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Forward Thinking: The NEW Wakefield District VCSE Collaborative

Forward Thinking: The NEW Wakefield District VCSE Collaborative

It’s time for a fresh focus on strategy, collaboration, and unity.

We’re delighted to introduce you to Wakefield District VCSE Collaborative.

The VCSE Collaborative will be a strategic group that brings together senior leaders across the VCSE and statutory sectors, to work towards our common goals of supporting local people.

This is a positive and much-needed development for our VCSE sector in Wakefield District, so let us tell you a little more about what it will look like and how it came about.

What will it look like?

The Collaborative will have three functions:

  1. VCSE Strategy: Develop, implement and monitor a new VCSE strategy for the Wakefield District with mutual ambition and accountability from all partners.
  2. Third Sector Framework: Provide strategic oversight for priorities and ambitions, while advocating for the Framework’s aims and growth.
  3. VCSE Representation and Oversight: Ensure the VCSE sector is represented and integrated into Wakefield partnerships. Strategic oversight and a route of escalation from other VCSE meetings, shown to the right.

We are confident that this strong leadership will reflect the value of our sector and all the brilliant organisations that are part of it, from larger charities to small community groups.

The Collaborative also demonstrates an ongoing commitment from statutory sectors. It will be a key partner within the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Wakefield District Health and Care Partnership. Embedding it within these structures will support the development and sustainability of the VCSE sector in Wakefield District.

How did it come about?

Step 1: Goodbye, Third Sector Strategy

The Third Sector Strategy expired this year. Its impact was limited by the pandemic, which coincided with the launch of the strategy. During this time, our sector showcased its strength and rose to the challenge of supporting local communities, giving the new VCSE Collaborative lots to learn from.

The expiry of the Third Sector Strategy left a gap in strategic collaboration focusing on the VCSE sector.

Step 2: Task and Finish Time

In January, we bought together a group of interested people who wanted to redesign, what was previously called, the Third Sector Strategy Group.

The group met regularly, led by Sharon Batty from the Prince of Wales Hospice and Michala James from the Wakefield District Health and Care Partnership.

Step 3: Hello, Wakefield District VCSE Collaborative

And here we are! The Task and Finish Group identified the functions, purpose and aims of a collaborative that could provide meaningful change and development.

They also dedicated some time to exploring ideas for the new VCSE strategy, work which will be continued by the Collaborative. Here’s a quick look at themes from the group’s work:

  • VCSE sustainability through clear, equitable and brave commissioning frameworks
  • Recognition of the VCSE sector in district wide solutions
  • VCSE sector achieves an equitable position with other partners
  • Creation of useful data that can be used to inform funders and committees as well as partners

We are aiming to have the Collaborative up and running in April.

Who’s involved?

The Collaborative will have a broad membership that includes strategic leaders from the VCSE and statutory sectors. To get the balance right, the proposed membership includes:

  • 10 VCSE members (63%)
  • 5 statutory members (31%)
  • 1 elected member (6%)

Thank you to everyone involved in this process. There will be plenty of opportunity for contributions to the new VCSE Strategy and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Keep an eye out for regular updates on this exciting work!

Mar 20, 2024