacorum 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 the need for an organisation to draw together the existing and new communities within the town. Our work at a local level The 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 of community involvement, community cohesion, lifelong learning and targeting support to those facing 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. 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. 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 community 3|Page
  • 4. At a European level 1. Recent concluded projects We have been involved in transnational projects since 1997 and over the past five years have been involved with the following: 2006 / 08 – European Year of Workers Mobility – Lead partner on project entitled Meeting the Information Needs of Economic Migrants (MINEM), with partners in Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, Spain and UK. The project produced a DVD on working in the East of England, produced an Information Pack to assist migrants moving to a new locality and undertook research in each partner locality 2007 / 08 – PROGRESS funding for project entitled Network to Know – we were lead partner with other partners from Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Spain and UK. The project objective was the exchange of experience and knowledge relating to the use of European Structural Funds. This was undertaken through study visits and preparation of good practice guides. For more information – www.networktoknow.eu 2008 / 10 – PROGRESS funding for project entitled Championing CSR Across Borders – we are lead partner with other partners from Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia and Portugal. The project is exchanging experiences through study visits, piloting CSR lessons in academic settings and the creation of booklets outlining employee volunteering and work opportunities for individuals facing disadvantage case studies. For more information – http://www.csracrossborders.eu 2005 – SENIORS - an exchange visit programme for volunteers age 50+ between France, Ireland, Poland and UK 2005 / 07 INTERREG funding for REVOS project – with 14 partners in nine countries this project explored how the public sector supported NGOs in each participating country 2007 – Active European Citizens – PEP Project (Participating in European Projects) with partners in Italy, Malta, Slovak Republic, Spain and UK – looking to raise awareness on European funding in each location and encourage participation 2009 – QUIN Project – with partners in Cyprus, France, Italy, Malta and Spain – the project has conducted 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 a Recommendation Report and Guide for Useful European websites . For more information - http://www.quinproject.org/ 4|Page
  • 5. 2. Current European Projects 2010-12 - Active Now – a project funded through Grundtvig Senior Volunteering programme. We are partnered with an NGO in Italy and are exchanging three volunteers each year who are spending three weeks volunteering in each location 2011-12 – DEEP.Com – a project funded under Transversal KA4 looking at how to improve the dissemination and exploitation of European project outcomes. We are one of 10 partners in eight countries, which is led by the Business Club of Austrialia. The project objective is to develop a web portal which will enable projects funded through the Lifelong Learning Programme and creating training products to trade with the wider academic and commercial world. In essence, the aim is to ensure the sustainability of project outcomes. 2011-13 – Raising Horizons - a project funded through Grundtvig Senior Volunteering programme. aspending three weeks volunteering in each location 2011-13 – Tools for Empowering Though Language - we are one of seven partners participating in this Grundtvig Partnership. The project exchanges methods, tools and experiences relating to the tuition of the host country language to migrants and immigrants who have arrived in the country. In the UK this is English for Speakers of Other Languages and is the similar in the other partner countries 2011 – A Community Based Approach to delivering a diverse range of learning – we hosted this Transversal Study Visit in November 2011 attended by seven learning professionals from seven EU countries. We received very positive feedback relating to the benefits of the visit 2012 – Active Citizenship, Volunteering and Active Ageing – What do they mean to me? – we are delivering this course in March 2012 for 14 learners from across the EU, plus a small number of local learners. 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 2012 Paper 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.uk 5|Page