This page will provide councillors with resources and everything there is to know about the voluntary and community sector in Northamptonshire.
The voluntary sector is aware that Councils face many pressures at the moment and are having to think about new ways of working and how to make the public pound go further. One way forward is to work more collaboratively with the community and voluntary sector, to harness the capacity within voluntary and community (VCS) organisations and also in their wider network of volunteers and active communities.
We anticipate councils are going to be working more collaboratively with VCS organisations in the future and it is important that councillors have a good understanding about how the voluntary and community sector operates. Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire can help councillors understand what it can bring to improving local people’s quality of life, and how VCS organisations can help them connect with residents.
At the same time, councils already have a network of local people, who have their own connections into the community, and who have been elected as community representatives on to councils – councillors! Councillors shape the council’s policy and make decisions about how resources are spent. As elected representatives, they are also the council’s key connection with local people, and advocate on behalf of their communities.
Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire will provide information and resources that will help councillors to develop and strengthen their community leadership role, and give them new avenues for engaging with communities in Northamptonshire.
Councillors may also be interested to take a look at the Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire Annual Report 2015-2016. Click here to download the report.
Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire is involved in strategic discussions affecting the future of voluntary organisations. As the move towards personal budgets and a more competitive market place gathers pace, this role of exercising strategic influence with public sector commissioners and procurement managers is increasingly important.
At a time of significant change within the public sector Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire aims to:
Social value is the extra benefit that comes from the way a service is delivered, over and above the direct benefits of that service itself.
So for example if a contractor undertakes to create apprenticeships or volunteering opportunities as part of a contract to deliver a road building programme, that would be social value.
The Public Services (Social Value) Act, or the Social Value Act as it has come to be known, became law in January 2013. The Act has the potential to improve commissioning processes and enable more charities to use their ‘skills, passion and expertise’ to deliver more public services.
This is the first time public bodies have had to consider the social value of the services they commission, and it should open-up contracts to more voluntary and community sector providers.
The Act is an opportunity for the voluntary sector to engage in the commissioning process, and organisations should be proactively bringing the Social Value Act to the attention of local commissioners.
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We have a volunteering centre conveniently located in Northampton Town Centre.
Tel: 01604 637522