VCSE Health Alliance – Update Bulletin – January 2024

January 2024

Our new name – Voluntary Sector Network  

After much discussion and consideration of your feedback, we have decided that our new name will be the Voluntary Sector Network; Together for Healthier Communities. It was not an easy decision. Reflecting what we do and who we are in a short name and strapline was a real challenge!   

Speed, the agency we are working with, is now busy developing a brand and looking for our new name. We intend to soft launch this early next year and start using the new name very soon. Many thanks to all who contributed – your views and thoughts were invaluable. 

Focus on health inequalities  

At our December meeting, we heard from Hunts Community Cancer Network, winners of the Health Inequalities Challenge Prize, and the Ferry Project about the ways they are supporting people who are at risk of isolation and exclusion. Colleagues from the ICB explained the NHS CORE20+5 programme and the principles of the Population Health Management approach.  

Our statutory partners are becoming increasingly aware of the vital role of the VCSE sector in tackling health inequalities and we are delighted that we have secured an extra place on the ICB Health Inequalities Strategic Group. Contact Sandie if you are interested in this role. 

Grassroots community grants 

As previously reported, the Assura grassroots community grants will be going live later this month. Assura has lined up the Cheshire Community Foundation to administer the grant process. There will be 10 grants of £7,500 available in this first round to fund local groups to carry out small pieces of work in local communities. We are ensuring all the processes are simple and will not cause too much extra work.  

We will be looking for links to Integrated Neighbourhoods, so if you think your group may be interested in applying you could start preparing by making links with your Integrated Neighbourhood Manager. Contact Debbie if you need help with that. More information about how to apply will be sent out later this month.    

Quality workshops 

We have set up two workshops which will bring together Health Alliance members to assess where we are in our development. To do this we will use a Quality Development Tool, a process developed by our sector with support from NHS England.  

We are offering £200 for attendance and preparation. Please note that this will be paid to your organisation. The Peterborough workshop, on 31st January, is almost full but there are still spaces for Ely on 15th February. Contact Debbie to book your place. 

Health and Wellbeing Network 

On 23rd January Kathryn Shepherdson, the Deputy CEO of Hunts Forum, will be explaining more about Volunteer Cambs,, the new volunteer recruitment website.  

Volunteer Cambs is a one-stop shop for everything volunteering. Whether you are looking for help recruiting volunteers for your organisation or supporting people to volunteer to boost their mental health and reduce isolation. Find out more by coming to this session. Book your place here  

Health Alliance meetings  

Here are the dates of our future meetings, please put them in your diary. If you would like to suggest a theme please contact We are also keen to get members to Co-Chair meetings on their theme of interest.  

  • 17th January 1-3 Health Alliance business – March Library 
  • 28th February 9.30-11.30 Building partnerships – Zoom 
  • 17th April 1-3 Health Alliance business – Peterborough  
  • 22nd May 10-12 Theme TBC – St Ives Corn Exchange 

See here for more information about the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Health Alliance. You can also find the notes from the December Health Alliance meeting on this page. 


Spread the word! 

Last but not least, please do pass this newsletter onto your team and other groups and organisations who may not yet be Health Alliance members. Anyone wishing to join should email Debbie 

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