A strong and visible Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector

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Understanding and Strengthening the VCSE in Worcestershire

We are conducting research to help achieve our vision of a stronger VCSE Sector working together effectively to deliver excellent services aligned to need.

Worcestershire County Council (WCC) and Worcestershire VCSE Alliance have committed resource to develop this key piece of work with the VCSE to help understand and strengthen the Sector. A multi-agency steering group has been formed to support, inform, and guide the work.  

Understanding and Strengthening the VCSE in Worcestershire project will build on existing information in order to produce a more in-depth picture and an analysis of the current state of the VCSE sector. This will be overlayed on to the needs of residents as represented by IMD, JSNA and other relevant data, and will consider what action is needed to strengthen the Sector as a whole.  The steering group will then assess what the implications are in relation to gaps in services and whether partners need to take further to address gaps. 

Research PhasesPhase One: Intelligence gathering and scoping. Collate existing VCSE information into one system to be used for the development of phase twoStarted 1st June 2023
Phase Two: Carry out further research on specific VCSE areas identified from phase one. Develop evidence-based action plansStarts early 2024
Multi Agency Steering GroupWorcestershire County Council Strengthening Communities, Public Health, Health and Care Trust, ICB, University of Worcester, VCSE Partners
Implementation of Phase OneDevelopment of tender and appointment of consultants: Tiller AssociatesApril 2023

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This first phase is focussed on collating information on VCSE organisations throughout Worcestershire, identifying geographic reach and the range of work being undertaken.  

Preliminary results of this intelligence gathering were presented at the VCSE Assembly in October 2023.  This included an infographic (below) showing VCSE organisations registered and operating in Worcestershire, indicating how long they have been established, their size, and their focus of work.

Download Phase 1 report here :

US Phase 1 INFOGRAPHIC
Research and Evaluation Key Outcomes
Increase and evidence knowledge of the VCSE Sector by district and service area 
Create a “map” of VCSE Sector services and overlay these services on to JSNA, IMD and other relevant data to identify gaps and duplication
Improve the knowledge around gaps in services exist and the potential impact this has on residents, and where this leads to an increased demand on public services
Enhance information sharing with ICS partners to assist in service design and alignment to need
Capture and provide information to enable the VCSE Sector to plan more effectively, build collaborative working and be better prepared to manage oncoming challenges
Through self-assessment methods, collate knowledge relating to capacity and skills of the VCSE Sector workforce
Where possible identify gaps in workforce and skills, and develop training/development in partnership with the ICS Academy 
Develop methods to demonstrate VCSE social impact to feed in to “the system” and aide partnership development
Provide data/evidence of priority areas to funders/commissioners with a clearer rationale of need to secure further investment
Shape and strengthen the VCSE Alliance strategic plan and delivery plans
Inform new innovative VCSE community powered health and wellbeing projects