You may not know that Sarah Crawley now sits on the group convened by Claire Dove, the government’s VCSE Crown Representative.
Claire’s role is to act as an intermediary between government and the voluntary, community & social enterprise sector, with a specific remit to champion the Social Value Act and improvements in commissioning practices. Claire was appointed as VCSE Crown Representative in February 2018.
Claire has written to all members of the group to ask their help in gathering feedback from the VCSE regarding sector support needs and responses during the Covid-19 crisis.
Claire’s letter said:
As you know we are in the midst of this unprecedented crisis and I have been in dialogue with our department to ensure that we are giving the best advice to the sector. I also after yesterday’s budget announcement have asked for clarification of the support that our sector will need with the challenges ahead. […]
I am mindful that we need to get advice out to our sector and we in government need to know how we can best support. Please let us know what you are hearing and how the sector is reacting. We are aware that our sector will play a crucial part in the challenges ahead.
With a view to playing a full part in this, Sarah asked me to post this request on the BSSEC blog. We want to try and co-ordinate replies from Social Enterprise City supporters and BSSEC readers.
If we can generate some feedback that is useful to Claire Dove and her colleagues in the VCSE group, I will undertake to collate this and get it into a format that Sarah can then share.
Please let us know what you think about the four points below. If you are already providing similar feedback for other voluntary sector intermediaries, please consider copying me into that reply. You can post comments below or send mail directly to me. If you think of other different and/or more important considerations then please say.
» What are the implications of coronavirus for your organisation? Have you already taken critical steps/precautions?
» What kind of help, support, guidance do you most need from government?
» Have you identified any risks, responses or responsibilities that you think may be unique to your organisation or sector? If so, what are you doing?
» If you have already considered ways that your organisation (or sector) might assist in the event of a full-blown pandemic situation in the UK, what are you able to do and what would be needed in order to enable you to make this contribution (such as resources, co-ordination, leadership)?
On the 12th March 2020 Brian Carr, BVSC’s chief executive, attended an extraordinary board meeting of the Strategic Homelessness Partnership Board, convened by Birmingham City Council. BVSC is now working with Birmingham City Council on a co-ordinated coronavirus communications strategy across the voluntary sector, focusing on Neighbourhood Network Schemes and grant-funded providers initially.
→ Brian has written a briefing for the charity sector in Birmingham which will bring you up to date with the situation and the City’s current response to the outbreak.