Introduction to our Independent Chair

I am delighted to introduce myself as the new Independent Chair of the Worcestershire VCSE Alliance, a role to lead and champion this vital work within the VCSE sector and as part of the Integrated Care System. 

I came into this role personally because I believe in the VCSE Alliance vision and approach, which is about “Working together to help make Worcestershire a better and healthier place to live and work”.   

The Alliance Chair role was selected by a multi-agency panel who were looking for someone with expertise in strategic systems thinking, and passionate about the VCSE sector and the value of people and communities. They wanted a perspective on what had gone before and what could be, that was able to be independent and unbiased when sharing views and leading change.  This is something I hope to offer… 

I am honoured to come into a network of existing relationships, aspirations and issues, and see with fresh eyes, what might be possible, and what needs to be done to evolve, adapt and meet expectations. I can see the potential, and there is everything to play for.  It is an exciting challenge, and my greatest hope is that the work and relationships are strengthened, and there is clear value from what we do. 

With over a decade of experience leading a cross-sector community services hub in Devon, I know the VCSE Sector’s unique and powerful role. Good governance and infrastructure are crucial for bridging the gap between impersonal systems and the people doing the work.  

Born in Manchester where I raised my family and now living in Devon, working across the country, my diverse experience as a health professional, educator, researcher, and consultant has taught me the transformative power of values, culture, and creative thinking. Currently, I work one-on-one in coaching, and as an independent consultant and associate for Collaborate CIC. 

As the country transitions to a new government, the Alliance Board and I are poised to tackle new opportunities and challenges with optimism. Our aim is to promote a strong, visible VCSE sector in Worcestershire that delivers excellent services aligned with community needs. I am excited to bring fresh ideas to this mission. 

Collaboration is the only way we respond effectively to the scale of challenges we face now. Trusting each other and playing to our strengths is how we remain resilient, motivated and able to help others and lead change.  I fully believe that to do any of this, we need great people and a vibrant and cohesive VCSE Sector which can sustain its work and develop and strengthen its people so that it continues to play that vital role in improving the health and wellbeing of people with a whole range of needs. This feels like a great responsibility and a tremendous opportunity. 

After meeting with sector professionals and public service workers, I am optimistic. There is widespread appreciation for local charities’ work and recognition of the need for investment and support. The sector’s potential is immense, and we must ensure its strengths are celebrated and recognised, especially as we partner with public sector organisations. 

A lot has been achieved in the two years since the Alliance was launched, and there is a lot more to do. My first major task is to lead a review of the Alliance work to date, working closely with the VCSE Strategic Lead and new Board members to shape the new Alliance Strategy, and prepare for the significant work over the next 3 years as the county responds not only to the new Government, but to challenges which arise locally.  I feel excited to be part of this work. 

If you’re interested in learning more about these exciting developments, I encourage you to become an Alliance Forum Member. For more information, please visit Worcestershire VCSE Alliance

Key date for your diary is the next VCSE Alliance Forum on September 25th – 1:30-4:30 PM. Here we will be discussing progress and exploring future priorities. I look forward to meeting you there!