This is the last Ebulletin that we will be sending out to organisations and others that are not members or supporters of Cumbria CVS – so I hope you have had enough time to make your decision about joining us, and that you are up to speed with what Cumbria CVS membership means.
As I have said, we see paid-for membership as a very positive thing in that it will enable us to develop a proactive relationship with each of our members, and it will deliver numerous benefits for those organisations that do decide to join. I hope you agree.
If you haven’t yet joined, don’t worry. Just let us know that you are interested in membership and we will see to the rest. All member discounts and special offers will apply as soon as you let us know of your intention to join.
And for something completely different – It’s all change at Cumbria County Council
As you may be aware, there have recently been lots of changes, with elections for Councillors and the Chief Executive, Jill Stannard, taking early retirement.
Diane Wood, Director of Resources at Cumbria County Council, has now taken on the role of Acting Chief Executive. Many of you will have met Diane, who has given presentations at the third sector consultation events on Cumbria County Council’s budget proposals for the last couple of years.
There are also many changes in County Council’s Cabinet, which is now made up of Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors (before the elections, it was Labour, Conservative and Independent councillors). Stewart Young (Labour) steps up to the role of Leader, with Jo Stephenson (Liberal Democrat) as Deputy Leader. The Conservative Group also has a new leader, James Airey, who will lead the opposition.
There is also a new Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Communities
, Patricia Bell. Patricia was one of three councillors involved in a Scrutiny review of how council budget cuts were affecting third sector organisations, so she will have a good knowledge of sector, and we look forward to working with her.
Full details of the new Cabinet are on Cumbria County Council’s website:
We hope that you have booked places for you and your volunteers at our celebration events that are running through Volunteers Week* If not, then please do it now, before the closing date - Friday 24 May 2013
Our local Volunteer Celebration Events will run across the county and are designed to say thank you to your volunteers - food and refreshments will be provided. Organisations who attend will be presented with a certificate and an award to recognise the support provided to volunteers. The awards have been sponsored by Cumberland Building Society and the events in Millom and Whitehaven have been funded by the Copeland Community Fund.
- Barrow: Monday 3 June - The Forum 2 - 4pm
- Millom: Tuesday 4 June - Millom Network Centre, 12-2pm
- Carlisle: Wednesday 5 June - Foxys, Brunton Park, 12-2pm
- Kendal: Thursday 6 June - Kendal Town Hall, 12-2pm
- Penrith: Friday 7 June - Parish Centre, St Andrews Place, 2-4pm
- Whitehaven: Monday 10 June - Civic Hall, 5.30-7.30pm
Remember – book now to secure your place(s).
Download the booking forms from www.cumbriacvs.org.uk
*Volunteers' Week takes place from 1 - 7 June each year and it is a fantastic opportunity to bring together local charities and volunteers to say thank you to volunteers for all their hard work and commitment.
Group of key speakers from the conference with Jozi Brown (centre).
This was the title of our last event, a chance to catch up with the latest structures and new ways of working. It was a great turnout (76 delegates) by network members who heard from Mike Taylor at the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Christine Harrison from the Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Peter Weaving from the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, Sonia Mangan and Paul Musgrave from Cumbria’s Health & Wellbeing Board and David Blacklock from Healthwatch Cumbria.
Whilst many of the changes discussed on the day have been on the horizon for a while, I’m always incredibly impressed with the high level of knowledge and experience within the third sector that enables organisations to question, challenge and add to our public sector colleagues' plans, strategies and processes. Presentations were also given by Carlisle & Eden Mind, Cumbria Third Sector Consortium, Carlisle Mencap, Eden Valley Hospice and The Association of Community Complementary Therapists. The value and scope of the work undertaken by these organisations, along with those that had stalls at the event is inspirational and a huge asset to Cumbria. Thank you to all of you who took part.
Sonia Mangan (whose ‘day job’ is Chief Officer of Age UK South Lakeland) is the elected third sector representative on the Cumbria Health and Wellbeing Board. Sonia is keen to hear from colleagues within the third sector and we’ll be giving regular updates through the networks and newsletter so you can hear about what she’s been involved in as part of her role. You can contact Sonia directly by email email@example.com or call 01539 728118.
Presentations and information from the conference will be circulated to Cumbria Action for Health members shortly.
The next conference is planned for September/October this year; the theme will be Mental Health and the Cumbria Mental Health Strategy. Any organisations interested in being part of the planning group for this conference please contact me, Jozi Brown by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01768 800350.
If you do not receive Cumbria Action for Health email updates, and you would like to please just let me know.
Social Investment Business – SEIF funding
Just to let people know that we had 146 attendees representing 46 different organisations attending our 11 events including our Conference and various workshops including Excellent Tender Writing; Social Investment; Investment Readiness. Our thanks to members and of course our keynote speakers Richard Parry, Peter Rooney and Michael Smillie.
Neighbourhood Care Independence programme
If you are dealing with older people or vulnerable adults who need services in their area to stay independent at home then please get in touch with Jane or Kitty on our referral line.
For people living in Carlisle, Eden, Furness and South Lakes areas please ring the helpline on: 0844 967 1885 or e-mail email@example.com
Voluntary and community organisations are facing extremely challenging times in the on-going economic down-turn and subsequent public sector funding cuts. Employees are being asked to take on more and more tasks in an environment of regular restructure and organisational ‘slimming down’, and they are often being asked to work in new, flexible ways.
So, this is a period where Trustees will be particularly aware of how valuable a resource their employees are - particularly those who have been with their organisations for a number of years, who are committed to high quality service provision for their clients and have proved themselves capable of adapting to change and challenge.
Whatever the capabilities and level of adaptability, employees need to be offered consistent and helpful support from Board level down. Organisational policies should reflect a commitment to thoughtful and fair recruitment, comprehensive induction and sound, sensitive on-going support and supervision.
Appropriate recruitment processes should get you the employees you want and need; policies around annual appraisal, supervision and training should support you to retain the employees you have recruited. When it comes to applying for funding whether or not you have such policies is place will matter; Board members will need to demonstrate, when negotiating with potential funders, that they are fully up to speed with good management.
At Cumbria CVS we believe we have developed policies that do enable us to recruit well and retain employees – as well as ensuring that we offer continuing professional development that both enhances the services we offer by up-skilling incumbent employees and improves job satisfaction and wellbeing for staff members themselves
We are happy to share our experience and knowledge with any organisation that feels in need of this kind of support. We will work with Board and/or staff members to ensure a positive culture is developed, and we can offer on-going mentoring to key Board or staff members who are responsible for general staff/HR issues.
So, if you feel you could benefit from this service, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. We want you to succeed and we are here to help.
Thanks again to those of you who have already responded to our membership drive. It's good to see so many of you joining.
Our membership year starts 1 June and by joining early you will take full advantage of member benefits. But don’t worry – if you are still waiting to discuss this with your management committee, or have not yet made the decision to join – we are happy to welcome you to Cumbria CVS at a time that suits you.
to take advantage of excellent member rates for training, events and other services.
Call us on 01768 800350, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.cumbriacvs.org.uk
Each year at Cumbria CVS we have two Awaydays where staff and Directors get together. One of those is tacked on to our AGM at the end of the year, and the other is a whole day in March.
I see these meetings as important events that any organisation can benefit from. They are an opportunity for Directors and staff to spend time getting to know each other and learning to work together; we collectively review our achievements, our immediate goals and our long term aims, and together we do some training on a topic of significance to the CVS, such as marketing – something that is becoming ever more important for third sector organisations..
At our March meeting this year we discussed the results of a recent Staff Satisfaction survey. I was delighted to be able to demonstrate that, in spite of dramatic change, the majority of staff remain positive about CVS and proud to be part of it.
Our Chair, David Richardson opened the day by talking about what he called the 3 Rs of Cumbria CVS, and I thought it would be interesting to share some of his thoughts with you. He said:
As we know, and are regularly reminded by items of news in the Staff Bulletin, CVS is well regarded by those who have dealings with us day to day. Surveys show a high level of user satisfaction, and we have close and positive links with funders such as the County Council, Northern Rock Foundation and the Big Lottery Fund. I was at the AGM last autumn of NAVCA (the national body for CVS-type organisations) and I was embarrassed-in-a-good-way to be introduced to people as the Chair of a CVS with a particularly successful track record in the management of change. What we take for granted – such as our merger six years ago and our subsequent streamlining of operations – is regarded elsewhere as ground-breaking and exemplary.
When, occasionally and sadly, things go wrong and we don’t get the contracts for which we bid, we do not waste time in repining or reproaches, we learn what lessons we can and move on to other possibilities. I can best illustrate by referring to the recent and painful news about HealthWatch. I think that the way in which we have reacted shows our professionalism and our emphasis on the needs of those we serve at its best.
This for me is our defining characteristic.
- We are realistic in our financial forecasting: yes, we are an optimistic group of people but we never flinch from looking the budget facts in the eye. We always begin on the basis of the worst case scenario – and then we work to make things better.
- We are ready to take initiatives. Last time I was in this room was at the first conference for the Third Sector Consortium. I reflected then that if it were not for us C3C would never have seen the light of day. We are helping to make something happen that would otherwise not have happened.
- We have been ready to go on adapting ourselves to changed circumstances. I certainly never thought, when I became a Director three and a bit years ago, that CVS would successfully bid for a contract relating to volunteers for a meals on wheels service or that we set up a trading arm or that we would charge for membership – but look at us now.
- We have learnt – and I know that for myself and perhaps for some of you it was a lesson that we needed a little time to assimilate – that we needed to bang the drum a little more loudly on behalf of CVS as well as our sector or our county.
- Finally, we talk to each other not just on these occasions, of course, but I know that as an organisation we are stronger and better equipped for our work because of the fact that twice a year we get off the treadmill and together review candidly what we have achieved and talk sensibly and creatively about what we will do in the future.
A total of 184 charities in Cumbria are still overdue with annual information that is required by the Charity Commission, including details of how they have spent their money over the last financial year.
Cumbria’s charities that have missed their deadline are being urged by the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, to submit their information now.
Charities with information overdue are marked red on the Commission’s online register, where charities’ details have been viewed six million times in the last year.
The most recent independent research into public trust and confidence in charities revealed that 96% of those asked said it was important to them that charities provide the public with information about how they spend their money.
By failing to submit this information on time, charities could be putting their reputations with donors and beneficiaries at risk.
Charities have 10 months from the end of their financial year to submit this information and are regularly reminded by the Commission about this legal responsibility.
It is quick and easy for charities to submit their information online and the Commission has also produced video tutorials to explain how to do this.
Research by the Commission in 2012 showed that many charities have often completed their accounts in good time, and may even send copies to Companies House, yet still not submit them to the Commission in time.
Sam Younger, CEO of the Charity Commission said: "Not knowing how funds are spent is the top reason the public give for not trusting charities so it is disappointing that some charities in Cumbria have not been taking the requirement to submit annual information to us seriously enough.
"It is great shame for those who do meet their deadline in good time to be let down by those who don’t. It reflects badly on the whole sector.”
All registered charities must submit information for an Annual Return, which updates their entry on the charity register, and charities with over £25,000 income also need to submit their annual accounts.
To find out if the charity you support has submitted its annual information to the Charity commission on time, go to www.charitycommission.gov.uk
Cumbria Action for Health - Keeping up with the Times
Thursday 16 May 2013
Newton Rigg, Penrith, CA11 0AH
9.30am to 1.30pm
‘Keeping up with the Times’ is the theme of the next Cumbria Action for Health conference on 16 May 2013. The conference is an opportunity for NHS and third sector colleagues to update network members on some of the changes and developments within health and care services in Cumbria.
Speakers include Peter Weaving (Clinical Director of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust), Mike Taylor (Chair of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust), Liam Ryan (Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group), Paul Musgrave (Cumbria Health and Wellbeing Board), Sonia Mangan (Cumbria Third Sector Network Representative on Cumbria's Health and Wellbeing Board) and David Blacklock (Healthwatch Cumbria).
There is also the opportunity for third sector organisations to publicise their services as display space is available, and there is time set aside on the agenda for any third sector organisations wishing to give a short presentations about their work.
The conference ends with a networking lunch and a chance to view displays.
If you would like to attend, book some display space and/or give a short presentation about your organisation (5 minutes), please contact us on 01768 800350 or email email@example.com
To view flier click here
It was really good to see so many of you at our Funding Fair in Carlisle on 27 March. These Fairs continue to be extremely popular, and as long as you want us to keep putting them on, we will. We see them as an important contribution to bringing income into Cumbria, and they provide a great opportunity for funders to hear about local need.
From the Funders
Our Fairs always include a session where Funders are able to give an overview of things from their perspective. The Big Lottery Fund told us they have £650m to distribute nationally and that they will be encouraging partnership development through their funding streams. They said that 24% of applicants do not read the guidance before applying, and that Awards for All are seeing a 55% success rate in Cumbria. Children in Need are looking at changing their approaches and spoke of fast-tracking grants applications for up to £10,000. Meanwhile, Lloyds TSB are hopeful that they can continue their funding programme of £25.4m a year. It was also noted that some larger funders need to reduce their rejection rates which are in some cases over 50%. Clearer guidance and changes to the application procedure would help this.
All funders made the comment that, in our sector, we need to sell ourselves more; we need to learn from the private sector and focus on marketing and identifying our unique selling points. We need to research where our organisations fit in, and work out who it is most appropriate to apply to for funding.
Let CVS Help
Cumbria CVS development staff are on hand to help you rise to the challenges set by our funders. We can advise you about marketing, strategic fundraising and about how to write good applications. Use us – it might make the difference you are looking for!
Talk to Me
Don’t forget our next Fair to be held Wednesday 10 July at Energus in West Cumbria, and I look forward to seeing many of you there. Use the day to tell me how you think Cumbria CVS is performing, and let me know of work you think we should be taking on - on your behalf.