September 2015 Compact Voice Round-Up

This month’s blog covers all the latest news for voluntary organisations involved in cross-sector partnership working and public service delivery. If you have any thoughts or questions about the issues covered below (or if we’ve missed something!) you can leave a comment below, drop us a line at or tweet us @CompactVoice.

Survey of local Compacts

Our annual survey allows us to evaluate the health of local Compacts across England. The information we collect enables us to map local Compact activity and helps us target effective support for the implementation of local Compacts. It also provides us with insights into how the voluntary sector more widely is engaging with new policies and commissioning bodies.
You can take the survey here. Most of the questions are multiple choice so it should only take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Each completed entry will go into the draw to win a £100 John Lewis Voucher. The survey closes on Friday 23 October.


Compact Voice presentations

We’ve produced a series of free presentations to accompany our Practical Guides to Engaging with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and sections of our Partnership Working Toolkit on creating and refreshing local Compacts. The presentations are annotated and designed to assist in training staff and local stakeholders in concepts and issues affecting partnership working.


Compact Week

Nominations are now closed for the Compact Awards, the annual celebration of the very best of partnership working across England. Many thanks to everyone who submitted a nomination. We’ve received some fantastic entries and the shortlist will be announced soon.
The Compact Awards ceremony is the showpiece event of Compact Week, which this year will take place from 2-6 November. We’re busy making plans for Compact Week, and we’d love to hear about any activities you’re planning too. Let us know how you’re planning to celebrate your partnership working achievements by emailing

Sir Kenneth Stowe

Compact Voice were very sad to learn of the death of Sir Kenneth Stowe, who passed away on 29 August 2015.
Sir Kenneth played a key part in the creation of the original 1998 Compact, and, in his role as Chair of the English voluntary and community sector’s Working Group on Government Relations, was one of its co-signatories. He also held senior positions in the civil service over a number of years.
Several obituaries have been published detailing Sir Kenneth’s life and achievements:

NHS England Community Grants

NHS England is seeking to make grant awards to showcase good practice around patient and citizen participation in healthcare. They will be awarding small community grants of up to £1,000 each to not for profit organisations who can tell the story of their patient and citizen engagement work in a creative and interesting way. The closing date for applications is 28 September 2015.

DCLG Pub Loan Fund

The Department for Communities and Local Government have announced a new £1.5 million ‘Pub Loan’ fund to provide support to voluntary and community groups to take over the running of pubs at risk of closure. Loans will be given to enable groups to start feasibility work, pay for lawyers’ fees or get materials for refurbishment. Further details will be announced soon.

Access consultation on capacity building grants programme

Access, The Foundation for Social Investment, have launched a consultation on the design of a ten year, £60 million capacity building programme. Funded by the Cabinet Office’s endowment to Access, the programme will provide support to voluntary organisations attempting to engage in social investment. The consultation is open until the end of September 2015, and funded programmes will start in Spring 2016.

Local Sustainability Fund update

The government has provided an update on the progress made on the delivery of the £20m Local Sustainability Fund. The programme will provide grants to increase the sustainability of around 250 medium sized organisations working in the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, including supporting them to bid for public service contracts and to diversify their incomes.
Around 1000 organisations submitted completed applications and regional panels have now shortlisted 400 applications to complete a more detailed application by the end of October. It is expected that successful organisations will receive their first grant payment in March 2016.

A Day in the Life” work shadowing scheme

There’s still time to take part in NCVO’s A Day in the Life, which gives staff from government and the voluntary sector the opportunity to step into each other's shoes for a day and learn about how the other sector operates.
Of last year’s voluntary sector participants:
  • 96% said taking part in the scheme was 'very worthwhile' or 'quite worthwhile'
  • 95% said the scheme improved their knowledge of how government works
  • 85% felt their organisation should take part in the scheme again
The scheme is free to all voluntary sector organisations in England. The deadline for applications is 30 September 2015.

Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR)

Social investment tax relief (SITR) gives charities and social enterprises the help they need to leverage in private investment to expand and grow.
Big Society Capital has launched GET IT, a programme of free support to help organisations use SITR. This includes education, access to resources, expert advice and profiling of successful raises.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation Youth Fund

The Foundation has launched the Fund in direct response to what they heard in their strategy consultation: in order to achieve greatest positive impact in the lives of young people you work with or for, you need to achieve a balance of stability, continuity and flexibility.
You can apply for between £10,000 and £60,000 for up to two years. More information is available here.

Social Saturday – 10 October 2015

The aim of Social Saturday 2015 is to raise awareness of just how easy it is to support businesses that trade quality items and services and invest profits in projects supporting the local community, international development, the environment, charities and a wealth of other progressive schemes. You can find more information on the Social Enterprise UK website.

New Clinks report into voluntary sector infrastructure in the Criminal Justice System

Clinks have launched a report on the findings of a comprehensive independent review of infrastructure services: Critical friends: an independent review of voluntary sector infrastructure in the Criminal Justice System. Read a blog on the findings here, or download the full report here.

NCVO’s public services news round-up

NCVO’s public services round-up for August is now online, and includes news on the results of a survey on the voluntary sector’s role in Transforming Rehabilitation, an update on the review into voluntary sector involvement in health and social care and details of NCVO’s consortium masterclasses.
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