23/10/2014 - Permalink

Local project shortlisted for National Compact Award

Related topics: Community / Partner organisations

A local project is shortlisted for the National Compact Engagement Award at The National Compact Awards, which celebrate excellence in working partnerships between the voluntary sector and the public sector.

This year the Compact Awards celebration takes place on Wednesday 5 November 2014 in London.  Shropshire has seen success at the Compact Awards in the past.  The Compact Engagement Award winners for 2013 were Bridgnorth West and Tasley Partnership.

Named the Marches Social Inclusion Mini Group, this year’s locally-nominated project brings together Shropshire Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly, Shropshire Providers Consortium, Telford & Wrekin CVS, and Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service, to secure voluntary sector engagement with the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (Marches LEP).  The partners have designed and delivered a comprehensive programme of engagement activity, targeted at 4,109 voluntary organisations in the Marches.

This new Social Inclusion partnership also includes and receives support from Shropshire Council, Telford and Wrekin Council, Herefordshire Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.  The Social Inclusion Mini Group steers work and facilitates a much larger Social Inclusion Stakeholder Group, with approximately 140 members.

With the anticipated introduction of new EU funding, joint work between the voluntary sector and LEPs became vitally important.  Voluntary sector involvement in the development of the Marches LEP’s European Structural and Investment Fund Strategy for 2014-2020 became a priority, particularly in relation to the social inclusion theme.  The challenge of designing an engagement mechanism to cover the entire Marches area – with a population of more than 660,000 people, 27,095 businesses, 4,109 registered voluntary organisations and an estimated 290,737 formal volunteers – was recognised and met.  The group has recently secured a small Big Lottery grant named Building Better Opportunities, to continue its work.

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for leisure, libraries and culture, and Chair of the Shropshire Compact Group, said:

“I am delighted that the work that has been undertaken between the Marches LEP and the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector is being recognised at the national level.  We really value the work Compact Voice does to share ideas between areas and support the rollout of good practice.”

The Marches LEP signed up to its three local Compacts in April 2014, covering the Shropshire Compact, Telford & Wrekin Compact and Herefordshire Compact.

The Shropshire Compact was refreshed in 2013 to work more closely with the range of public sector commissioners working across Shropshire.  The document sets out good practice in relationships between commissioners and voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, and highlights agreed ways of working.

A copy of the Shropshire Compact can be accessed here: http://vcsvoice.org/the-compact/.

To find out more about the Shropshire Compact contact Sarah Dodds, VCS Assembly Coordinator, sarah.dodds@shrosphire.gov.uk or VCSAssembly@shropshire.gov.uk, ring: 01743 252740.

Other projects nominated for the 2014 Compact Engagement Award include Voluntary Norfolk’s Voluntary Sector Engagement Project, Transforming Families in Merton, and Newcastle Voluntary Sector Liaison Group (VSLG).  You can find out more about the awards and take a look at all the nominated projects by visiting:  http://www.compactvoice.org.uk/news/compact-awards-shortlist2014.

To find out more about the national Compact visit: http://www.compactvoice.org.uk/about-compact.