Awards are good for you: guest blog from Mark Hubbard, Compact Liaison Officer at Voscur

Mark Hubbard VoscurMark Hubbard is the Compact Liaison Officer at Voscur, the local support and development agency for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Bristol. Mark has worked at Voscur for over five years and is their lead on commissioning, procurement and social value. He won the Compact Leadership award at the 2014 Compact Awards.

Find out how to submit a nomination for the 2015 Compact Awards here.
 


In the last few years, lots of great partnership working in and around Bristol has been celebrated through the Compact Awards and our Compact partners are always keen to be involved. In 2013, the local Hate Crime commissioning process won the Advancing Equality award and several other forward-thinking developments were shortlisted or commended.
 
Last year, it was my turn – from five Bristol nominations (all shortlisted), I won the Leadership award! A group of us attended the awards ceremony and had a very memorable evening – on the train speculating if any Bristol work would win, at the event itself (I hardly recognised myself in the description of the winner) and the playful competition with Merton (who have a very impressive record of excellent work and winning awards)! We've also had to install a 'trophy cabinet' in the office for the award and enjoy speculating where the next silverware will come from.
 
More seriously, the award has been good for Voscur (we host Compact working in Bristol) and has helped us to make the case for further positive changes, all of which will ultimately benefit Bristol's people and communities, and the environment.
 
The awards have added more legitimacy to our ongoing campaigning work with Bristol’s public sector. For example, I was at an event in the spring when our elected Mayor was describing our partnership approach to improving commissioning, and he cited the award as an indicator of our healthy relationship.
 
The awards have also helped to raise the profile of the Bristol Compact and Voscur. For example, I was invited by a Compact group in East Anglia to attend their annual conference, and to give a presentation on good partnership working.
 
Additionally, Voscur’s success at the Compact Awards has encouraged local commissioners to further develop and share good practice. I'm now working with the lead commissioner of Bristol Hate Crime services (who won in 2013) on a new Commissioning Network – a joint network of commissioners and VCS officers with the aims to share understanding, solve problems and influence practice. The awards help us establish such things.
 
Recently, Compact Voice has asked Voscur to expand its Compact work across the West of England area – that’s an endorsement of our approach and we plan to work with other Compact groups and contacts to develop good partnership approaches with new public bodies (PCC, LEP and CCG) in the context of city devolution and ‘greater Bristol’.
 
While I was disappointed that the award didn’t lead to a massive pay rise, I do still grin when the award is unexpectedly mentioned. Feeling good and proud about my work and feeling valued and celebrated are great things in difficult times. Clean sweep at the Compact Awards 2015?
 
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