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March Web

  1. 1. ! Supporting Voluntary & Community Action March and April 2009 Inside Voscur’s Magazine Campaign Award Meet the Leaders Event Women Speak Out Children and Young People’s Plan for Bristol Image: Pete Jordan What Are Your Skills? Equalities Action Group Voscur’s Software Wonderland Funding and Finance Advice City Car Club And more…
  2. 2. Shape a life. Be a foster carer TACT is a well respected fostering and adoption agency. TACT will o er you excellent training with 24 hour support and respite care when you need it. TACT pay between £322 & £574 per week per child as well as additional allowances for birthdays, festivals and holidays. Although fostering can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding. If you believe you have the capacity and commitment to support, vulnerable children and young people between 10 -16 years old, then we’d love to hear from you. To make a di erence call: 0117 927 7725. Email: Charity Number: 1018963
  3. 3. Welcome Contents 4 Editorial 27 How To - Good Practice Constitution Corner 5-10 Voscur News 28-29 How To - Funding & Finance Councillors Shadowing Scheme Still Thinking BIG Meet the Leaders Event Funder Finder Campaign Award Making Funding and Commissioning Exciting Community Building Network Preparing for Tendering 11 Thriving Third Sector 30-31 How To - Green Pages Car Club 12-15 Equalities & Human Rights Women Speak Out 32-33 Children & Young People Disability Equality Forum Children and Young People’s Plan for Bristol Sing Up Bristol 16-19 Voscur Training & Learning Case Study 34 Inspirational Ageing Hot Topic – What are your skills? 35 Volunteering Bristol 20-25 Have Your Say Vox Pops 36 Diary Fire and Rescue Equalities Action Group Equalities and Human Rights Project New Voscur Reps 26 How To - ICT Voscur’s Software Wonderland Why not advertise? Thrive! is available on disc. Please contact Special discounts for Voscur members. the office if you would like to Deadlines for May/June 2009 edition of Thrive!: receive your Thrive! this way. The 2 April 2009 for ads, 24 April 2009 for flyers newsletter is also available online as a pdf Details of prices at at or phone Polly Stewart on 0117 909 9949 Disclaimer: some of the views expressed in this publication are those of individual contributors and do not necessarily represent those of Voscur. Publications, events and services mentioned in Thrive! are not necessarily endorsed by Voscur. 3
  4. 4. Editorial Welcome to the spring edition of Thrive! In the Voscur office we are children’s plan and to start interesting to note that Venue still celebrating the victory influencing its next phase. has recently listed their 100 most of Barack Obama – which has powerful people in Bristol and Bath Following an intensive campaign, with three women in the top five. been an inspiration for grass and with the support of Voscur, we We are pleased to see Voscur’s roots activists across the are pleased to report that Bristol’s Chief Executive, Wendy Stephenson world. Disability Equality Forum will at number 40, identifying her as achieve its aim of independence one of the top 10 most powerful So, despite the economic from Bristol City Council later this women in Bristol and Bath. downturn we are sensing a real year. See page 14. optimism and renewed community This year marks a century since spirit, and a feeling that, yes, Much can be achieved through International Women’s Day was we can achieve change through community campaigning and we first observed. Yet it is a sobering community action. want to champion campaigning thought that when we look down activity this month, by asking the Venue chart, there are less In this issue, Ruth Pitter talks about you to nominate your choice of than 15 women listed in a total her visit to Washington and how Bristol’s most effective community of 100. Voscur is committed that has renewed and revitalised campaign. See pages 8 and 9. to supporting the sector in its her enthusiasm for her work with campaigning role to achieve full communities in Bristol. We know that when money is gender equality – there’s still much restricted, training is one of the work to do. We have produced a guide to the first budget cuts to be made. Bristol Partnership showing how Our spring training programme Please see p 12 and 13 for news of voluntary and community sector is all about strengthening your women’s groups and campaigns. organisations can have a voice organisation – we are focusing on in the partnership through their kEY tO SYMBOLS good governance, fundraising, local infrastructure organisations, financial management and including Voscur. Equalities Article improving what you do. Please see pages 16 – 19 to find out more. Voscur’s network meetings are Wendy Stephenson, informal and welcoming and ? Training Voscur Chief Executive provide a place for people to influence policy and decision Venue Magazine lists makers. Our Children and Young Resources Bristol’s ‘most powerful People’s network meeting in people’ January provided a forum for As we recognise International Event groups working with children and Women’s Day on 8th March, it is young people to review Bristol’s 4
  5. 5. Voscur News - Community Activism Barack Obama – refreshing activism! Ruth Pitter reports on her visit to Washington for the inauguration of president Barack Obama. What can we digest from the activism enthuses people to believe new US President’s success in they can create change and make a mobilising diverse groups of people difference. to connect with his refreshing message of change? At the inauguration the range of Obama merchandise knew no His campaign reminds us of the bounds - t-shirts, mugs, badges, energy and effort required to bottled water (yes I succumbed!), involve people, but also highlights snow globes, air fresheners, metro that with the right approach the passes and condoms. Despite, and impossible is possible; that people perhaps because of, this climate of do break from their safety barriers economic depression people were to embrace an ideal if they truly thirsty for anything with his name, believe in it. face or slogan on it. I stood transfixed among the Speaking to people who didn’t vote hordes of people who had for Obama most believed he has thronged from across the States the ability to unify the country, and beyond to witness the handing and on an international level, to over of power. It was as tearful as put America back on a respectable it was celebratory, the atmosphere foothold with the rest of the world. fluctuated between weeping and laughter. People had stories of the Obama recognises the value of individual sacrifices they made to public service, action and working be there, to be part of this history. together to achieve change. He advocates that Martin Luther King Obama’s own history of civil rights Day (19 January) becomes a day and community activism gives him for Americans to volunteer for a real understanding of people community service. I was glad to and a sincere passion for equality, be there to ingest a revitalising Yet, he also understands that for reaching out to all groups elixir from the new president that processes which set people’s and giving them hope for a more is also fundamental to Voscur’s imagination alight require strategy positive view of themselves and own principles of activism, working and precision. Encouraging people each other. together and equality. into activism takes time, planning and energy, and demonstrating His message for ‘Hope,’ ‘Change’ Ruth Pitter credibility and integrity to keep and ‘Progress’ is simple and clear. Voscur’s Equalities Manager them on board. The most effective 5
  6. 6. Voscur News - Councillor Survey Who represents you? Forget the parties – who are the people who represent you in the Council House? A recently published national survey of councillors told us that most Councillors in the South West had wanted to become councillors to serve their communities. The most important thing they do is to listen to the views of local people and support the local community. Most think that the accountability of key local services is very important. Whilst 520 South West councillors said that “mechanisms to force debate” are very important, they were only quite important to 1067 councillors. Councillors said that they most councillors from Black and Minority parties at our ‘Meet the Leaders’ often talked about their work Ethnic backgrounds. Does this event. If you have a burning ‘in community groups’. When mirror the population of the city? question that you would like listing additional activities, many How do Councillors know that they answering, please come along. If councillors said that they did are making policy that reflects the you can’t get to the event, please unpaid voluntary work. needs of the citizens of Bristol? send your question to and he will But how well do our Councillors Voscur’s Council shadowing make sure that you get a response. know our sector? What messages scheme and Operation Black Vote should we be giving them? Are have given some local people the there enough opportunities for us opportunity to partner councillors To book your place at to meet our Councillors and tell it and senior managers and gain an the Meet the Leaders like it is? insight into the workings of the Voscur Assembly visit local authority. or call At the time of going to press, in (0117) 909 9949 Bristol, 51 of our councillors are On 2 April there will be an male and 19 are female. Three opportunity for you to meet the Link to Councillor census: councillors are under 30, and 47 leaders of the local Conservative, are over 50 years old. There are 4 Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green 6
  7. 7. Voscur News - Meet the Leaders Voscur’s Shadowing Scheme Back by popular demand! Between January and March 2008, Voscur ran a successful Councillor 23 seats are waiting shadowing scheme, where shadows were matched with Councillors for you choose who fill them one day. The programme aimed to assist participants to explore and gain a better understanding of the local authority and public agencies, and better equip people with the confidence and tools to influence and engage in decision-making. This programme was well received and both Councillors and Shadows Meet the leaders gained a lot from the experience. Shadows in particular valued gaining a real insight into the role of Voscur Assembly, Thursday 2 April 2009 Councillors. 23 Bristol council seats are up for election on Thursday 4 June. This is As a result of this positive feedback your opportunity to hear from and question the lead councilors from we have been able to offer this each party on the council. valuable opportunity again, and this time extend it to include Senior Find out what their policies would mean for the Voluntary, Managers within Bristol City Council. Community and Social Enterprise sector in Bristol. The 2009 programme is taking place Voscur 'Meet the Leaders' Assembly as Thrive! goes to press so watch Thursday 2 April, 12.30 - 3.30pm this space to hear how this year’s at the Southville Centre, Beauley Road, Southville, Bristol BS3 1QG shadowing programme has gone. Plus, For further information contact + Bristol Partnership update Hannah Parker (Neighbourhood + Sustainable Communities Act Learning Coordinator) on + Free networking lunch 0117 909 9949 or email: Book your place now at or call (0117) 909 9949 7
  8. 8. Voscur News - Campaign Award the ‘More train, less strain’ fare strike made headlines around the world Voscur Campaign Award Organising a campaign is a really effective way of Community Sector (VCS) ‘Campaign Award’ and influencing local decisions; recent good examples we want to hear your nominations. To nominate a of voluntary and community led campaigns have voluntary or community led campaign visit included the successful calls to drop the name where you can ‘Merchants Quarter’ from the new Broadmead download a nomination form or complete an online expansion and halting plans for the Bristol to Bath nomination. The shortlist for the 2009 VCS Campaign railway path from becoming a future bus route. Award will be announced at the beginning of April and the winner will be decided by public vote during April Voscur has launched our second Voluntary and and announced in May. 8
  9. 9. Voscur News - Campaign Award Here is a quick update on some of the campaigns that were shortlisted for the 2007 award: Save Castle Park (2007 winner) Save the Bristol to Bath railway More train, less strain (runner up) path (runner up) The campaign led to a public The campaign group organised inquiry (held in December 2008), More than 10 thousand people a fare strike where travellers which will decide whether signed the campaigners’ petition, between Bristol and Bath refused developers can build on part of making it the largest ever petition to pay their fares. The strike made Castle Park. The results from the received by Bristol City Council. headlines around the world. First enquiry are expected early in 2009. The bus route along the cycle path Great Western responded by The campaign group have also was ‘put on hold’ and other routes reducing fares and finding more applied for the Castle Park to be are being considered with the carriages. designated a Town Green which possibility of using part of the M32 would prevent any development instead. Find out more: encroaching on the park. Find out more: Keep up to date with all the Find out more: latest Bristol e-petitions and campaigns at 9
  10. 10. Voscur News - Sustainable Communities Building Stronger Communities A new Voscur Network for people running community buildings and ideas to make your neighbourhood more sustainable Community Buildings Network Meeting Voscur and Bristol City Council hosted the first Community Buildings Network Meeting in Your ideas Affordable offices February at the Withywood Centre. sought for for charities and The meeting enabled people Sustainable non-profits involved in running community Communities The Ethical Property Company venues across the city to hear owns and manages centres which about the latest funding and bring charities, co-operatives, governance advice, quality marks, The new Sustainable Communities community and campaign groups and network with people from Act (SCA) gives local councils new together under one roof where across the city. We’re pleased opportunities to seek and take they can share skills and ideas. to announce that following this action on ideas from local people Those in our centres benefit from successful event two further that help create sustainable reasonable rents, flexible tenancy Community Buildings Network communities. terms and great office spaces. Meetings have been confirmed for: Bristol City Council has begun The company runs three centres tuesday 30 June 2009 seeking ideas from Bristol residents in central Bristol, and takes care Southmead Community Centre, to be considered as part of its of all the boring bits in a fair and Greystoke Avenue, BS10 5PW Sustainable Communities plan. straightforward way, while allowing more than 40 local organisations September 2009 The council is holding a Sustainable to focus on what they do best. Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Communities briefing on Tuesday Fishponds, BS16 2QQ 12 March 10 – 12noon at the For information on office space or Council House, room hire ring Alice on Information and College Green, Bristol. 0845 458 3853 or email resources from the first Network meeting are Find out more about how to put available on the Voscur website at forward your ideas at 10
  11. 11. Thriving Third Sector Does Bristol provide an environment for a thriving third sector? The Local Area Agreement manager, Gillian Douglas, is the “14.7% of Bristol (LAA) describes the way the officer leading the development respondents thought that Bristol Partnership members of the action plan to deliver the target ‘Environment for Thriving local statutory bodies will work together to improve Third Sector’. This plan is still in its the quality of life for people have a positive or very draft stages. in Bristol. positive influence on their success.” Voscur and the Black Development Partners agreed that one of the Agency will be asking the question targets that we should include in “what support does the sector our LAA is National Indicator 7 (NI7) need in order to thrive in a ‘an environment for a thriving third influence on their success. Bristol’s recession?” at our joint assembly sector’. baseline is, therefore, 14.7%. In meeting on 3rd March. order to be judged to have an To find out whether partners environment for a thriving third Jargon Buster are providing an environment sector Bristol’s score needs a 4.4 for a thriving third sector, the percentage point increase to reach third Sector: The Government’s Office of the Third Sector 2008 a score of 19.1% when the survey is term for voluntary, community and National Survey of Third Sector repeated in 2010. social enterprise organisations Organisations asked the following Statutory sector: Public bodies, question: The level of influence of different funded by government, with legal statutory bodies on the success responsibilities. “Taking everything into account, of local organisations varies overall how do the statutory Useful links: widely; bringing them together bodies in your area influence your as one in this question is a clear organisation’s success?” brispartnership/laa indicator that Government expects statutory sector bodies to work The answers to this question will together through Local Strategic be used as a baseline for partners Voscur and BDA joint Partnerships (in our case, the to improve their support for local meeting Tuesday 3 Bristol Partnership) to support the third sector organisations. March, 10am - 1pm voluntary, community and social (followed by networking lunch) enterprise sector. 14.7% of Bristol respondents at Easton Community Centre, thought that local statutory bodies Kilburn St, Easton, BS5 6AW. In Bristol, the City Council’s have a positive or very positive Equalities and Community Cohesion 11
  12. 12. Equalities - Women Women speak out Campaigning for women’s equality It is over 90 years since women were first given the right to vote in this country (as long as they were over 21 and married). Women and girls are still facing persistent inequality and stark discrimination, yet today these facts are often overlooked, ignored or even disputed. The campaign for gender equality still has a long way to go to reach its aims. To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, Helen Mott from Bristol Fawcett and Bristol Women’s Forum has provided a brief guide to some of the organisations campaigning for women’s equality in Bristol, and some of their current campaigns. This year, the UN theme is ‘Ending Violence Against Women and Girls’ Bristol Women’s Forum members (www.fawcettsociety. who are interested in discussing Members raise awareness feminist ideas, who believe in the Any women’s group, or any of Fawcett – the UK’s leading importance of women’s liberation, woman living or working in Bristol campaign for gender equality - and and who actively campaign on can join the Women’s Forum to its work. They campaign and lobby issues of gender inequality and receive information and participate to improve policy and services oppression. They hold informal in consultations. The forum is for women and girls, and seek to and friendly meetings and have a supported by Bristol City Council bring an informed gender equality significant existence through online to promote women’s equality and perspective to local decision communities such as Facebook. has four open meetings each year making bodies. Bristol Fawcett across Bristol. Each year the forum members use their limited time and elects a number of volunteer Violence against Women energy as volunteers to best effect advisors who meet monthly and through focussing on key campaign Trevor Phillips, Chair of the who develop the work programme areas and working with networks Equalities and Human Rights as well as representing the forum of organisations and individuals Commission, has named the on bodies such as the Council’s in joint campaigns, or through massive prevalence of violence Scrutiny Commissions - monitoring bringing people together. against women, and the continued and advising on local programmes failure of society to tackle it, an and policies. “undeclared war against women.” Bristol Feminist Network Bristol Fawcett A group of women and men from Bristol Women’s Forum elected Bristol and the surrounding areas advisors are able to raise with local A group for activist Fawcett 12
  13. 13. Equalities - Women Photo by Lee Rey-Ient government the lack of joined- and the Women’s Forum Human Trafficking up strategy on violence against www.bristolfeministnetwork. Bristol Fawcett’s strategic group women as well as the need for com/reclaim-the-night.html. on trafficking has succeeded in particular initiatives and services bringing people together in a Representation of Women such as Rape Crisis, education in number of ways and the Women’s in the Media schools on issues of consent and Forum has lobbied to bring human respect in relationships, provision The ways in which the media trafficking onto the Council’s for women and children affected represent women (or misrepresent agenda. by sexual and domestic violence us, or fail to represent us at and abuse. The Women’s Forum go all) continue to raise enormous Last year both organisations were out into the diverse communities obstacles to women’s equality and proud to be signatories to Bristol’s of Bristol and ask about the issues dignity. This year, Bristol Fawcett Declaration on Human Trafficking, that are concerning women most. and Bristol Feminist Network as well as holding a film screening undertook individual pieces of and awareness raising campaign. Bristol Fawcett supported the research into this subject and development of Bristol’s new have presented their findings at In January this year, Bristol Fawcett Sexual Assault Referral Centre a number of events as well as worked with the National Alliance and lobbied for the provision of a archiving them on our website of Women’s Organisations and Rape Crisis Centre. Bristol Feminist There will be an exhibition and Bristol’s two Universities to hold a Network organised a march to workshops for two weeks from conference on the trafficking of Reclaim the Night on 20 February, 6 March, at Windows204, on women for sexual exploitation in with support from Bristol Fawcett Gloucester Road. Bristol. 13
  14. 14. Equalities & Human Rights Could we win? Yes we did! The Disability Equality Forum’s year-long campaign is at an end. In December 2008, after winning with us. We hope to get their several battles for the right to members’ final decisions in April. self-determination, members voted on the options for the It just goes to show that Disability Equality Forum’s (DEF) sometimes you can make local future and chose to become fully government change its decisions. independent of the Council and When it comes to campaigning, form a partnership or consortium size (numbers) does matter, but Mark Williams (DEF) celebrates with other organisations. so does passion. VCS infrastructure Our members’ choice support is essential – Voscur’s is possibly the most However, right up to the count, support was crucial. The Council the Council remained adamant is prepared (although sometimes radical of the options that our members’ choice would reluctantly) to ‘give in’, or accept suggested and a only be ‘taken into consideration’, they’ve made a mistake, with good very exciting and not definitive. So imagine our grace – especially when they can creative, rather than surprise when upon informing the see it is a community, not just an a ‘safe’ one Council of the result, they simply organisation, that is challenging said, ‘Fine. We’ll make sure you them. have some help making it happen.’ Now the challenge is to keep Our members’ choice is possibly up the levels of energy and the most radical of the options engagement and channel them policies and a constitution. suggested and a very exciting and into creating an innovative creative, rather than a ‘safe’ one. consortium! In the meantime the DEF will go It is already creating interest from independent, but stay based at organisations and funders alike. By the time you read this we will York Court, so get in touch! be negotiating Council funding The Forum Executive is also and the other equalities forums Contact Laura Welti, delighted at the result. It has will be consulting their members. Disability Equality attracted more people to become Forum, York Court, Forum Advisors, a new Advisor A consortium will not happen Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH to re-draft our constitution, and overnight – more ‘fresh blood’ three of the other equalities needs recruiting. Other Tel: 0117 922 2352 forums have expressed interest in organisations’ members need to forming a consortium/partnership be informed before deciding on 14
  15. 15. New Voscur members Family Centre for The Bristol Natural History Deaf Children Consortium Established in November 1995 the Family Centre is a This consortium is a collaboration between Avon Registered Charity working with deaf children and their Wildlife Trust, the BBC, Bristol City Council, Bristol Zoo families throughout the ‘Old Avon’ area. Gardens, Defra, Environment Agency, University of Bristol, The University of the West of England, Wildfowl A user led service, all Management Committee & Wetlands Trust and Wildscreen. It has been operating members have a deaf child in the family or are since 2003, and became a registered charity in 2008. themselves deaf. Whilst the majority of our work is with deaf children whose first language is British Sign The Consortium aims to improve the way we Language (BSL), our activities our open to any child communicate about the natural world. In order to with hearing loss, and their families, and we welcome inspire and engage the widest possible audience, enquiries from this group. it delivers entertaining and informative events and activities, and develops novel communication The Family Centre provides social and educational techniques. It also initiates and supports research into activities bringing together children and families to how audiences absorb and respond to conservation reduce isolation, develop confidence and raise self- messages, and builds effective partnerships among esteem. We have a resource library of books, CD’s diverse organisations facing similar challenges and and games and give deaf awareness talks to schools issues. and other groups. We run a variety of BSL classes for siblings, parents and grandparents of deaf children This is particularly evident in the Bristol Festival of throughout the area. Nature, (6-7 June 2009), which provides community groups and national organisations with a platform to Twenty percent of our funding comes from South showcase their work and promote their messages, as Gloucestershire Council with the remaining eighty well as partnership building opportunities, and engages percent raised through fundraising and the generosity vast and varied audiences. of Charitable Trusts and individuals. See our website for details of our 100 Club! The Consortium will also deliver the first BioBlitz at Ashton Court (26-27 June 2009) - a 30 hour survey of For more information including forthcoming activities all living species by members of the public, community please contact us on Tel: 01454 315404, Minicom groups, schools and many local conservation experts 01454 315405, or see our website and scientists. As a result of their current work in support of and in partnership with community groups, and also with a view to increasing the number of organisations they work with and the communities they engage, the Bristol Natural History Consortium decided to join Voscur. For more information about the Bristol Natural History Consortium and details of its events, please phone 0117 3700971 or visit 15
  16. 16. Voscur Training and learning - Skills Hot Topic – To download the current skills audit visit: What are your skills? There is also a Training Needs Analysis section on the Do you know what skills your board, staff and UK Workforce Hub’s website. It includes downloadable volunteers have? A Skills Audit or a Training toolkits for carrying out a wide range of training needs Needs Analysis is a tool that will help you analyses. identify the skills your staff has and the skills needs-analysis that it lacks. More Skills In 2007, Voscur and Black Development Agency Speaking with Confidence developed a Skills Audit toolkit that organisations can How confident are you at presenting in public? Voscur use in order to assess the training and development recently ran a session called Speaking with Confidence needs of their staff. This is important, not only for and has been working on the Equalities and Human the development of your staff but also to develop Rights Commission project with lots of groups to give your organisation. Voscur has a Skills Audit on our them the confidence to have their voices heard. If website that you can download and adapt to your you would like to have better skills there are some organisation’s needs. resources that will help you get to grips with that all important presentation on our website. Over the coming months, Voscur, in association with the Learning Curve will be updating the Skills Audit to For more details visit: make it easier to use and we also hope to run sessions on how to use a Skills Audit. 16
  17. 17. Voscur Training & Learning How Voscur changed my life Rae Gingell tells us how Voscur’s training has shaped her career. I can honestly say that attending the first time in my life I joined a several of Voscur’s excellent political party and got more fully training sessions changed my life! involved as a community activist. Looking to find new horizons I saw Now I am looking forward to being a poster advertising Voscur training involved in the June 2009 local sessions – one of which held elections. particular appeal for me. It was “Who’s the Council anyway?”. Local I heartily commend Voscur and government has always interested its varied training opportunities me so I signed up. to anyone who wants to broaden their voluntary efforts. All sorts of Rae Gingel The course was a revelation! I voluntary organisations in Bristol had on for that day. I met his learned how our Councillors go do wonderful work – with Voscur’s colleagues who explained how about running the services in help, community volunteers can be Council business is conducted, how Bristol and had the chance to trained to be more confident, well challenging some of the work of question three sitting Councillors. informed and effective. running a city is and why they, as But the most important thing I Give it a go! volunteers, undertake this work. learned that day was that ordinary citizens can (and do) take part in Goodbye to Becs Cllr Rogers next took me to a the work of the Council. I went call-in on the issue of how best to away feeling strongly that I really Rebekah Hacker, Voscur’s Events care for vulnerable adults in our wanted to follow up on this course and Training Support Administrator community. As I had worked in the in some way. left Voscur in February to take up a area of dementia care for many new post as Training Co-ordinator years I was entirely involved in the A short time later I received a letter with CAADA – Co-ordinated Action arguments and points being made. from Voscur, which asked whether Against Domestic Abuse. It was time for me to take my leave I would be interested in shadowing – but I had already made a major a Councillor for a day. I signed up Becs made a huge impact on decision. I was determined to put immediately. Councillor Jon Rogers Voscur with her friendly manner myself up as a potential candidate (Liberal Democrat) called me and and her efficient work. We will for Councillorship at some time in I spent a full day with him as he miss her, but wish her well for her the future. carried out his work for the Council. future career. Voscur’s ‘Shadowing a Councillor’ I was taken behind the scenes of Anna Polanek is our new Events day was one of the most life the Council and was fully included and Training Support Administrator. changing events in my life. For in the work Cllr Rogers 17
  18. 18. Voscur Training & Learning ? Training Tax Effective Giving - Get Your Share of the Low Cost Missing Millions Wednesday 4 March (10.30am-4pm) at the Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, Beam Street, Voscur is aware that training is one Barton Hill, Bristol BS5 9QY of the first things to go when money is tight in the sector. Run by the Institute of Fundraising, this session is for anyone who wants to find out more about fundraising This is why ALL of our courses are from individuals and events. It will cover tax effective designed to help the long-term giving methods, how to increase your income and how to sustainability of your organisation create an action plan. and its staff. We also run low-cost Trustee Series – Why am I on the committee?* and free training where we can. Thursday 5 March (6.30pm-9.30pm) at Barton Hill Settlement, 43 Ducie Road, Barton Hill, Bristol To book onto any of our BS5 0AX courses go online to www. This course is for those people who are trustees who or call us want to know more about their roles, responsibilbites on 0117 909 9949. and duties as trustees. It will cover your legal obligations as well as offer information on the different roles you have to take as a trustee.*(Previously known as Roles and Responsibilities of Trustees 1) Trustee Series – Good Governance – How to be a better trustee* (full) Thursday 12 March (6.30pm-9.30pm) at Barton Hill Settlement, 43 Ducie Road, Barton Hill, Bristol BS5 0AX This course is for those people who have been trustees for a while and want to know more about how to be effective in their role. It will cover the governance/management split as well as skills audits and effective meetings. *(previously known as Roles and Responsibilities of Trustees 2) Developing a Fundraising Strategy Wednesday 18 March (9.30am-3.30pm) at RNIB, Stillhouse Lane, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 4EB 18
  19. 19. Voscur Training & Learning Human Rights and Your Work Are you following funding or choosing which New Course Wednesday 25 March (9.30am-3.30pm) funders to go for? This course will help you focus Langley Centre, 2 Gainsborough Square, on developing a fundraising strategy for your organisation and will help you consider what you Lockleaze, Bristol BS7 9XA need to make it right. This course is for anyone Have you ever considered how Human Rights impacts who needs to develop a fundraising strategy and on your work? This session will cover: overview of wants their organisation to have a long-term the Human Rights Act, key Human Rights Articles and fundraising plan. what they cover, how Human Rights fit with equality and diversity and how Human Rights can benefit your Trustee Series - So you think you're service users. This session is for managers, project New Course a charity? - Legal structures for workers or board members who want to widen their organisations response to Equalities and Human Rights agendas. Thursday 19 March (10am - 1pm) Be Better at What you do – small groups at Rose Green Centre, 65 Gordon Road, Low Cost Thursday 26 March (6.30pm-9.30 pm) Barton Whitehall, Bristol BS5 7DL Hill Settlement, 43 Ducie Road, Barton Hill, Did you know that being a charity is not a legal structure? This course is designed to develop Bristol BS5 0AX underpinning knowledge to help you understand This training is for small groups/organisations that legal structures. There will be scope for a clinic want to be more effective at what they do. Using the for organisations to raise questions at the end of Perform tool for small groups, this session will give the session. This course is for anyone who would you tools, hints and tips on how to make your group like to know more or who is considering changing work better. By the end of the session you will be their legal structure. able to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your group and create an action plan for improvement. This Financial Management for the Non- training is for small groups who want to understand New Course Financially Minded how they could be more effective. Please note two Tuesday 24 March (9.30am-3.30pm) people from each organisation should attend. at the Withywood Centre, Queens Road, See How Neighbourhood Partnerships Bristol, BS13 8QA Free are working This course is practical and looks at example Wednesday 1 April (10am-4pm) accounts of voluntary organisations. It will help participants to make sense of their year end This is a coach visit to Neighbourhood Partnership accounts, communicate more effectively with areas more details will be available soon, call Hannah their auditor or independent examiner and to Parker on 0117 909 9949 to find out more. use financial information more effectively. This course is useful for anyone who needs to read and More courses will be out soon, keep an eye understand accounts, as a paid staff member or on our website and ebulletin. as a trustee/management committee member. 19
  20. 20. Have Your Say - Vox Pops “ Thriving or It will affect the future income for Community at Heart; we’re in part dependent on income surviving? from our assets such as rent from property. How is the A reduction in these will impact on our ability to achieve our mission to improve services recession for residents of Easton and Lawrence Hill. 65% of children in Lawrence Hill ward are affecting the already affected by poverty and overall the VCS? recession will probably increase poverty. Residents will probably be adversely affected by redundancies and the squeeze on credit as During February we asked lower skilled workers are often amongst the a selection of Voscur first affected in a recession. members how the economic Sarah Keel, Community at Heart downturn is affecting their Find out more about Community at Heart: organisations and the people they work with. We are looking forward to expanding during the recession. We expanded hugely last time We asked: we had a recession. When people are working “The UK economy and busy they don’t have the time to get is now officially in involved with LETS (Local Exchange Trading Schemes) but when they are unemployed they recession, what impact have more time and are more willing to do will this have on your more for free. organisation and those Steve Higham, Bristol InterLETS you work with?” Find out more about Bristol InterLETS: ‘Our work concentrates on those least able to become employed without support. There is a worry that a two tier support system will develop, concentrating on the most able to get back into employment and neglecting those least able - partly because the support structure is based on large government “ contracts. Iris Eiting, Re:work Find out more about Re:work: 20
  21. 21. Have Your Say - Equalities Avon Fire & Rescue Service Equalities Consultation Group The role of a modern fire and rescue service has changed over the last few years and we are now as concerned with trying to prevent emergencies as responding to them when they do occur. It has become even more important than ever to find out the needs of our local communities. After a review in summer 2006, Forum, Silai for Skills, Somerset tim Roberts, Avon Fire and Rescue it became clear that Avon Fire Race Equality Council and West & Rescue Service (AF&RS) did of England Centre for Inclusive The group is a consultative not consult with equalities Living. Recently we invited Support committee on all areas impacting communities. As well endangering Against Racial Incidents to join the on equality and diversity within our compliance with the public group. AF&RS’ responsibilities on sector equality duties, we also employment and service delivery. recognised that this had a negative The meetings require a It also provides scrutiny through impact on our ability to plan and commitment of half a day every the impact assessment process deliver appropriate services. two months. We recognise that of our policies and practices and this is a significant commitment offers advice on how to advance We decided to set up a group – especially as half the member equality of opportunity. Whether where we could meet with organisations do not have a single commenting on business plans, community groups from the six full time staff member. We the wording on our job application key equality strands. We had to therefore offer a payment for forms or our recruitment strategy, balance our desire to get as many attending each meeting as a way the group has made a significant different perspectives as possible of compensating organisations impact. with a realisation that the new for their time. We also decided to group had to be relatively small hold the majority of meetings in A recent review of how the group enough to work effectively. community venues - giving them works received very positive some additional funding too. feedback from all the members, In the end we invited ten different who were grateful that AF&RS was organisations to work with us: The group first met in January 2007 not just hosting a “talking shop” Bath & North East Somerset and has held 11 meetings so far. and could see the difference that (B&NES), Disability Equality Forum, Fire and Rescue Services have very they were making. B&NES Race Equality Council, different structures, functions and Tim Roberts, Equalities Bristol Fawcett, Bristol Lesbian, pressures to other public sector Officer for Avon Fire Gay and Bisexual Forum, Bristol organisations, so the first couple and Rescue Service. Muslim Cultural Society, Bristol of meetings were planned so the Older People’s Forum, BSL Users members could get to know us. 21
  22. 22. Have Your Say Equalities Action Group - what got us here? Can the new look Bristol Partnership bring a new look Equalities Action Group? The Equalities Action Group 3.Support all Partners on the Bristol (EAG) previously had a key role in Partnership to comply with the providing Equalities representation Protocol for Equalities and Social to both scrutinise and support the Inclusion. work of the Bristol Partnership (BP). 4.Contribute to the work of the When the peer review of the Partnership Boards to ensure partnership took place the EAG that there are positive and could easily have been lost in the measurable outcomes for equalities restructuring process given that communities in the delivery of the revised BP did not feature any Action Plans. key commitments on Equalities. Equalities communities, or from 5.Monitor progress of the those who work with a clear Supported by Voscur, some of our Partnership and its Partnership Equalities agenda. member groups have refused to Boards against agreed equalities be deterred by this and have given outcomes and against the There is extensive Equalities a lot of time to renewing the EAG, underlying principles of equalities knowledge and experience in through a range of meetings and and community cohesion. Bristol and a collective group consultations, and negotiation with could serve as an effective body the BP Executive Board. 7.Liaise with the wider Bristol in helping to tackle issues such Equalities Network on a six-monthly as poverty, the gender pay gap, Some suggested aims of the EAG basis to maintain a two-way link hate crime, racism experienced by would be to: between the Partnership, the overseas workers contributing to Equalities Partners and the wider the economy, safeguarding private 1.Ensure equalities outcomes are equalities communities of Bristol. details of vulnerable and excluded effectively identified and delivered people, monitoring an inclusive through the Community Strategy 8.Ensure that its membership economy. and Bristol’s Local Area Agreement. reflects all equalities communities in Bristol and influences the work 2.Support Equalities Partners to of the Bristol Partnership and its For updated ensure that an equalities and Partnership Boards. information please see community cohesion perspective the Voscur website or is integral to Bristol Partnership Those who have been involved contact Ruth Pitter at the thinking, planning and decision- in the process so far are eager to Voscur office or email making. ensure that the EAG has sign-up from partners representing 22
  23. 23. Have Your Say Voscur’s EHRC acquired through the course of Equalities the project towards facilitating This is a shorthand term, which project workshops at the ‘Our Voices refers to the range of work aimed Count’ event in February. at ensuring the full and fair participation of marginalised or As we approach the last month of The feedback we have received under-represented groups arising this EHRC (Equalities and Human from those who have been part of from discrimination, disadvantage Rights Commission) project, our events has indicated that the and other barriers to participation. we look forward to running our work has been of good value and This has a particular reference Equalities training session for benefit. We will soon be doing to race, disability, gender, sexual Voscur and Bristol Partnership an evaluation of the year-long orientation, religion and belief, and Reps. Please see our diary for more project and will put the results on age as areas of non-discrimination details about this training on 25 our website, or a hard copy can be that come within the scope of March. requested. the UK’s statutory equalities framework. We have recently delivered If you would like more ‘Confident to Present’ training information about our Equalities communities sessions for Refugee Women EHRC work please are groups recognised because of Bristol, and designed specific contact Ruth Pitter: of their identity and shared training for Hartcliffe and experience of discrimination: Withywood Teenage Parents or Sophie Bayley: disabled people, black and minority Projects on ‘Boards without ethnic communities, women, Barriers’ about how to attain and You can see documents, tools lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, sustain inclusive boards. and images relating to the transgender people, young people, project on our website: older people and faith groups. We have also held some positive meetings with the Bristol Lesbian, Equalities communities rarely self- Gay and Bisexual (LGB) forum and organise at a local level but have the Bristol Faith forum to discuss Jargon Buster traditionally self-organised in Bristol ideas on working across Equalities Community Cohesion at a city-wide level, where they strands. An environment in which people can influence more effectively the from different backgrounds can decisions that have a profound The outcomes of the training and develop positive relationships effect on their lives, irrespective of events we have held have been while at the same time valuing and where they live. very positive. Participants have preserving specific identities. gone on to use skills they have 23
  24. 24. Have Your Say - Voscur Reps Let me Thriving Neighbourhoods Partnership Board represent you Simon Bale (Churches Council for Industry and Social Responsibility) There was a great response I have worked in the voluntary and to the Voscur reps election community sector for almost twenty years in December (both in terms in various capacities (currently as the of nomination and votes Churches’ Regeneration Officer) and have cast). Thank you if you a broad and detailed appreciation of the took part. We’re pleased to issues and pressures affecting the sector. I introduce you to the people was chair of the Bristol Partnership for the who’ll be representing past year during its reformation. I am very you and the voluntary able and willing to challenge and question, community sector at the but I also recognise that working together Bristol Partnership. can require negotiation and a pragmatic approach. Please see our pull-out flyer To contact Simon of the Bristol Partnership Phone: (0117) 955 7430 boards with this issue to see Email: who chairs each board, the Children and Young People Voscur reps and Voluntary Partnership Board Community and Social Enterprise members. Fran Harrison (Fairbridge West) I manage Fairbridge West, a charity that Your new reps on the works with disaffected young people Bristol Partnership between 13 and 25. I’ve been a board member of Voscur for three years. In 2008 introduce themselves: I was elected to represent the voluntary sector on two groups: the North 2 Locality Governance Group for multi-agency working, and the Integrated Youth Support and Development Services Strategy Group for Bristol Children and Young People’s Keep in touch with your reps Service. I am committed to ensuring the Join the Voscur e-forums NOW! voluntary sector has a strong voice, and You will get up to date Bristol most importantly, that I am accountable to Partnership news, information and you. an opportunity to give your views to To Contact Fran the Voscur reps. Sign up now at Phone: (0117) 942 5362 Email: 24
  25. 25. Have Your Say - Voscur Reps Health and Wellbeing Partnership Bristol Partnership Executive Board Board Wendy Stephenson (Voscur) Sally Gapper (North Bristol Advice Voscur was asked to send its Chief Executive Centre) or chair as a representative to the Bristol I have worked in the Bristol advice sector Partnership executive board from December for over twenty years, and for North Bristol 2008, so I have taken up that role. I will meet Advice Centre for the last seventeen years. regularly with the voluntary, community I have worked in close partnership with and social enterprise sector reps to the other members of Advice Centres for Avon Partnership Boards, and feed in their issues (ACFA) and represent them on the Bristol City and concerns to the executive board. I aim Council Joint Planning Board for Advice. Over to reinforce the value of the sector and the the past couple of years I have continued to contribution it makes to the quality of life in try and raise the profile of advice services and Bristol. It’s important to be able to influence to demonstrate the links between poverty decision making at this level. If you want to and ill health. find out more please contact me. To contact Sally To contact Wendy Phone: (0117) 951 5751 Phone: (0117) 909 9949 Email: Email: Prosperous and Ambitious Partnership Safer Bristol Partnership Board Board Alex Raikes (Support Against Racist Elaine Flint (Social Enterprise Works) Incidents) I am Assistant Director for S.A.R.I. (Support I’ve worked in the sector for nearly 25 years, Against Racist Incidents) having so far working for a national mental health charity, dedicated 18 years advocating for human a development trust and currently as Director rights in this specialist, high profile Charity. of Social Enterprise Works. I represented I have first hand experience of racism and Voscur on the Economy Delivery Group in the will bring this personal understanding to my old (Bristol Partnership) structure. I have tried work. Since 2006 I have been a committed to ensure that the needs of our deprived and active Voscur rep initially for the communities and the contribution that Equalities Action Group and latterly as a Voluntary Community Social Enterprise (VCSE) rep for Safer Bristol Partnership where I organisations make to their economic health, have played a very active role, contributing is recognised. The new Board’s remit includes specialist knowledge re: equalities housing, culture and transport. I hope to be communities, the implications of hate crime able to work with VCSE colleagues in these and the voice of the voluntary sector. areas to ensure effective input. To contact Alex To contact Elaine Phone: (0117) 942 0060 Phone: (0117) 907 0080 Email: Email: 25
  26. 26. How to – ICT Voscur’s Software Wonderland You may not know it but Voscur’s Information CiviCRM and Training services have been developed Behind our website, managing the Directories over the last 30 months on a Free Software and Event sign ups and our knowledge of your Platform ( organisation, is the powerful free database - CiviCRM ( Any new database application has a steep learning curve and it took some time The great thing about free software is that when it to embed into Voscur, but now it is an integral part is improved or upgraded, those improvements are of our work and aids us greatly in managing all our available for free as well. In addition, what was an relationships with you, our members and the hundreds attempt to save money and improve the technology in of other individuals and organisations that we work our office has led to us being seen as “trend setters” with helping Bristol’s Voluntary Sector to thrive. nationally when it comes to web and database services to the Voluntary Sector. At last count we had over 7000 contacts in CiviCRM. CiviCRM was first developed in the United States ThIs means we can generate income by sharing our “designed specifically to meet the needs of advocacy, expertise with other Councils for Voluntary Service non-profit and non-governmental groups” and Voscur across England allowing us to keep training and were one of the first major projects in the UK for the membership fees lower. So what is this “platform”? CiviCRM community, now two years later, hundreds of Drupal groups, particularly other CVS are taking up CiviCRM across the UK. Our website is built with a Content Management System called Drupal (, it allows If you want to know more about this software or other multiple users to update and add information easily free software follow the links above, or contact Sean and quickly. New staff can grasp the basics quickly, at Voscur., 0117 909 9949. and users (that’s you!) can be given access to certain areas to add content themselves, including jobs, requests for volunteers, diary events, and noticeboard items. If you’ve not tried it out, create a login and join in. Everything added to the website becomes part of the website feeds which you can subscribe to separately to be notified of changes or to add to your own website. If you add something then it will come up on several websites if they are taking the “feed”, getting your message out quicker and wider. We’ll be upgrading again later in 2009 so watch out for far more digital goodness on the website. 26