Looking back at an eventful year for Compact Voice

2013 has been a busy and eventful year for us all at Compact Voice. 
 
We thought we'd say farewell to 2013 by looking back at some of the year's highlights which I've summarised below.

Thanks to you all for your support throughout the year - as ever, don't hesitate to get in touch for help, support or advice on partnership working.
 
Producing responsive resources
 
As part of our 2013 Annual Survey, we asked what resources we could produce that you'd find useful. In response, we produced a new section for Local Compacts: A User Guide, on how voluntary organisations can engage with - and influence - the new health landscape. We'll be updating the Guide entirely in early 2014.
 
We produced briefings on how voluntary organisations can engage with Clinical Commissioning Groups and Police and Crime Commissioners, alongside our detailed guide to Understanding Commissioning and Procurement.
 
Compact Voice also worked with Regional Voices and Healthwatch England to produce guidance on Maintaining the Independence of Local Healthwatch.
 
Working with and influencing government
 
In January, the then Communities Minister Don Foster wrote to every local authority in England reminding them of the important role of the voluntary and community sector and of local Compacts. 
 
Throughout the year, we responded to consultations on proposed changes to judicial review procedures, submitted evidence to a select committee on the Lobbying Bill (and published a concise, easy to understand briefing explaining the Bill's implications). 
 
We published our Joint Action Plan with the Office for Civil Society, and conducted training sessions on the voluntary sector and the Compact with a range of government departments.
 
And finally, in December, Compact Voice wrote to Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office. The letter highlights that despite government's continued commitment to encouraging open and transparent decision making, several recent consultations have had limited time frames that contradicted this. We offered a number of solutions and highlighted our Meaningful Engagement Guidance.
 
Sharing good practice
 
Throughout the year, we published ten case studies from areas across England, exploring how the Compact had been used to build partnerships across all sectors
 
Our case studies explored how areas had supported the voluntary sector to influence public policy,coordinate external funding opportunities and work with local Fire and Rescue Services to reduce risks to black and minority ethnic households
 
Read all of these - and more - here.
 
Congratulations also to all of the winners of the 2013 Compact Awards!
 
This year, judges commented that the nominations were of a particularly high quality, and we received more than in any other year. The nominations covered a huge variety of projects, from local community groups tackling anti-social behaviour to Social Impact Bonds and all points in between. 
 
Read some of the inspiring work that was shortlisted here - and below are a couple of photos from the ceremony, held during Compact Week and hosted by our Chair, Simon Blake OBE, and Nick Hurd MP, the Minister for Civil Society.

 

Pictured L - R, Compact Leadership Award winner Rev. Andrew Wakefield, being presented with his Award by Sarah Vibert from Epilepsy Society, the drinks reception and Nick Hurd MP presenting a representative from Bridgnorth West and Tasley Partnership with their Compact Engagement Award.



Happy Christmas to you all, and best wishes for the festive season from all of us at Compact Voice.

The Compact Voice team - Kelly Ventress, Hilary Bath, Cath Cook, Elaine Cooper, Rachel Wharton and Monika Hofman (and Oli Henman, not pictured).
 

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