Voluntary Action Camden

Voluntary Action Camden Spring 2021 Update to Members and Subscribers

Spring 2021 Update to Members and Subscribers

28th May 2021

Manifesto and Members

The May Voluntary Action Forum was a lively meeting where we debated a number of proposals for a Camden VCS Manifesto.  You can view the Manifesto demands and a brief explanation of each one here and take a look at the Wall to see the comments.  You can add your own comments, comment on others’ comments and rate comments too.
At the Forum, we also talked about ways to improve the links between VAC and our members which we will be working on in the coming months.
We agreed to revisit this work at the September Voluntary Action Forum where we hope to settle on a final list of demands.  We hope to see you there (Wed 15th September at 11am).

Community Connectedness and the Development of the Integrated Care System

VAC is involved in a number of strategic policy developments both at the Camden borough level and also happening at the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) Level to bring the VCS voice to the table. There is some overlap between these developments –  though Camden’s strategy development is also driven by the Camden Renewal Commission.
The ICP is the new way the NHS and Social Care is organised and involves the VCS as the aim is to create a community health system that recognised the sector’s role in prevention and maintenance of health and wellbeing.
Locally, the council and VAC are co-sponsors of one of the emerging ICP policy priorities called ‘Community Connectedness‘.
The other ICP priorities are:

  • Urgent Community Response
  • Neighbourhood Working
  • Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism
  • Children and Young People

And within Community Connectedness a working group are looking at:

  • Neighbourhood hubs
  • Prevention
  • Social Prescribing
  • Supporting the clinically vulnerable

There is a really useful summary of this work here.

This new Integrated Care Partnership operates at three levels – ‘system‘ (the 5 borough NCL), ‘place‘ (the borough) and ‘neighbourhood‘. (See this Kings Fund explanation for a quick guide).
It’s at neighbourhood level that the ICP is least well developed, yet is of most interest to the VCS.  The ICP is starting with the PCNs as the fundamental building block of neighbourhoods (PCNs – Primary Care Networks – are groups of GP surgeries).  But clearly there are many more facets to neighbourhood, from community centres, to libraries, neighbourhood forums etc.  VAC will be participating in June in a workshop to get this work underway. This Health Creation Alliance report sets out some of the challenges and possible ways forward.  NB This is a marked up version to aid quick review.
If this all sounds complicated and confusing, that’s because it is.  But these changes have the potential to have a profound impact on the voluntary sector so we have no choice but to saddle up and hang on for the ride.


VAC AGM Report

Thanks to everyone who came to the VAC AGM on Tuesday 20th April – over 50 of you attended (VAC has 210 organisational members and 51 individual members so we were comfortably quorate with more than the required 1/20 of membership present).
Chair and Treasurer set out VAC’s activities and future plans and showed VAC’s finances stabilizing after several difficult years and some modest reserves set aside from a small surplus.
The meeting elected 3 new trustees: Tricia Richards, Castlehaven Community Association, Harry Graham, Send Coffee and Arvinda Gohil, Central YMCA.  Congratulations and welcome aboard!  7 current trustees continue.  A new Chair and Vice-Chair will be recruited later in the year. 1 trustee retired – Harunar Rashid Khan.  Our council observers continue  – Cllr Richard Cotton and Cllr Nash Ali.
The formal business was followed by a video about VAC’s work and then a talk from Leila Baker, Researcher and Co author of The Value of Small in a Big Crisis. And Caroline Howe, Policy and National Programmes Manager at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales.  View Leila’s presentation here and Caroline’s presentation here. The report found that small charities ‘showed up and stuck around’ during the pandemic.


Digital Divide

We’ve been gathering details of all the work that you’ve been doing in the borough to overcome the digital divide.  Have a look at the draft report and let us know what we’ve missed.
If your work to overcome the digital divide is ongoing you can add it to this superhighways survey so that the GLA can get a London-wide overview.

VAC News

Of course we have plans for more exciting events, a new office, new programmes as well as ways to involve you better in policy debates.

From 1st June we will be based at the Greenwood Centre:
Greenwood Centre, Greenwood Place, London
Phones and emails remain the same

Kevin & the VAC team: Alex, Dianne, Donna, Hasel, Mandira, Manuella, Nasrin, Ricky and Zubair and all the Trustees and Volunteers.

PS Don’t forget we are still collecting your Covid Stories you can add yours here – or email us at info@vac.org.uk

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