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VCSE Voices

VCSE Voices

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Introducing VCSE Voices & the VCSE Advocates

What is it?

VCSE Voices is a new project which increases representation of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector at strategic, decision-making meetings across the Wakefield District.

VCSE Voices provides opportunities for members of our sector to influence policy and take part in cross-sector discussions to improve services so that they meet the needs of people who live in our district.

To do this, Nova recruits and works with VCSE Advocates.

Who are the Advocates?

VCSE Advocates are people who work in or volunteer within the VCSE sector and are therefore well-connected to the views and needs of communities. Nova currently has 24 Advocates in post, attending meetings.


What do Advocates do?

VCSE Advocates attend board meetings to champion and broadcast information from the sector. They provide knowledge and insight about the needs of VCSE groups and the diverse communities they serve, sharing information from and to the sector.

Advocates share meeting information back to the sector by leading the VCSE Voices Network - a peer discussion space open to all Nova members.

Which boards do Advocates attend?

Many decision-making boards exist to coordinate and deliver health and wellbeing services; adults' services; social care; and children and young people’s services.

Advocates provide representation across boards within:  

  • The Health and Care Partnership (meetings that help plan and deliver NHS services)
  • The Local Authority (Wakefield District Council meetings which plan and deliver council services)

Each meeting has responsibility to include VCSE sector representation and therefore, through VCSE Voices, Nova is continually recruiting Advocates to provide expert advice and leadership.

What is the VCSE Voices Network?

The VCSE Voices Network is a monthly meeting where Advocates come together. During meetings, Advocates share information and updates, receive peer support, identify shared themes, and collaborate on planning and development.

The network ensures that information from meetings is shared with the wider sector and not solely with the advocate in attendance. This is a fundamental part of the project's philosophy and purpose: to increase knowledge, transparency, and participation.

The VCSE Voices Network meets monthly and is self-led and chaired by Advocates. The meetings are open, and you can book to attend on our Eventbrite page.

What support do Advocates get?

Advocates receive a tailored induction and are provided with training and support to enable full participation.  

We want Advocates to feel empowered to partake and so offer training based on individual needs. Past Examples include training on how to have good meetings and training around cultural competency.

Backfill exists to reimburse Advocates for their time and expertise. This process both demonstrates the value of contribution and formalises the representative role, while enabling advocacy to come from diversified perspectives.

Find out how you can get involved and browse the vacant Advocate roles.

More information

 If you'd like more detail, you can watch the recording of the launch event on our YouTube channel.







How do I apply?







Rebecca Dunford
Social Prescribing Services Manager
Shannon Simpson
Service Coordinator
Caroline Sylvester
Service Coordinator
Adele Spaven
Social Prescribing Advisor
Gemma Naylor
Social Prescribing Advisor
Fareeda Mir
Social Prescribing Advisor
Dave Harrison
Social Prescribing Advisor
Gemma Newman
Social Prescribing Advisor
Helen Hackney
Social Prescribing Advisor
Janet Watson
Self Management Advisor
Paul Boyd
Self Management Service Administrator
Dawn Gzella
Senior Social Prescribing Advisor - Wakefield Health Alliance North
Callum Buck
Social Prescribing Link Worker - Trinity Health Group
Justyna Banks
Social Prescribing Link Worker - Wakefield Health Alliance Central
Andrea Vickers
Social Prescribing Link Worker - Five Towns
Mirban Hussain
Social Prescribing Link Worker - Brigantes PCN
Jazz Johal
Social Prescribing Link Worker - West Wakefield PCN
Sharon Kennedy
Social Prescribing Link Worker - Wakefield Health Alliance South
Katty Keyhani from Alzheimer’s Society
The Health and Wellbeing Board
Sharlene Featherstone from Second Chance Headway
The Health and Care Partnership
Amaina Elzoubir from One Ummah Community
Health Inequalities Steering Group
Ross Grant from Wakefield & District Society for Deaf People
The People’s Panel
Jenn Bravo from Turning Lives Around
Housing Health and Social Care Partnership
Steven Busfield from Empath Action
The Children and Young People’s Partnership
Anna Blight from Pontefract Reads
The Early Years Strategic Partnership Board
Chris Bingham from Pontefract Reads
The Early Years Strategic Partnership Board
Sanel Ncube from Young People’s Empowerment Project
The Wakefield Local Area SEND & Alternative Provision Strategic Partnership Board
Berni O'Brien from St George's Lupset
Early Help Strategic Partnership Board
Eleanor Bradbury from Rycroft Youth Centre
Wakefield Safeguarding Children Executive
Madeleine France from Blossom Training & Development
The Safer Together Partnership
Louie Stafford from Learnest CIC
Hate Crime Strategic Group
Lisa Kaye from Well Women Centre
The Safeguarding Adults Board and The Domestic Abuse Management Board
Tamsin Lim from Well Women Centre
The Domestic Abuse Management Board
Helen Oades from Rosalie Ryrie
Wakefield District Domestic Abuse Workforce Development Group
Dick Davies from Wakefield District City of Sanctuary
Wakefield Multi-Agency Asylum Meeting
Ali Robinson-Rowe from CoActive Arts
Learning Disability and Autism Partnership Board
Angie Callaghan from Alzheimer’s Society
Wakefield Carers Strategy Implementation Group
Duncan Smith from Trinity Church
Wakefield Carers Strategy Implementation Group
Angie Callaghan from Alzheimer’s Society
Jane Walton from Yorkshire Mentoring CIC
The Employment and Skills Strategy Group
Julius Olutokun from Dominion Training
The Employment and Skills Steering Group
Lucy Herrick from Turning Point
Wakefield Combatting Drugs Partnership

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