WoRC Attends: Brent Voluntary & Community Organisations consultation

By Adina Maglan - 28 July 2018

Brent Council hosted today its 2018 Voluntary Sector Organisations (VSOs) consultation and three of our team members attended.
Following a first consultation stage, the Council's Partnership & Engagement Team and Helen Redd, independent consultant commissioned by Brent Council to coordinate the consultation work, have presented a review of the needs within Brent's voluntary and community sector organisations.

In the meeting, we have discussed the proposed Partnership Principles, designed based on the findings of the first consultation stage, and how these would work in a wider partnership strategy. Ensuring that these principles are measurable and that partners are involved equally, are some of the ways available to better monitor and strengthen the working agreement between Brent Council and the voluntary and community sector.

We have emphasised our availability to further contribute to the development of the partnership strategy and we have highlighted what the Voluntary Sector Organisations bring to the partnership, as follows:

- Increased outreach capacity. The Local Authority has a more strategic role and the VSOs support the council in delivering various projects.
- Help the Local Authority demonstrate the impact of community projects.
- Share specific data and knowledge.
- Provide the Council with specialised expertise.
- Shared (human) resources, such as dissemination of Council information via community volunteers.
- Increased trust and an improved relationship of the Council with the local communities.
- Upskilling volunteers through training and work experience and improving their employability.

One of the points we have raised is the involvement of the VSOs in the earlier stages of project design. In our view, the Council services should work closely with the voluntary sector organisations and consider their views, their needs, and their capacity when developing new community projects. This will enable the organisations to tailor their capacity to meet the delivery needs. It will also help the Council better plan and utilise the available resources and avoid becoming over-reliant on the voluntary sector.

Our work goes beyond the weekly free service provision and we are always keen to contribute to consultations that would ultimately benefit our service users. If you would like to invite us to relevant consultations, please get in touch via contact@workrightscentre.org.

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