Agenda Item No. 15


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee: 10th July 2013


Report of the 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 2012 – March 2013.


That Committee receive the report for information.

Reason for the Recommendation

As required in 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.

5.             VCVS is managed by a Board of Trustees nominated and elected by its membership.  During 2012/2013, 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, in 2001 VCVS adopted the Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Voluntary Organisations (PQASSO) created by the Charities Evaluation Service.

6.             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


7.             VCVS' main achievements during the year fall into the following areas:


8.             VCVS launched a new website in August 2012 that provides members and users with greater access to our services and links our twitter, blogs and our popular weekly e-bulletins together.

Celebrating Fifteen Years

9.             VCVS celebrated 15 years of operation in April 2012 and throughout the year a variety of events were used to celebrate the organisation's many successes.  A highlight of the year was the fantastic Christmas event which featured a concert starring a variety of member groups showcasing their talents.

National Eisteddfod

10.        The National Eisteddfod was based at Llandow in the Vale of Glamorgan in August 2012. VCVS jointly hired a stand at the National Eisteddfod with WCVA at which our 15th year of operation was celebrated with many VIP guests attending.  Staff all undertook a course of Welsh language classes to enable and improve their ability to converse with attendees in Welsh. Member groups were offered the opportunity to join us and showcase their work throughout a very successful week. 

Memorandum of Understanding

11.        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.

12.        We have continued to develop the Memorandum of Understanding between the Vale Volunteer Bureau and VCVS which was initiated in 2010.  Furthermore we continue to work closely with our neighbouring County Voluntary Councils and are looking to develop a similar arrangement for the future.

13.        A Memorandum of Understanding has also been developed between VCVS, C3SC and Cardiff & Vale Community Health Council which outlines our joint working on the South Wales Programme: A consultation about the future of consultant-led maternity and neonatal care, inpatient children’s services and emergency medicine (A&E) for people in South Wales and South Powys.

Friendly AdvantAGE First Year

14.        VCVS is leading this consortium project which is delivering a befriending programme for older people across both Cardiff and the Vale and includes the partner organisations - Cardiff Third Sector Council (C3SC), Age Concern Cardiff and the Vale, Scope Cymru and Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern. submitted a bid to the Big Lottery AdvantAGE Programme to develop and implement a across the Vale and Cardiff.  The project had a very successful first year of operation and a volunteers’ event is planned for April 2013.

Big Lottery Community Voice

15.        VCVS in partnership with Cardiff Third Sector Council (C3SC) and a variety of other organisations has submitted a consortium bid for a project covering both Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.  The bid was successful at stage one and stage two and funding has now been confirmed.

VCVS Membership

16.        VCVS' membership is 461 for April 2012 – March 2013.  The figure is the second highest membership total in VCVS’ history.

Development and Advice Services

17.        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. 

18.        VCVS has continued to provide Third Sector 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 continue to be popular and these have been invaluable in helping us deal with the more general day-to-day enquiries.  This year has also seen more and more of our information available on line via our website, enabling our members and the wider sector to access appropriate development information and advice more effectively and at a time that suits them.

Information Service

19.        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 744 times and the 78% of members with e-mail addresses were also able to receive an additional 137 time specific VCVS bulletins during the year. 

20.        "Vista", our quarterly magazine, is published and printed in-house four times a year and has a print run of 440 copies. The magazine is also e-mailed to 271 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, 8 updates were produced.

21.        VCVS launched its new website in August 2012 it has gone from strength to strength with the News posts page being particularly successful. The News posts page consists of items/articles on topics appropriate to the local voluntary sector which includes latest funding opportunities, vacancies, training and events and general updates. Prior to the website launch the unique website visits figures were only 942 in the first half of the year, compared with the second half of 4,461.  The figures demonstrate the impact of VCVS’ new website.  The downloadable information service includes newsletters, VCVS’ annual review, members directory, health directory, membership application form, information sheets and enquiry forms.  VCVS also has a live searchable members directory which can be accessed through the website.  The general public could search for voluntary groups based on subject matter e.g. carers, disability or health issues for example and a list of contact organisations will be given in the results.

22.        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. 32,180 information sheets have been requested or downloaded over the last year.

Practical Services

23.        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. 

24.        Our reprographic services were used 124 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

25.        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 with 59 people representing 24 organisations attending the four meetings. A variety of informative and interesting presentations were arranged and VCVS and the Vale Volunteer Bureau also provided useful input at each meeting. Presentations were provided by:

          Wales Co-operative Centre

          Vale of Glamorgan Council (Energy)

          WCVA (Volunteering in Wales Fund)

          VCVS Friendly AdvantAGE project

          Penarth Arts & Crafts Limited (Penarth Pavilion Project)

 ·               Voluntary Sector Partnership Representatives Network

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.


Funding Advice Services

26.        VCVS’ funding and information service provided support to 241 groups throughout the year. Disappointingly only £50,154 was reported as being received, an indication of the pressure that groups are now feeling as more groups chase less available funding.

27.        Four editions of the Sustainable Funding Newsletter were produced containing information about 45 different funders along with other useful articles to assist groups in their search for vital funds. Regular weekly e-bulletins were sent to over 350 groups and with the launch of VCVS’ new website in October 2012 funding updates are posted two or three times a week.

28.        Two funding presentations were made at the Vale Voluntary Action Network (VVAN) meetings. Five Funding Surgeries were held with representatives from Arts Wales, the Big Lottery Fund, Lloyds TSB Foundation Wales, BBC Children in Need and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Eighteen groups attended the Funding Surgeries and received valuable advice. A workshop was held with WCVA’s Volunteering in Wales Fund which was attended by sixteen groups.

Kick Start 3

29.        VCVS’ small grants scheme continued throughout 2012/13 following a successful bid for funding to the National Assembly Community Facilities and Activities Programme. This year a total of £60,898.33 was awarded from Kick Start 3, benefiting 19 organisations.

30.        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.

31.        The Kick Start Grant Scheme has awarded 387 grants since its inception in 2001, totalling £937,361.90. 

32.        In 2012, there were two rounds of Kick Start Funding the first in June 2012 awarded 24 grants to the value of £49407.85 and the second was in Nov 2012 the panel   awarded 13 grants, to the value of £13516.15. In total 37 grants were awarded, with a value of £62924.00

Grants were awarded to:


St Nicholas Hall Community Association £1536

2nd/4th Barry Scout Group £989.97

Barry & District University of the Third Age (U3A), £438.96

CAVRA £1665.36

Stanwell Road Baptist Church £2500

Scope £1551.50

Les Pugh’s Explorer Scout Unit £1552.03

Age Concern Cardiff & Vale £3000

MESIG £700

Art4U £2437.49

Rhoose Lifeguards £2700

Barry Male Voice Choir £1223.13

Penybont SLSC £3105

Nell’s Point NCI £1644

Glyndwr Community Association £2631

Highlight Community Association £3383.35

Friends & Neighbours £1087.96

Llanmaes Social Committee £1000

VOG Brass Band £757.85

1148 (Penarth) Squadron ATC £1710.26

Penarth & District Scout Council £5000

St Joseph’s Friends & Family £3310.50

Treoes Community Centre £4986

Barry Blind Club £537.49

Menter y Fro £991.18

Women Running Penarth £719

Barry at War Heritage Trust £2000

Inter Penarth AFC £461.84

Barry Beavers £344.67

The Intersensory Club £2000

IntroSport Trust £1010.85

Cowbridge Music Festival £330

Valeways £805.10

Gibbonsdown & Treharne Community Association £524.53

St John Ambulance £1900

1st Wick Brownies & Guides £1479.98

The People’s Centre £949




33.        During the year 21 training events were scheduled, all aimed at building the capacity of local organisations.  Training opportunities were offered on the following subjects:

Writing Effective Press Releases (cancelled)

Planning & Writing Successful Funding bids – 9 attendees

Chairing for Success – 8 attendees

Working with Outcomes (beginners) – 5 attendees

Recruitment & Selection of Staff – 3 attendees

Improving your Newsletter – 6 attendees

Introduction to Websites – 4 attendees

Community Fundraising  (cancelled)

Planning & Running your AGM (cancelled)

Roles & Responsibilities of Trustees/Governance (cancelled)

Equality Act 2010 – An overview (3 events) – 14 attendees

Basic Photography – 6 attendees

First Aid – 7 attendees

Disclosure & Barring (2 events) – 48 attendees

POVA Level 1 – 3 attendees

POVA Level 2 (cancelled)

Managing Diversity in the Workplace (cancelled)

Making your Equal Opportunities Work – 5 attendees


34.        A total of 118 delegates attended the training courses. All delegates (100%) rated the training as good or excellent.

Partnerships, Consultation and Joint Working

35.        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.

36.        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.

37.        Some of the key Strategic Partnerships on which VCVS plays are key role include:

Vale Local Service Board

Vale Local Service Board Implementation Group

Children and Young People’s Partnership

Cardiff and Vale Integrated Health & Social Care Programme Board

Vale Public Health & Wellbeing Board

Creative Rural Communities

Safer Vale Partnership

Vale Learning and Skills Partnership

Equalities Consultative Forum

Vale Environmental, Economic and Regeneration Partnership

Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee

Gibbonsdown and Court Communities First Partnership Board

Castleland Communities First Partnership Board

The Wyn Campaign (frail older people’s services)


Joint Working Groups

Area Adult Protection Committee

Barry Area Working Group

Barry Hospital Stakeholder Group

Barry LHTC Development 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 Strategic Business Planning Committee

Carers Sub Group

Carers Support and Information Network Group

Central & Western Vale Area Working 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

CYP Emotional & Mental Health Improvement Group

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

Eastern Vale Area Working 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

Learning & Skills Adult & Community Learning Management Group

LSB Asset Management Group

LSB Customer Contact Group

LSB Shared Training Opportunities Group

Local Service Board Finance Group

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

UHB Carers Strategy Working Group

UHB Seasonal Planning Group

UHB Volunteer Stakeholder Group

UHB Workforce Modernisation Group

Vale Citizens Advice Bureau Community Advisory Group

Vale Community Development Network

Vale Community Rehab Team

VOGC Providers Forum

Vale Locality Group

Vale Older people’s Forum

VVB/VCVS Memorandum of Understanding Steering Group

Well Being Grant Sub Group

Workforce Strategy Group

Cardiff and Vale Learning Disability Planning Group

Domiciliary Care Providers Forum

Workforce Development Sub Group Meeting


National networks

BIG Child’s Play Regional Advisory Group

Institute of Fundraising Cymru

National Health & Social Care Facilitators Group

Wales Association of County Voluntary Councils

WCVA Assembly Liaison Group

WCVA Equality and Human Rights Coalition

WCVA Health and Social Care network

Wales Funders Forum


Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Network

38.        The Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Network provides an opportunity to bring together all voluntary organisations operating in the Vale of Glamorgan who have an interest in health and social care. 

39.        It brings together a strong, collective voice, supports the involvement of voluntary organisations in planning, development and delivery of health and social care services, influences health and social care policy to bring about change and improve services and facilitates communication between the voluntary and statutory and other sectors.

40.        The Network has increased in numbers over the year and currently has 220 members.

41.        Events held during the year included four network meetings with a variety of presentations including Vale Play Aloud team, Vale Communities First, Vale CAB, the Family Information Service and British Red Cross.

42.        Consultation events were held on the Vale Adult Carers Support Services Review, Domestic Violence Consultation jointly with, and led by, Atal y Fro, the Wyn Campaign and the Social Services (Wales) Bill.  Over 250 people attended Network meetings and events during 2012 - 13.

Network e-bulletins

43.        The year began with the introduction of monthly Network e-bulletins.  These include updates on health and social care services in the Vale, joint working across Cardiff and the Vale and provide an opportunity for voluntary organisations to promote their work. 

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) Review of Third Sector Funding

44.        The review process began with a series of workshops on different service areas.  The review progressed through the development of service pathways and identification of the procurement method.  This involved close working between VCVS, C3SC and UHB staff.  Two meetings were held in late 2012 to update the organisations currently funded and the wider voluntary sector on progress. 

Working with the Vale Locality Team and Community Resource Service (CRS)

45.        Good links have been developed between Vale teams and voluntary organisations via VCVS.  One voluntary organisation is currently located with the CRS and VCVS is working to identify further opportunities.  The Health and Social Care Facilitator has attended CRS development days and is invited to team meetings.

The Wyn Campaign

46.        The Wyn Campaign is the name for the work being carried out to improve health and social care services for frail older people in Cardiff and the Vale.  The programme reports to the Integrated Health and Social Care Programme Board and is the priority workstream under that Board.  The work so far has been mainly developmental and the next steps will be to implement the practical solutions identified in year 1. The Vale Health and Social Care Facilitator is co-ordinating voluntary sector input into this work.

47.        VCVS Health and Social Care Facilitator is co-ordinating voluntary sector input into the Wyn Campaign and is a member of the Steering Group.  A voluntary sector consultation event on the Wyn Campaign was attended by 37 people from a range of sectors.  The outcomes and recommendations from this event were fed back to the Wyn Campaign Steering Group.

Building Links with UHB Service Divisions

48.        VCVS has worked to start building links with UHB Divisions, beginning with the Specialist Services Division.  The Health and Social Care Facilitator attended a team meeting and has provided staff with a briefing outlining voluntary organisations which can support hospital discharge. 

Carers Support and Information Network Group (CSING)

49.        The Health and Social Care Facilitator continues to facilitate CSING; a group which brings together staff from voluntary organisations and health and social care services.  CSING has been identified as an example of good practice in partnership working.

Vale of Glamorgan Directory of Voluntary Sector Services for Carers

50.        VCVS and C3SC, with funding from the Carers Measure Working Group, were able to produce a Cardiff and Vale Directory of Services for Carers building on the successful Vale Directory.  The Directory has been well received.

Development of Cardiff and Vale Carers Strategy

51.        The Health and Social Care Facilitator is a member of the working group which developed the Cardiff and Vale Carers Information and Consultation Strategy.  This Strategy has now been approved by the Welsh Government and is now being implemented.

VCVS’ Environmental Impact

52.        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 and is now sending its membership approval packs by e-mail which did account for over 20 sheets of paper per member.

Efficiency Savings

53.        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 270 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.


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

·               Vale C Card Project

The C Card scheme had a successful final year with VCVS. In 2013 it will be transferred to the local authority’s youth service and will receive four years of funding under the Families First programme. The project has had a very successful four years with VCVS and we are pleased that we were the agents that provided a rescue and development package for the scheme when no one else was willing or able and have been able to guide the project to the success that it now enjoys.

·               Vale Youth Forum

The Vale Youth Forum has enjoyed a very successful and interesting year.  The VYF worked with the Vale of Glamorgan Council on the development of a Youth Council and a Youth Mayor for the Vale of Glamorgan.  The young members worked really hard planning and delivering consultations with local schools and youth clubs. Together over 200 young people from all over the Vale took part.  Unfortunately the Local Authority has chosen to follow its own path on this matter which is a great disappointment for the young people involved.  They are however working hard on developing a plan for taking the project into the future.


Plans for the Future

55.        With partners in Health, VCVS is looking to develop a brokerage project that will work with the Community Resource Teams in delivering the Wyn Campaign.

56.        A bid for a family history project has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for an eighteen month project that will focus on the in-migration to Barry in the early part of the 20th Century. This has been successful and will commence in July 2013.

57.        The Big Lottery Community Voice project will be vital to the community engagement elements of the Local Service Board’s Community strategy.

58.        VCVS will take practical steps to sustain partnerships with the three major funders to secure the financial future.  The current and future economic climate will inevitably impact on the organisation; staff and trustees continuously work to ensure that our services are relevant, efficient and cost effective. Additionally financial resources will be sought through applications to appropriate funding sources.

59.        The number of organisations VCVS is in contact with continues to increase.  This adds to the consulting and representation duties of the organisation as well as increasing the call on practical support.  VCVS aims to continue to improve core and specific services provided to its members and other voluntary and community groups in the area.

60.        It is also expected that through the use of Information Technology and face-to-face meetings, continual improvements will be made to communications both with members, partners and with other organisations in the area.

61.        VCVS will maintain its PQASSO quality assurance scheme and will also work towards attaining a Small Workplace Health Silver Award.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

62.        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

63.        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)

64.        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

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

Policy Framework and Budget


Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

67.        N/A

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

68.        All

Background Papers


Contact Officer

Rachel Connor, Executive Director, Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS)


Officers Consulted



Responsible Officer:

Rachel Connor, Executive Director, Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS)