(a) Cabinet adopts the BCP Council’s Voluntary and Community sector and Volunteering Strategy and Delivery Plan;
(b) Cabinet notes the £33k of annual additional resources requested to support a Volunteer Coordinator to facilitate delivery of the plans from 2022/23 onwards;
(c) Cabinet notes that the £33k of annual additional resources will formally be recommended to Council as part of the 2022/23 budget and Medium-Term Financial Plan Update report in February 2022; and
(d) Cabinet recognises the significant impact that Covid has had on the state of the local voluntary and community sector and the increased demand on services that organisations are experiencing.
Portfolio Holder: Leader of the Council
To recognise the fundamental role that the voluntary and community sector and volunteers had, and continues to have, in supporting our communities during the pandemic and to ensure that the voluntary and community sector is supported to recover from the significant impact the pandemic has had on their operation, finances and trustees.
To recognise that half of the VCS organisations that responded to a local survey by CAN in the summer of 2021 said they are at risk of permanent closure within 12 months. It is important that the council understands and commits to effectively supporting the sector, both financially and through working relationships as outlined in the strategy, in order to empower the sector to thrive and be sustainable.
To recognise the continued pressure on council services and budgets, alongside the challenges of funding and resources within the voluntary and community sector and that it is essential that we all work together in partnership and collaboratively to share knowledge, expertise and resource to support a thriving sector and empower vibrant communities.
To support the transformation of the council, ensuring communities and partnerships are embedded in the heart of the council as part of its operating model and supporting the development of strength-based approaches to working with our communities.
To demonstrate our commitment to the development of an ambitious volunteering and social action strategy, that celebrates and builds on the volunteering and neighbourliness that already exists in our communities. Particularly learning from the recent community response to COVID-19 where communities came together to support each other.
This strategy enables us to achieve the outcomes in the BCP Council’s Big Plan and the Corporate Strategy regarding our commitment to developing vibrant communities, with an outstanding quality of life, where everyone plays an active role. Volunteers already work with the council in a variety of ways but there are opportunities to strengthen and extend the range of ways people can get involved to help others.