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Delivering Change in a Shifting Landscape: Future challenges and opportunities for the Voluntary Community Social Enterprise sector and its partners.

Delivering Change in a Shifting Landscape: Future challenges and opportunities for the Voluntary Community Social Enterprise sector and its partners.

by Dr Helen McLaughlin, Building Change Trust VCSE Futures Project

The Building Change Trust VCSE Futures team were delighted to host two workshops at the CO3 Leadership Conference on 23 February.

The workshops formed part of Building Change Trust’s initiative aimed at providing a platform for the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VSCE) sector, its funders and policy makers to consider how to build an enabling environment that supports the sector to achieve the best outcomes for the people and places it works with.

Participants heard from the International Institute for Social Change (IISC) about international trends in the sector, as well as an overview of findings of a pre-conference survey conducted by CO3 and Building Change Trust. They then had an opportunity to “walk and talk” in the hotel grounds – all with a very specific focus. They were asked to return with proposed specific actions that the sector itself, funders and policy makers could take to help to create the enabling environment needed to achieve the best outcomes for the people and places the sector works with.

And here’s a taster of what participants identified:

The sector needs to:

  • get better at communicating what it is achieving for the people and places it works with
  • work more collaboratively and co-operatively – to work in themes rather than on an organisation by organisation basis
  • find new finance and business models

Funders need to:

  • encourage collaboration and co-operation
  • work with the sector particularly in co-design
  • recognise and build the relationship with the sector
  • work with other funders adopting joined up approaches
  • adopt different funding models
  • reduce bureaucracy

Policy makers need to:

  • work in partnership with the sector to co-design policies and processes
  • adopt new funding / contracting models
  • reduce bureaucracy
  • put in place contingency plans for periods of upheaval and uncertainty

Participants’ ideas will be collated along with the inputs from a number of engagement events taking place regionally and thematically between now and the end of June – then in the autumn, a series of workshops focused on developing specific solutions will be held. The aim is to provide the sector and its partners with robust information to support the creation of policies and practices which will enable the sector to maximise its impact into the future.

The full report of the workshop is available on Building Change Trust’s website.

For further information contact Nigel McKinney.

 

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