26/04/2018 - Permalink

Shropshire voluntary sector representatives to meet minister at Westminster

Related topics: Community / Partner organisations

Representatives of Shropshire’s voluntary and community sector (VCS) will get the chance to make the government more aware of their important role when they meet with Tracey Crouch MP, minister for civil society at Westminster next Wednesday (2 May).

The visit has been arranged by Councillor Joyce Barrow, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities (pictured) with support from Daniel Kawczynski MP.

Councillor Joyce Barrow

Representing Shropshire’s VCS at the meeting will be: Chris Child, Chair of the Shropshire Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly (and Chief Executive of Energize, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin); Nicola McPherson (Vice Chair of the Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly (and Chief Officer of Mayfair Community Centre); and Jackie Jeffrey, VCS Assembly Board Member (and Chief Executive of Citizen’s Advice Shropshire).

Key topics to be discussed at the meeting include:

  • The increased governance, compliance and regulatory frameworks voluntary and community sector groups and organisations are working to. New fundraising regulations have been introduced and particular pressures are being felt by community transport providers from anticipated regulations.
  • The results of increased demand for voluntary and community sector services. Demand has increased while investment has reduced as a result of national and local reductions in public sector funding and grant schemes.
  • The increasing pressures faced by volunteers and trustees, who take on significant responsibilities in unpaid and often challenging roles.

Speaking on behalf of the voluntary sector representatives, Chris Child said:

“We are pleased to be invited to go to represent Shropshire’s very diverse community and voluntary sector. Meeting Daniel Kawczynski MP and Tracey Crouch MP offers us the opportunity to learn more about developing government policy on civil society and to share Shropshire’s experiences of working to support the voluntary and community sector to maintain its work in rural communities. We are delighted to have the ongoing support from Councillor Joyce Barrow who has kindly worked to organise this important visit.”

The Government is currently consulting on the development of a new Civil Society strategy. Launched on 27 February 2018 the consultation runs for 12 weeks. Shropshire’s Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly will be submitting its own response and has been encouraging groups and organisations based in Shropshire to take part

Councillor Joyce Barrow said:

“This is an important time for the voluntary and community sector. In Shropshire, the national Civil Society Strategy consultation provides a platform to highlight the particular challenges and issues faced by voluntary and community groups and organisations in a very rural community. Working with the sector I have become more aware of challenges faced by local groups and organisations. I have seen the incredible commitment of individuals, some working as volunteers, others as voluntary sector managers, but all working to make a positive difference through a period of significant change.”

The government consultation has four main themes: our civil society, people; partnerships, and places. You can find out more by clicking here.

To find out more about Shropshire’s Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly visit: http://vcsvoice.org/