Tag Archive for: Volunteer Strategy

Do you understand the changes happening to health?

Have you heard about the ICS? Did you know it replaced the CCG? Don’t know what either of these acronyms refers to? Are you confused by all this talk on health changes but don’t understand how this impacts you as a resident of Cambridgeshire, let alone your community group?


Health and Wellbeing Meeting

We understand, so we have set up this short and informative network session where you can update your understanding and grasp how this can link with you as a resident and community group/ charity in Cambridgeshire. You will learn more about the Integrated Care System (ICS), how it works, and what Intergrated Neighbourhoods are. Plus how your voice can be heard about the health needs you seeing in your community.

This session will be held on the 18th of April at 2:00 pm, and anyone interested is welcome to attend.

If you like to know more, then why not sign up HERE


Support Cambridgeshire website pages 

We understand that sometimes page after page of health information can be challenging. Therefore, Support Cambridgeshire have taken the information as a community group which you need to know and put it on two pages. The ‘ICS page’ explains the basic structure and outcome of the system, with the ‘Health Alliance page’ explaining the VCS board, which reports, supports and engages the voluntary sector in discussion and decisions which impact our communities.


VCSE Strategy

What you might not know is that as an integrated partner in the ICS, the voluntary sector has a strategy on how it is going to work with health, and the Health Alliance is currently carrying out the goal set out in that. If you would like to know more, then click HERE

What are the next steps?

A document called a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is the next vital step in writing an agreement between the ICS and the Statutory, Voluntary and Community sectors on how they plan to co-operate and facilitate the strategic aims of the ICS.

The MOU is a requirement from NHS England to recognise the VCSE in ICS. It will be co-produced with ICS and VCSE members to bring together their joint aims.  

The MoU will not be a stand-alone document; once it has been approved, it will sit alongside the VCSE Strategy, which outlines all our goals, ambitions, and indicators of success. 

What are the fundamental principles of the MoU? 

All members that sign up for the MoU will respect and recognise the independence and values of other members and will allow every partner the courtesy of being listened to and heard.   It will ensure that all partners are solution focused and bold in the decision-making and that all conflicts or potential conflicts are declared and resolved accordingly.   

The MoU recognises that both Statutory organisations and the VCSE have different forms of accountability and are answerable to other stakeholders. However, the need for integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, leadership and inclusivity is common. 

All communication will be transparent and remain committed to the vital principle of co-production.  All partners will use plain English and consider potential accessibility issues.  If needed, partners can participate, taking into account different working patterns, existing organisational commitments and capacity restrictions. During times of pressure or crisis at work, all partners will work together to determine the best approach for all partners. 

Ultimately, the MoU will become the foundation for partners to build trust and treat each other respectfully.  

 Why is it needed? 

The MoU is needed to ensure effective collaboration with the ICS. It is designed to support the development of Voluntary and Community sector capacity to increase and improve the sector’s impact for the benefit of local people. 

 Only by recognising the VCSE independence, skills and professionalism of the Statutory Organisations can shared aspirations be achieved. Local people will feel empowered and receive better services if both sectors work well together.  

 What are the aims & goals of the MoU? 

The MoU aims to champion and share knowledge of the agreement through each partner organisation. It will consider the need for: 

  1. Greater proportionality 
  2. Clearer targeting & consistency 
  3. Transparency in frameworks 
  4. Promote strategic resource focus 
  5. Enhance the capacity of VCSE organisations 

It will also recognise the importance of infrastructure to the voluntary sector and volunteering and, where appropriate, supports its development at a county and place level.  It will consider the specific needs, interests and contributions of those VCSE bodes representing excluded people. 

All partners’ goals will be to consult and ensure shared decision-making is carried out with the voluntary sector, subject to considerations of urgency, sensitivity or confidentiality.  The MoU will promote effective working relationships, consistency of approach and good practice between partners. Finally, respect and accountability to the law, and in the case of charities, observe the appropriate guidance from the Charity Commission.