New people and communities strategy involves VCSE sector

People and Communities
26 June, 2019


Two local community health organisations, Bristol Community Health (BCH) and North Somerset Community Partnership (NSCP), have jointly launched a five-year strategy which includes ‘Sustainable collaboration with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector’ (VCSE) as one of five objectives.

The document, called Our People, Our Communities: Strategy 2019-2024, was created with input from more than 120 local people and organisations.

In practical terms, it will lead to more social prescribing, focus groups, engagement with carers, and more efficient ways of giving feedback. There will also be a wide range of volunteering opportunities, with a three-tier model for different types of volunteering: peer support, structured and 1-2 hours per week. The BCH and NSCP Board will become more diverse, to better represent the local community.

The five objectives are:

  1. The experience of our staff, the people we support and our communities will support us to make lives better.
  2. Greater psychosocial support and opportunities for our people and our communities.
  3. A mainstream focus on equality and diversity.
  4. Sustainable collaboration with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.
  5. Realising the potential of our community purpose.

Expanding on the VCSE sector objective, the strategy states that: ‘We are committed to exploring new models of care with the VCSE sector: models that provide holistic, wraparound care in communities and focus on the wider determinants of health in order to keep people well and give them the confidence to manage their health through self-care.’

Matthew Areskog, Head of People and Communities at BCH, said:

“We are already seeing some of these exciting initiatives come to fruition – for example, through Bristol Community Health’s diabetes peer support programme with Brigstowe, the expansion of our Community Navigator service for people with a learning disability, and North Somerset Community Partnership’s ‘Parkinson’s Warriors’ group.”

BCH and NSCP have committed to co-designing a collaboration framework for their work with the VCSE sector, which will lead to more efficient partnerships.

Sandra Meadows, Chief Executive of Voscur, said:

“Voscur has been working closely with Bristol Community Health on a grants programme, as well as exploring other ways of working together with the VCSE sector. It’s really good to see a large social enterprise investing in and wanting to maintain relationships with smaller, local organisations. Effective relationships and partnerships are essential for meeting the changing needs of people and communities.”

If you’re interested in forming a partnership or collaboration with another organisation, Voscur can offer specialist collaboration support. Click here to find out more.