A review of the Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector (VCFS) in Rutland took place in 2015. This work was overseen by a Steering Group comprising of a number of VCFS organisations across the county of Rutland. Big Society Funding, a Community Interest Company, was commissioned to support the project by way of reviewing and making an assessment of the existing VCFS arrangements in Rutland. Their final report, “Flourishing in a New Commissioning and Funding Environment” was completed in June 2015. Following on from that report further briefing papers were shared with members of the Steering Group which received a mixed (poor) response – some organisations didn’t respond at all, and there was clearly no consensus on a way forward. The strong recommendation from those papers was that the sector should come together to form a Community Interest Company – again there was very little appetite for this and as such there was a loss of momentum.
In the meantime Rutland County Council were still developing their future commissioning strategies with the continued narrative of wanting a more cohesive Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector, with a more singular voice. Indeed, the Council are still developing and fine tuning their commissioning intentions.
In the emerging vacuum Citizens Advice Rutland, Spire Homes and The Bridge were all of a like mind in terms of wanting to progress matters and therefore agreed to collaborate with a view to developing a new delivery partnership for Rutland. It was also agreed to commit officer and Board time to make this happen. Subsequently, the Rutland Access Partnership has been formed to take this work forward and the partnership has successfully submitted a request to participate in the Rutland County Council Tender for Community Prevention and Wellness Services.
Notwithstanding the above the Rutland Access Partnership is open to working with other VCFS organisations across the county and we will continue to communicate openly with partners in the weeks and months ahead.
If you require any further information please feel free to contact any of the lead officers within the Partnership.
Jane Clayton-Jones (Citizens Advice Rutland): email@example.com
Amy Laurie (Spire Homes): Amy.Laurie@longhurst-group.org.uk
Paul Snape (The Bridge): Paul.Snape@thebridge-eastmidlands.org.uk