Voscur Advocates are elected by local VCSE sector organisations to represent them at strategic board meetings, partnerships and other decision-making processes that affect the sector's work and clients.

Click here for details of the meetings Advocates attend.   Click here for news and updates.

Our current Advocates are:

Bristol Children & Families Partnership Board  

Dom Wood
Chief Executive, 1625 Independent People

Dom is Chief Executive at 1625 Independent People, which helps 16- to 25-year-olds to reboot their lives. 1625 has a number of projects in the areas of housing, life skills, confidence-building, education, training, and jobs.

Dom says: "Having started attending Voscur meetings in 1996, in my first senior role in the voluntary sector, I learnt loads from Voscur events and training, it really helped me understand the sector and what was needed from me. I saw lots of strategies (more than you can imagine) come out that were not 100% relevant to an often forgotten age group of 16/17 year olds.  Once established and confident in my role I saw that there was not only a chance to influence future strategy for the better but also to help others who were also new to senior roles understand what was going on in the strategic world.  I’ve never looked back."

Read a full interview with Dom here.

Fiona Castle
Programme Manager, Imayla

Fiona works for Imayla CIC, which offers learning opportunities for young people, families and groups, combining creative arts and environmental activities. With a background in both statutory and voluntary sectors, she became an Advocate to support local development at a policy and service delivery level on behalf of the sector.

 

Fiona says: "Working for Imayla CIC and with a background in both statutory and voluntary sectors, I hoped I could support development at a policy and service delivery level on behalf of the sector. I believe in the value of an informed and trained sector with a collective voice and have benefited from Voscur’s support."

 

Read a full interview with Fiona here.

 

Julie Edwards

Childcare Manager, BAND

Bristol Safeguarding Children Board  

Jackie Citron
Young People’s Service Coordinator, Circles South West

Jackie works for Circles South West as the Young People’s Service Coordinator. Her role is to implement the Big Lottery funded pilot project for young people with harmful sexual behaviour (Core Members) in Bristol.

Prior to this, Jackie briefly held the post of Child Sexual Exploitation Coordinator for North Somerset Council. For the twelve years prior to this she was a practitioner at South Gloucestershire Youth Offending Team, specialising in working with young people with harmful sexual behaviour. 

Jackie says: “As a relative newcomer to the voluntary sector, I saw becoming a Voscur advocate as an excellent opportunity to develop links and partnerships with like-minded organisations within the sector and with statutory partners on the Bristol Safeguarding Children’s Board. I look forward to developing my knowledge of the sector and bring 13 years’ experience of working with children and young people to the role.” 

Vacancy

Participation Group - Children
and Families Partnership Board

 

Alistair Dale
Manager, Youth Moves

Alistair has worked with young people in a range of settings across the last 20 years, mostly focused on early intervention and prevention projects and providing new opportunities and experiences for young people from disadvantaged areas. He has worked in South Bristol (based at The Park Centre) since 2001 and has been the CEO of Youth Moves for the last 5 years.

Alistair says: "I become a Voscur advocate as I believe at this time, more than ever before, the VCS needs to step up and take a lead role in the delivery of services and taking a strategic role in the development of plans and programmes for the city, and that we can help to make this happen by taking up advocate roles on boards across the city."

Anthony Hill Photo

Anthony Hill
Children Services Manager, Barnardos

Anthony Hill trained as a social worker in 1995 and has worked with Barnardo’s since 1996. As a service manager for Barnardo’s, Anthony has managed a wide variety of contracts including services for looked-after children; advocacy and children’s rights services; family support, disabled children and early years.
 
His area of greatest passion is children’s rights and participation, believing fundamentally in a child’s right to be heard in all decisions affecting them, and believes that children and young people’s perspective greatly improves the design, delivery, and evaluation of services.
 
Anthony currently manages Barnardo’s HYPE service in Bristol and South Gloucestershire which aims to give young people with mental health needs and children with disabilities the opportunity to co-design and evaluate their services, alongside their parents.
 
Anthony says: "I hope to influence the Council to develop its participation strategy to more effectively hear from more vulnerable and less heard children and young people. I believe that the voluntary sector as a whole has a real contribution to reflect different perspectives and more community-based views within the Council’s structures.”
 

 

SEND Group - Children and Families
Partnership Board
 
Anthony Hill Photo

Anthony Hill (Interim Advocate)
Children Services Manager, Barnardos

See information about Anthony above.

Think Family Group - Children and
Families Partnership Board
 

Rachel Robinson
CEO, Learning Partnership West

Rachel is Chief Executive at Learning Partnership West, a community interest company which works with children and young people through play, youth work and education. Rachel has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years in a range of areas, but with a particular interest in working with children and young people. She brings experience in front-line delivery, commissioning of services and leadership, and a commitment to making Bristol work as well as it can for its children and young people. 

 

Rachel says: “I became a Voscur advocate because the sector brings real expertise in building community strength and solving issues, and is a powerful force for change. Collaboration across sectors is an effective way to make sure children and young people thrive.”

Joint Health Outcomes Group -
Children and Families Partnership Board
 

Frances Fox

Director, The Bridge Foundation

Health and Wellbeing Board  

Elaine Flint
Chief Executive, Wellspring Healthy Living Centre

Elaine is Chief Executive at Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, which is the health and wellbeing hub for inner-city and east Bristol. Elaine has deep roots in Bristol’s voluntary and social enterprise sector having previously run Social Enterprise Works and the Southville Centre.
 
Elaine says: "I think the opportunity for us as frontline VCSE sector organisations to bring our expertise, that we have learnt hands-on from our service users, to the table to influence strategic decision makers is something to be grasped."
 
Read a full interview with Elaine here.

 

Safer Bristol Partnership  

Alex Raikes
Director, SARI

Alex Raikes MBE is Director (Strategic) of Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI), the charity dedicated to tackling hate crime and promoting equality and community cohesion across Avon and Somerset. Since starting at SARI in 1991, Alex has gained specialist and practical knowledge on all forms of hate crime and on delivering services to victims of serious and targeted abuse. Alex sits on a number of local strategic partnerships and was awarded an MBE for her contribution to community relations in 2009.  

Alex says: "Having been working in the Voluntary Sector for 26 years and having progressed from a frontline worker, to a fundraiser, a manager and finally to a Director, I have gained experience that I think can be really valuable to Voscur and its members.  Voscur has always been there for SARI and I think it is great to be able to give back.  Finally, I do feel that I am well placed to be the Safer Bristol Executive rep as I have been working in the criminal justice sector for so many years and have gained an in-depth understanding of how it works.  I work hard to represent the whole VCSE Sector when I attend Safer Bristol Executive meetings, and to ensure we are advocated for as a sector.  We can often be missed where there are so many statutory duties!"

Avon and Somerset Reducing
Reoffending Board
 
Interim arrangements in place, to be finalised shortly
Restorative Bristol Board  

Suzanne Thompson

CEO, Restore Trust

Suzanne Thompson is a the Chief Executive of CEO of The Restore Trust, a Social Enterprise company that was launched by Avon & Somerset Probation Service in 2009 to provide skills, training and jobs to ex-offenders and the long-term unemployed. She has over 20 years experience in the Criminal Justice sector and has led award-winning teams to make a difference, encourage change and help people turn their lives around. 

 

Suzanne says: "I became a Voscur board member and advocate as I strongly believe in the need for the voluntary sector to make a difference and advocate on behalf of those who are voiceless; that is where the true value of the voluntary sector lies."

Learning City Partnership Board  

Christine Townsend
Co-founder and Trustee, Integrate UK

With a background in education, Christine has a strong interest in safeguarding and empowering young people. Christine currently works for Integrate UK, a charity working with young people on projects that promote equality and integration in our communities.

Christine says: "There are things that need to be changed in the world, particularly around injustice and inequality. It is about standing up and speaking out – not everybody is able to."

Read a full interview with Christine here.

Bristol Safeguarding Adults Board  
Emma Wells

Emma Wells
Services Manager and Adult Safeguarding, Bristol Drugs Project

 

Emma is the Service Manager (Engagement) and Adult Safeguarding and MARAC Lead for Bristol Drugs Project (Bdp). She has experience of working in, or in partnership with, a variety of voluntary sector organisations including carers support services, housing services, mental health service and drug and alcohol services. She is a registered Social Worker, and has experience of supporting and advocating for service users experiencing abuse or neglect. 

Emma says: “I wanted to become a VOSCUR advocate as I am passionate about working for the voluntary sector and safeguarding adults at risk.”
 
Contact Emma: email: emma.wells@bdp.og.uk, Tel: 0117 9876002, Mobile: 07989 223 628
 
Engagement Worker, St Mungo’s