Help to shape the future of support for voluntary services

Press Release: 10/10/2013

consultation

Voluntary organisations in the Winchester district have just a few days left to contribute to a consultation that will help to shape support for the sector in the future.

In June Winchester City Council’s Cabinet authorised a consultation programme intended to identify what support is needed by the sector to thrive and survive in the coming years. The consultation will inform a decision about the way the Council provides support to the sector in future.

Consultants Sophie Skyers and Janet Poorman are carrying out the study for the Council and they are keen to hear views by Friday 18 October from a wide range of people who have a good understanding of voluntary and community organisations. These include organisations which deliver health and social services, but also those working in the arts, sports, environment and other areas.

Cllr Robert Humby, Deputy Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

Winchester City Council values the services offered by voluntary, community and not-for-profit organisations across the District. The range of these services is immense, from home-based support for carers to rugby training for young people, and from theatres to toddler groups. The District is a brighter, better place because of its voluntary sector.

At a time of reduced public spending, the Council wants to make sure that organisations are in a strong position to continue delivering these services. This means they have the support they need now, but also that they are ‘future-proofed’. For example, they may need to take up new funding opportunities, develop their skills and work in different ways to be more efficient.

The Council is currently considering the best way to provide this support. As we weigh up possible options, we are keen to hear from a wide cross-section of voluntary organisations working in the Winchester District. If you help to run a group, however small or new it might be, your views are important.

In particular the consultation is considering:

  • What help do you most need?
  • Where do you currently go for support?
  • What works – and what doesn’t work - for you?
  • What are the main issues you think your organisation will have to deal with in the next five years?

Based on this feedback, the Council aims to put its resources into a support service that can meet the needs of all voluntary groups, but especially those who have no ‘head office’ or corporate structure to turn to when challenges arise.

If you would like to take part in a focus group or interview in your area, contact Sophia Skyers on 07956 572 983 (phone or text) or email: sophia@skyers-morris.co.uk.

To take part in the online survey go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TheWinchesterDistrictVoluntarySector