Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee: 11th July, 2012


Voluntary Sector


Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS) Annual Report


Purpose of the Report

1.             To provide the Committee with information on the work of VCVS throughout the year April 2011 – March 2012.


That Committee receive the report for information.

Reason for the Recommendation

As required by the terms of the VOGC / VCVS Deed of Grant.



2.             Formed in 1997, VCVS is a member organisation, the “umbrella” representative for voluntary and community organisations based in, or serving, the Vale of Glamorgan.

3.             Our role is to support voluntary action in the Vale, which we do in a variety of ways and with a variety of partners.  Working to an annual Work Programme based on the Welsh Assembly Government’s Voluntary Sector Partnership Agreement Minimum Standards, we aim to encourage and inspire standards of excellence through our support and development, representation and joint working.

4.             Whether representing the views of members nationally, or printing posters for a local group, we work to build the capacity of the voluntary sector in the Vale and raise awareness about the work it does to the benefit of the community as a whole.

VCVS is managed by a Board of Trustees nominated and elected by its membership.  During 2011/2012, VCVS had a paid staff of twelve – six core staff and six project staff.  As an organisation dedicated to delivering the highest possible quality of service to our stakeholders, VCVS has adopted the Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Voluntary Organisations (PQASSO) created by the Charities Evaluation Service.

5.             There are nineteen County Voluntary Councils (CVCs) throughout Wales all providing services to their local voluntary and community sector as laid down in the Welsh Assembly Government’s Voluntary Sector Partnership Agreement.

Relevant Issues and Options

Achievements in Year


6.             VCVS’ main achievements during the year fall into the following areas:

Memorandum of Understanding

·               Vale Centre for Voluntary Services has been working with organisations across the Vale of Glamorgan to encourage closer working practices to ensure efficient and cost effective delivery of services.

·               To demonstrate VCVS’ own commitment to this ethos and to further develop and formalise the existing close working relationship that exists between ourselves and the Vale Volunteer Bureau, a Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed. This document will enable a variety of efficiency savings and better services for our stakeholders.

Big Lottery AdvantAGE Funding Success

·               VCVS, working in partnership with Voluntary Action Cardiff, Age Concern Cardiff and the Vale, Scope Cymru, Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern and ACE Cardiff Ltd, submitted a bid to the Big Lottery AdvantAGE Programme to develop and implement a befriending programme for older people across the Vale and Cardiff.  Development of the proposal involved a wide range of stakeholders and research involved asking older people about the services they need.  We are delighted that the bid was successful and the consortium will be working on the business plan and delivery in 2011/12.

VCVS Membership

·               VCVS’ membership rose from 396 groups in 2009/2010 to 438 groups this year, over ten percent increase.  We aim to continue this positive trend, supporting voluntary action in the Vale of Glamorgan as much as possible.

Development and Advice Services

·               Our offices in Barry are open to members and potential members for advice and development work. We offer information and guidance to assist organisations to operate legally and efficiently e.g. by providing information on registering as a charity, how to put together a constitution, policies and procedures. 

·               VCVS has continued to provide voluntary organisations with a range of support to develop ideas and projects.  Support has been offered in a variety of ways including face-to-face meetings, e-mail, telephone consultations and briefing sessions.  Our range of Information Sheets continues to be popular and these have been invaluable in helping us deal with the more general day-to-day enquiries.

Information Service

·               We act as an information agency for and about our members, maintaining a comprehensive database and producing a directory of our members to publicise their services; its availability is advertised regularly. We have produced information leaflets on VCVS’ services in Welsh, Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Chinese and Arabic. Our information service was used over 1,077 times and the 73% of members with e-mail addresses were also able to receive an additional 119 time specific VCVS bulletins during the year. 

·               “Vista”, our quarterly magazine, is published and printed in-house four times a year and has a print run of 444 copies. The magazine is also e-mailed to 203 individuals and groups. “Vista” is available in CD format and sent to three groups whose members have a visual impairment. “Vista” is supplemented by regular updates of newsletters on Health, Social Care and Well Being and Sustainable Funding News.  Over the past year, 4 updates were produced.

·               Our website is constantly evolving and contains a vast range of information readily accessible for any interested parties. It is updated on a regular basis and contains a catalogue of VCVS’ services including up-to-date news, members' directory, funding information, a diary of network and forum meetings, VCVS’ training courses, job vacancies appropriate to the sector. The downloadable information service includes newsletters, VCVS’ annual review, members' directory, health directory, membership application form, information sheets and enquiry forms. 

·               Our comprehensive range of information sheets are available in both English and Welsh for voluntary organisations to access either by hard copy, e-mail or through our website. This service is free to voluntary organisations and has yet again been a resounding success. 20,471 information sheets have been requested or downloaded over the last year.

Practical Services

·               These are a real benefit to many small voluntary organisations with little or no spare Income.  Low cost, reliable printing, help with desktop publishing, the loan of display equipment for exhibitions and presentations – these are some of the services that VCVS can offer its member groups. 

·               Our reprographic services were used 106 times this year, with 100% of responses evaluating them as “good” or “excellent”.  With the help of our booklet making, laminating, collating and folding machines, the use of our meeting room and equipment, a professional effect can be achieved by any of our member groups.

Networks and Fora

·               Our Networks and Fora continue to be a popular way for voluntary and community organisations to access and share information.  Networks and Fora supported by VCVS were:

Vale Trustee Network

·               The Network provides the opportunity to access free up to the minute professional expertise on issues critical to good governance and management.  The Network is the only local forum dedicated to responding specifically to the requirements Trustees encounter in undertaking their governance roles and responsibilities.  In the past 12 months, the Network has received presentations covering Financial Responsibilities, Charity Law and Governance.

Vale Housing and Homelessness Forum

·               This Forum is the longest established of all our networks and fora. It has been operating ever since VCVS came into existence.  It works to terms of reference and is made up of agencies (both Third Sector and statutory) that have an interest in housing, homelessness and related problems and issues.  The Forum acts as a representative body in consultation with statutory agencies.

·               The Forum also links in with other strategic partnerships, networks and fora, e.g. Safer Vale Partnership, Health Social Care and Well Being Network and the Domestic Abuse Forum.

Vale Voluntary Action Network (VVAN)

·               The network had another successful year even accounting for a slight decline in the number of attendees at the four meetings – 83 attendees (-6%) representing 42 organisations (+3%). A variety of informative and interesting presentations were arranged and the Vale Volunteer Bureau provided excellent advice at each meeting. Presentations were provided by:


WAG Aggregates Levy Fund

Bro Radio

Cardiff and Vale Mental Health Development Project

WCVA Voices for Change Cymru

Sport Wales

The Flat Holm Society

Barry Amateur Radio Society

Creative Rural Communities

Cardiff and the Vale Community Health Council

WAG Community Facilities and Activities Programme

Office for National Statistics (Census 2011)


·               In addition VCVS provided valuable and timely information on a wide range of issues that were of relevance to voluntary and community groups in the Vale.

Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Network

·               The Vale Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Network had another busy year with an increase in membership and involvement at many levels of planning and delivering health and social care services in the Vale of Glamorgan.  Events were held regularly throughout the year with speakers from a range of organisations. This included an awareness session on results based accountability by the University Health Board, a presentation by the Citizens Advice Bureau and an update from one of the Third Sector Members on the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.

Voluntary Sector Partnership Representatives Network

·               VCVS continued to support Voluntary Sector Representatives appointed to serve on the strategic partnerships including the Children and Young People’s Partnership, the Health, Social Care & Well Being Partnership and the Safer Vale Partnership by offering meetings, e-mailing briefings and 1-2-1 support. Collectively, representatives have the opportunity to address areas of concern in relation to the various partnerships and agree a way forward, as well as providing mutual support so that all representatives can take a full and active part in meetings.

Funding Information

·               VCVS’ funding advice and information service has once again helped groups to identify and obtain vital sources of funding and in 2010/11 over £183,900 of grant funding was accessed by groups serving the Vale.

·               Over 340 funding enquires were received during the year. Four issues of the Sustainable Funding Newsletter were produced containing details on over 70 grant and award programmes as well as other useful information. In addition a number of funding e-bulletins were sent out to the 300+ members on VCVS’ e-mail distribution list.

·               Four presentations were made by funding organisations at the Vale Voluntary Action Network (VVAN) meetings.  Six Funding Surgeries were held with representatives from Lloyds TSB Foundation Wales, Awards for All Wales, Art Wales, Sport Wales, BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief.  A total of 44 groups attended these 1-2-1 sessions and they received valuable advice.  The success rate for groups that attend the Funding Surgeries has increased to 35%.

Kick Start 3

·               VCVS’ small grants scheme continued throughout 2010/11 following a successful bid for funding to the National Assembly Community Facilities and Activities Programme. This year a total of £90,287 was awarded from Kick Start 3, benefiting 38 organisations.

·               The Kick Start 3 scheme offers grants for capital items only up to £5,000.  Apart from having the opportunity to apply for funding many organisations also benefited, during the Kick Start 3 process, from VCVS development support in setting up policies and procedures.  The scheme is also a useful tool for local groups to get them “fit for funding” by building their skills and confidence in completing funding applications.


·               During the year 13 training events were held, all aimed at building the capacity of local organisations.  Training opportunities were offered on the following subjects:


Business & Strategic Planning

Minute taking

Developing a sustainable fundraising strategy

Grants fit for funding

Kick Start 3 workshop

Developing your newsletter

Support & supervision of staff

Producing your annual report

Making the most of your website

Recruitment and selection of staff

Managing Disciplinary & Grievance situations

Roles & responsibilities of Trustees

Safeguarding Children & Young People (2)

IT training for Castleland Communities First.


·               A total of 91 delegates attended the training courses. All delegates (100%) rated the training as good or excellent.

Partnerships, Consultation and Joint Working

·               The Third Sector is seen as an important partner in supporting the work of statutory bodies in a wide range of areas, and VCVS is committed to working in partnership to develop and improve local services.

·               VCVS continues to facilitate Third Sector representation in formal joint planning in accordance with the agreed Protocol between the Local Authority and the Third Sector, via the Health, Social Care and Well Being Network, or via the full VCVS membership where appropriate.

VCVS is represented on the following Strategic Partnerships:

Local Service Board

Children and Young People’s Partnership

Health, Social Care and Well Being Partnership

Creative Rural Communities

Safer Vale Partnership

Learning and Skills Partnership

Equalities Consultative Forum

Environmental, Economic and Regeneration Partnership

Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee

Gibbonsdown and Court Communities First Partnership Board

Castleland Communities First Partnership Board

Integrated Health & Social Care Programme Board


Joint Working Groups:

Affordable Warmth / Health Through Warmth Steering Group

Area Adult Protection Committee

Barry Hospital Stakeholder Group

Barry Market Stall Steering Group

Barry Regeneration Area Board

BIG People’s Millions

C Card Steering Group

Cardiff and Vale Area Planning Board

Cardiff and Vale Communication Hub Sub Group

Cardiff and Vale UHB Stakeholder Reference Group

Cardiff and Vale UHB Third Sector Task Group

Cardiff University School of Social Sciences Ethics Committee

Care and Repair Strategy Board

Carers Sub Group

Carers Support and Information Network Group

Change Plan – Change Coordination Group

Change Plan - Co-production Working Group

Change Plan – Resources Working Group

Children and Young People’s Partnership Business Planning Group

Children and Young People’s Partnership Core Aim Groups 2,3,4,6 and 7

Communities First Trust Fund

Community Health Council Patient and Public Engagement Network

Creative Rural Communities – Greenlinks Steering Group

Creative Rural Communities Local Action Group

Developing volunteering in the UHB

Domestic Abuse Forum

Domestic Abuse Forum – Strategic Management Group

Falls and Bone Health Partnership

Families First Steering Group

Flying Start Strategic Executive Group

Food and Physical Activity group

Health Challenge Vale

Health, Social Care and Well Being Business Planning Group

Local Service Board Asset Management Group

Local Service Board Customer Contact Group

Local Service Board Finance Group

Local Service Board Implementation Group

Providers Forum

Regeneration Partnership – Business Planning Group

Safer Vale Commissioning and Co-ordination Group

Safer Vale Substance Misuse Advisory Team

Social Care Workforce Development Partnership

Social Services Change Plan – Implementation & Monitoring Group

South East Health and Social Care Facilitators group

Sport Lot Community Chest

St. Athan Forum

Tobacco Free Cardiff and Vale

Vale Citizens Advice Bureau Community Advisory Group

Vale Community Development Network

Vale Community Rehab Team

Vale Locality Group

VVB / VCVS Memorandum of Understanding Steering Group

Well Being Grant Sub Group

Workforce Strategy Group


National networks:

Voices for Change Assembly Liaison Group

WCVA Equality and Human Rights Coalition

WCVA Health and Social Care network.


Health, Social Care and Well Being

·               The Network provides an opportunity to bring together all voluntary organisations (local, regional and national) operating within the Vale of Glamorgan who have an interest in health and social care. The Network provides statutory agencies with a ‘one stop’ shop for consulting with the sector; it acts as a conduit for the voluntary sector to inform and be informed, on Health and Social Care policies, priority service areas, developments and new initiatives, training and funding opportunities.

·               Third sector members on Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Community Health Council (CHC). The Health and Social Care Facilitator worked closely with Cardiff and Vale CHC to recruit voluntary sector members to the Vale Committee of the CHC.  Three third sector members were subsequently recruited who can bring their expertise and knowledge of the third sector to the CHC’s work.

Vale of Glamorgan Community Strategy

·               The Health and Social Care Facilitator was a member of a working group which drafted the health, social care and wellbeing chapter of the Vale of Glamorgan Community Strategy.  Members of the Network also had the opportunity to comment on the draft Strategy during a Network meeting.

Developing Volunteering in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

·               The University Health Board has invested in a staff team to co-ordinate volunteering and established a group which meets regularly to develop volunteering opportunities.  The group includes the Health and Social Care Facilitators and staff from the Volunteer Bureaux from both the Vale and Cardiff.  This is ongoing work and links to the development of Information Centres in University Hospital Wales, Barry Hospital and Llandough.  The Facilitator was also engaged in initial discussions to progress the Locality Health Treatment Centre at Barry Hospital.

Carers Support and Information Network Group (CSING)

·               The Health and Social Care Facilitator continued to facilitate CSING, working closely with local authority staff, UHB staff and voluntary organisations.  CSING provides an opportunity for sharing of information across sectors and promotes joint working.  It also raises the profile and role of carers in maintaining people in their own homes and preventing admission to hospital.

Protection of Vulnerable Adults

·               The Vale Facilitator worked with local authority colleagues to negotiate funding from the Local Authority Social Care Training Programme for a Voluntary Sector Bursary Scheme to support access to training.  The Network also delivered four sessions on Safeguarding Children and Young People for the voluntary sector with partner participation.

VCVS' Environmental Impact

·               VCVS is committed to the welfare of the environment and endeavours to have a positive environmental impact.  VCVS recycles its printer cartridges, paper, tins, bottles, cardboard, plastics and most office equipment.  VCVS strives to send more and more information by e-mail.

Efficiency Savings

·               VCVS is committed and determined to make the best use of funders money so has made efficiency savings in a number of areas.  VCVS will constantly aim to become more efficient in every area of its work. Some of the saving initiatives include: encouraging over 160 contacts to receive VCVS’ Vista magazine and supplements by e-mail; introducing an e-bulletin service; restricting telephone calls to mobile phones; turning off electrical items when not in use; using a smaller VCVS room for our training courses rather than paying for room hire and encouraging the staff not to needlessly print.

New Projects

·               With partners from Health and Local Authority, VCVS continued the management of the following two projects:

Vale C Card Project

·               2011 has been the first full year and has seen an amazing number of contacts with young people with over 464 members and over 420 returns. With a grand total of 10,402 condoms issued these are just the tangible facts of the scheme; the sign-posting and issue based information that the young people have requested has been a huge success!

·               To be able to offer this quality service the C Card Coordinator has been trained to deliver Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in the classroom, Train the Trainer in Sexual Health, Contraception, STIs and Young People and Liberating Life Choices.  This specialised training has enabled the C Card Co-ordinator to train any advisors in-house from within the partnership and to keep track of the quality required to maintain it within the Fraser Guidelines.

·               Many of the schools in the Vale of Glamorgan have taken advantage of this expertise and utilised the skills of the C Card Coordinator to help support their delivery of SRE, Relationship Days, Healthy Living Days and other classroom activities.  These schools included Bryn Hafren Comprehensive, Llantwit Major Comprehensive, St Cyres Comprehensive and Barry College.

·               Many voluntary groups have been assisted and others have expressed an interest in the scheme to support ongoing projects such as the Gibbonsdown and Court Communities First Partnership “Urban Art Project” where bespoke training sessions will be delivered. To enable the scheme to critique itself an evaluation day was held and all current advisors participated in the event. At the evaluation day presentations were made by guest speakers to support the C Card Scheme.

Vale Youth Forum

·               This is a key participation project, funded by Cymorth, to ensure that the young people of the Vale of Glamorgan have a voice and a mechanism for inputting that voice into mainstream planning and consultation. A new co-ordinator was appointed in October 2010 working hard to officially launch the Forum in March 2011. This event, at which the Vale Youth Forum burst back in to life, was held at the Vale of Glamorgan Civic Offices Corporate Suite and celebrated young people from across the Vale of Glamorgan coming together to officially launch the all new Vale Youth Forum. Following a series of events held in venues in the Vale late last year, a number of young people were nominated and elected as new members of the Forum. They come from School Councils, Voluntary and Statutory Youth Groups, Vale People First, Youth Offending Prevention and are from many areas around the Vale including St. Athan, Wick, Cowbridge, Barry and Penarth. 

·               VCVS successfully applied to the Vale Voluntary Action Scheme to secure funding for this project for the next three years.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)


Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

8.             Whilst there are no direct legal implications arising from this report, maintaining good relations with VCVS will benefit the community in terms of improvement to human rights.

Crime and Disorder Implications

9.             VCVS’ work with voluntary and community groups throughout the Vale of Glamorgan should assist in increasing social inclusion and reducing crime.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

10.        The Council’s position on equality of opportunity is put into daily practice through the funding of VCVS’ work with the voluntary and community groups operating in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Corporate/Service Objectives

11.        Partnership working is a Core Value within the Council’s Corporate Plan.

Policy Framework and Budget


Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

13.        N/A

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

14.        All Scrutiny Committees.

Background Papers


Contact Officer

Rachel Connor, Executive Director, Vale Centre for Voluntary Services


Officers Consulted



Responsible Officer:

Rachel Connor, Executive Director, Vale Centre for Voluntary Services