View some of our work below…
The Leadership Group works with GMCVO to recruit individual VCSE leaders and experts to act as representatives for our sector at Greater Manchester boards and forums. Representatives are recruited through an open process and are asked to sign up to a protocol committing them to connect actively with their peers, act on behalf of the wider sector and report news and opportunities.
Led by GMCVO and the Leadership Group, this work is based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the GM Health and Social Care Partnership signed in May 2017. The MoU sets out a way for the VCSE sector to be better engaged and linked in with the Health and Social Care devolution agenda in GM both at a strategic level and within each of the 10 local authority areas.
Funded by the GM Health and Social Care Partnership, work includes: enabling dialogue between public sector and peers in the VCSE sector via various events, workshops and roundtables; supporting work in localities related to Health and Social Care; identifying issues and priority work areas, and mobilising the VCSE sector to respond; developing a new approach to Equalities and commissioning small projects to explore issues in further detail.
There have been considerable pioneering examples of aligned strategic co-design, delivery and developments of our Mental Health Strategy in GM. Two years ago VCSE representatives were selected to represent the sector across the GM Mental Health infrastructure and there have been some ground-breaking examples of integrated working and VCSE led pilots, projects and programmes.
Following the learning and feedback from the VCSE sector and the Greater Manchester Partnership, we are taking steps to further strengthen this work; more VCSE colleagues from geographical/local, issue and identity based perspectives will take on more leadership roles to shape and influence the system developments at a GM and locality level. This opportunity to embed more key players in the strategy setting process and to play a key role in the translation of that strategy to local delivery and thematic areas will ultimately improve support and accountability for people across GM.
The Leadership Group have supported Mustard Tree to co-ordinate a space for voluntary sector agencies to work together to better represent the issues and potential ideas to help tackle homelessness across GM. We established a steering group which has now merged into the Homeless Action Network (HAN), which helped to establish ‘A Bed Every Night’ emergency accommodation scheme across Greater Manchester. This work also fed into a national review of the homelessness situation in GM. We have reported the need for more support for people with complex health and social needs such as addiction and mental health issues which has resulted in new services being commissioned and supporting the case for investment by the NHS into tackling homelessness.
The next phase of this work is to work closely with the statutory sector around referral pathways and escalation routes into services as well as the 10 year Homelessness Prevention strategy.
Given the twin challenges of economic inequality and poverty in Greater Manchester, we recognise that the economy of Greater Manchester needs to be more inclusive, delivering better outcomes for all residents and ensuring everyone living in the city region can benefit from sustainable economic activity. We believe that VCSE organisations have a central role in achieving this, particularly in respect of encouraging economic activity in place with high levels of deprivation and poverty.
We are working to promote the VCSE sector’s role in the Greater Manchester economy.
In early 2019, along with the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, we commissioned a partnership of Mind in Greater Manchester, Voluntary Sector North West, Bolton CVS and GMCVO to carry out the following:
- A review of existing commissioning with the VCSE sector;
- The inclusion of the VCSE sector into the GM Commissioning Academy programme;
- The development of a VCSE commissioning framework to support commissioners.
We consulted with both commissioners and VCSE organisations to develop the VCSE Commissioning Framework which was signed off by the Joint Commissioning Board in February 2020.
The Leadership Group with support from colleagues at the GMCA have developed a VCSE Policy Position Paper which sets out a long term ambition for the VCSE sector in Greater Manchester.
The paper builds on the Accord with Mayor of Greater Manchester and GM Combined Authority (GMCA), and the Memorandum of Understanding with the GM Health and Social Care Partnership. It describes a future role equal to those of the state and business and sets out what our sector could bring to Greater Manchester people and communities, and what would need to be done to enable it, including investment.
Work to implement the plan is ongoing.
Population Health, Public Health and of course their focus on prevention and the wider determinants of health are a big priority for the VCSE sector and the Leadership Group. Our sub-group brings together VCSE leaders to update one another on best practice developments across GM, and at a local authority level, and plan how we can have an influence together. We make sure there is VCSE representation in GM strategy and policy discussions and work together to be as efficient and well targeted as possible.
The Inclusion and Wellbeing Partnership (IWP) was set up in September 2019 as part of the VCSE Health and Social Care Engagement Project to implement the equality elements the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the VCSE sector and Health and Social Care Partnership in 2017 and to celebrate and share existing good practice.
Hosted by BHA for Equality, it aims to identify and prioritise areas of current health inequality and reimagine and reframe the collective approach to tackling inequalities across Greater Manchester. It also intends to lead on the key principle of co-design and thinking beyond the ‘protected characteristics’ in the context of economic, social and cultural equality.