August 2015 Compact Voice Round-Up

Our round-up this month scans all the latest news for voluntary organisations involved in partnership working and public service delivery. If you have any thoughts or questions about the issues covered below (or if you think we’ve missed something!), post a comment or tweet us @CompactVoice.

Compact Awards

Nominations are still open for the 2015 Compact Awards. The closing date is Monday 14 September 2015. Two of last year’s winners, Mark Hubbard of Voscur and Sally Young of Newcastle CVS, have written about what the award meant to them and how it has affected their partnership working in the past year. If you’ve been involved in effective cross-sector partnership working, find out how to submit a nomination here.
If you’ve got a story to tell about your local Compact or a partnership you were a part of, but you’re not sure if it’s right for the Compact Awards, please get in touch anyway by emailing We’re always keen to hear about examples of good practice, as well as the challenges and opportunities for partnership working -your experiences might make a great subject for a case study or guest blog.

Financial Times Local Cuts checker

If you are a voluntary organisation seeking to work with public bodies, understanding changes in your local authority’s spending can be important to ensuring you are engaging with them in an informed way. The Financial Times’ local cuts checker brings together a comparison of spending between 2010 to 2014 for every local authority in England.

Charity Fundraising

An inquiry is currently being held by the The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee into call centres fundraising on behalf of charities, following concerns raised about their practices. You can read more about the inquiry and enter a written submission here. The deadline for submissions is on Wednesday 26 August 2015.
Also, NCVO’s Sir Stuart Etherington is leading a review into the self-regulation of charity fundraising. You can read more about it here. The consultation period has now closed, and the review is expected to report on Monday 21 September 2015.

NCVO’s Consortium Masterclass

Forming consortia can help voluntary organisations to access public funding, particularly when local authorities opt to award larger contracts. NCVO are running a Consortium Masterclass on 17 September 2015 outlining what voluntary organisations should think about when establishing consortia.

“A Day In The Life” work shadowing scheme

NCVO’s A Day In The Life matches voluntary sector staff with civil servants, giving each the chance to spend up to a day in each other’s work place. The scheme is free to all voluntary sector organisations in England, and the deadline for applications is 30 September 2015.

Voluntary sector involvement in health and social care

As part of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) review, commissioned by the Department of Health, NHS England, and Public Health England, two consultations are seeking views on the involvement of the voluntary sector in health and social care. The first consultation is on the current state of investment, partnership working, and how closer collaboration could be fostered. The second asks for views on the role and effectiveness of the government’s current ‘voluntary sector investment partnership’ suite of grants. Both consultations are open until Friday 6 November, and you can respond to them here.

Youth Social Action Fund

The £1.26 million National Youth Social Action Fund has been set up to help young people in more deprived or rural areas to get involved in social action. The government is encouraging charities, community interest companies and social enterprises to apply for funding. There are more details here. The deadline for applications is Friday 28 August 2015.
Local level funding in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk is also available. To apply for a grant, see the relevant local community foundation’s website:

Big Potential Advance Fund

Big Potential has expanded the support and grants to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations looking to develop their readiness for social investment; there is now a total of £20 million available. There are no deadlines and applications can be made at any time during the three years that the programme runs. There is more information on the support available here.

England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds

The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programme supports investment in innovation, businesses, skills and employment, and job creation. It is a potential source of funding for voluntary organisations that tackle social exclusion and barriers to employment. The ESIF website brings together information on the 2014-2020 programme and includes information on the different types of funds available.

NCVO’s public services news round-up

NCVO’s public services round-up for July is now online, and includes news on NCVO’s review into the financial sustainability of the voluntary sector, a summary of the summer budget’s key implications and an update on the government’s review of the Freedom of Information Act.

Community Rights programme

The Department for Communities and Local Government has detailed how communities across England are having a greater say in local decision making through the Community Rights programme. The government is now funding a series of new programmes to give people greater local control and influence. More information is available here.

External accreditation

Gaining external accreditation can enhance your reputation as an organisation, potentially helping you to make a stronger case when bidding for public service contracts. In a guest blog on the NCVO site, Janet Lewis-Jones, a quality standards assessor for the voluntary sector, explains the value of external accreditation and signposts to some quality standards criteria you may find useful. You can read the full blog here.
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