VAC works with local residents, community groups and organisations, as well as local business and statutory and public partners, to develop and support a vibrant civil society that underpins a high quality of life in Camden and the surrounding areas.
This short video explains a bit about VAC and the work we do in Camden, London. You can find out more about all our work throughout the website.
Much of our work is focused on helping groups to achieve their outcomes by providing organisational development support on a range of issues.
In 2014 -15 VAC supported over 200 groups with business planning, setting up a group, charity or social enterprise, employment and human resources advice, financial planning and management, salary administration, governance matters and income generation and quality assurance.
The profile of the local groups VAC works with is shown below and includes details of the services they provide and who uses these services:
The population of the London Borough of Camden is 225,000. The difference in life expectancy for people living in the richest parts of the borough compared to those in more deprived wards is 13 years for men and 8 years for women. 24% of residents live within the 20% most deprived areas of England where there is an 83% higher prevalence of serious mental illness. People from a low socio- economic status, women, Black Minority Ethnic groups and people with long term conditions or disabilities are more likely to suffer from mental illness and 50% are more likely to have a long term health condition.
VAC helps to address inequality in the borough by working with targeted individuals, communities, civil society organisations, GP’s and various statutory bodies such as Camden Council, Camden Clinical Commissioning Group, the Voluntary Sector Strategic Forum and the Community Safety Partnership.
VAC’s work to tackle inequalities is largely focused in the realm of public health and mental health, targeting the Black, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BMER) communities, but also seeking to improve the health and well being of communities as a whole. We also work to tackle inequality by sharing information and promoting joint working between the Voluntary and Community Sector, the private sector and statutory bodies.
This chart shows the ethnicity profile of the people we are supporting through our work to address inequality:
The government states that effective safeguarding of children can only be achieved by putting children at the centre of the system, and by every individual and agency playing their full part, working together to meet the needs of our most vulnerable children.
VAC is involved in delivering very different early intervention partnership projects to help tackle inequality amongst local ethnic minority communities with regards child safeguarding and improving educational attainment.
This takes a preventative approach by working to provide advice, training and support at an early stage to help targeted individuals, communities, civil society organisations, schools and various statutory bodies such as Camden Council, Adult and Children Safeguarding Boards, the Voluntary Sector Strategic Forum and the Community Safety Partnership work together to improve child safeguarding practices and educational attainment.
This chart shows the ethnic profile of groups supported through the Community Partnership Project.
On our website you can find out more about our preventative work in child safeguarding and improving educational attainment, as well as how we work with strategic partners to tackle these issues at the borough level.
With a reduction in the amount of public sector funding available for civil society organisations, people have had to think more creatively about how to ensure financial sustainability and economic viability.
VAC has been working hard on behalf of the local voluntary and community sector to develop initiatives that help save money and show how the sector works to provide added value for service users and commissioners.
Social Enterprise: VAC has been helping organisations look at alternative structures that help, enable and harness economic growth and has developed several courses to facilitate this process.
Quality Marks: VAC works to support organisations to gain recognised quality marks that help improve their chances of winning contracts or keeping economic investment in the borough.
Added Value Tools: VAC has been working with local authority officers to try and develop a framework or tool that enables the added value that civil society organisations bring to service delivery to be built into commissioning and procurement processes.
Joint Purchase Networks: On behalf of the sector VAC has negotiated lower prices for essential supplies by leveraging the buying power of smaller groups into one purchasing network.
Volunteering to Paid Employment: VAC supports volunteering as an opportunity to build up skills and experience and possibly secure paid work.