Voluntary Action Camden (VAC) is Camden’s Council for Voluntary Service. We are an independent charitable organisation and our mission is to work with the people of Camden to support, develop and promote voluntary and community activity. More than 1,400 voluntary and community groups provide vital activities and services, create local job opportunities and enrich lives in Camden. At VAC we support these organisations so that local people and communities can continue to benefit from a thriving voluntary and community sector.
- We offer practical support services and training to local groups.
- We help organisations work together through networks and projects.
- We keep groups up-to-date with the news that affects them.
- We offer our expertise to others through Big Assist.
You can find out more about what we do and how we can help in the different sections of our website, or click here for more information about who we are, how we work, and our history.
What’s new on our website this month
Ageing Better in Camden
Camden Community Festival Fund
Camden Council is supporting this grants programme in recognition of the contribution made by community festivals and events to strengthening Camden communities and in developing a rich culture and economy within the borough.
The fund is to sustain and develop Camden’s rich culture, its strong communities and dynamic partnerships by supporting quality, creative events, projects and activities. This year the fund is managed by Voluntary Action Camden (VAC). For more information on this fund please click here
Supporting wellbeing in times of austerity – the real value of the community and voluntary sector.
Report to Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee from Healthwatch Camden and Voluntary Action Camden
A report was made in response to an invitation to make presentations related to the council’s financial strategy. It outlines the potential for community and voluntary organisations to play a constructive role in underpinning the quality of life. It draws on discussions with voluntary organisations involved in supporting people who use health and social care services. It offers examples of good use of community organisations to serve local people and to bring new resources into the borough ). It also includes brief discussion of unhelpful commissioning practices that have made it harder for local organisations to play a role.
You can read the full report here.
‘Voluntary Action Under Threat?’ Voluntary Action Camden’s AGM
Thursday 4th December 2014 from 5.15 pm to 9 pm.
Arlington Conference Centre, 220 Arlington Road, London NW1
In times of unprecedented cuts in public spending what is the role of the voluntary and community sector? Will it continue to exist? Should the sector seek to fill the gaps in service provision? How will this be resourced? Should the sector focus on building and supporting resilient communities and providing a voice for local residents? What is your view and what support do you need to make it happen?
Neil Cleeveley, Chief Executive, National Association of Voluntary and Community Associations,
The national perspective on the future role of the sector.
Andy Benson, National Coalition for Independent Action,
Presented the main findings of the NCIA Inquiry in to The Future of Voluntary Services.
Read the full Mobilising Communities Report, of the 25th September conference bringing together Camden CCCG and communities in Camden.
Three presentations were given at the event: The first from David Cryer, Chief Officer of the Camden Clinical Commissioning Group, on Mobilising Communities. the second from Luke Price, Community Links, on Early Action Commissioning. The final presentation was given by Chris Mokolatsie of the British Red Cross – Working Together for Better Health.
Sustainable Communities Act Seminar
Ameneh Enayat from Local Works led a recent seminar at VAC on the Sustainable Communities Act and how local communities can make use of it to improve lives of local people. Click on the image to view her presentation.
Children Schools and Families Provider Conference
The second Children Schools and Families Provider Conference took place on Wednesday 20 November 2013. The post conference pack is now available to download. In it you will find copies of the: I. Speaker presentations II. Workshop presentations and discussion notes III. Summary evaluation feedback and delegates list all in one s
The Report of VAC’s Summit “Individual and Community Resilience’ What is the role of the Voluntary and Community Sector in Camden?’ held on 4th December is now avaialble to download. The Summit heard from Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council, Councillor Tulip Saddiq, and Victoria Boelman, Senior Research Associate from the Young Foundation presenting the report ‘Feeling the squeeze’ a follow up study to the 2012 report ‘An Insight into the impact of the cuts on some of the most vulnerable in Camden’. And Stephen Hill. Looking at whether or not Community Land Trusts have a key role. Read the full Summit Report.
Demonstrating Our Impact: Download VAC’s Annual Report 2012-13
This year’s Annual Report focuses on some of our key achievements throughout 2013-13. In particular it seeks to tell the ‘human experience’ behind the numbers through case studies, allowing the people we work with to tell their stories in their own words. In doing so, we hope to demonstrate the difference we have made to the civil society organisations and key strategic stakeholders we work with. We hope you enjoy the read!
VAC Summit: ‘Individual and Community Resilience’ What is the role of the Voluntary and Community Sector in Camden?’ Wednesday 4th December 2013
100 people attended the Summit on Wednesday evening to listen to speakers talk about various aspects of resilience. Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council and Councillor Tulip Siddiq introduced the evening with an overview of Camden’s response to austerity and how the voluntary and community sector and the public sector can work together to address falling living standards in Camden.
Victoria Boelman, Senior Research Associate from the Young Foundation presented the report ‘Feeling the squeeze’ a follow up study to the 2012 report ‘An Insight into the impact of the cuts on some of the most vulnerable in Camden’. Stephen Hill looked at Community Land Trusts and the key role they play in underpinning community resilience. The presentations were then followed by workshops looking at opportunities to make resilience a reality. The event was followed by VAC’s AGM and a networking supper. The notes from the workshop will be disseminated shortly. To view a gallery of pictures from the event, click here Below is a Storify of the event based on tweets sent with the hashtag #VACSummit2013
VAC needs your help
VAC need your help to design a comprehensive training and events program tailored to meet the specific support needs of Camden civil society organisations, staff and volunteers over the next 18 months. Please take the time to complete this survey, it should only take about 5 – 10 minutes to answer all questions and you don’t need to write lengthy answers to any question, just select from the options provided.
Here is the link to complete it on Survey Monkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XQTBR79
VAC will reward all organisations who return a COMPLETED survey by offering the organisation one FREE place on ANY of our training sessions (except accredited training). This normally costs £25 for members but is our gift to the organisation in return for their help.
Using the Equality Act 2010 in Health and Education
Free two day training for organisations supporting Black, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BME&R) communities in Camden. Organised by ROTA and VAC
Day one: Complying with the Equality Act 2010 11th October 2013 Participants will: ~ Learn who is protected under the Equality Act 2010; ~ Learn what types of behaviour and discrimination are unlawful; ~ review their own organisation’s policies and procedures and identify any changes needed in order to comply with the Equality Act 2010.
Day two: Holding public authorities to account using the Public Sector Equality Duty 13th November. Participants will: ~ learn how to use the Public Sector Equality Duty to advance race equality by holding public authorities to account; ~ explore different methods of obtaining and using data to identify racial inequality faced by BME&R people in health and education. ~ evidence the need for public authorities to work in collaboration with community organisations in order to meet their Public Sector Equality Duty, which has implications for how public authorities fund and commission services. While the focus will be on health and education, the principles on how to work with and hold public authorities to account are replicable across other areas of policy and service delivery. For more information and to book your place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Trustees’ Week Events from VAC and VCC
VAC and VCC have put together a full programme of events for Trustee’s Week this year (4th – 10th November). You can find the full details here.
Equalities and Cohesion Fund Round 2: Building Stronger Communities
Camden Council have now opened the second round of the Equalities and Cohesion Fund. The fund aims to build an ever-more inclusive and resilient borough through one or more of the following:
• promoting understanding and engagement across different communities
• bringing communities together to address local challenges in a way that increases their capacity to act in the future
• strengthening a sense of belonging and reducing marginalisation
The total amount of funding available is £1.7m over two years from April 2014 – March 2016. Grants of between £5,000 and £40,000 per year for a maximum of two years will be available to locally focused not for profit organisations. It is anticipated that the majority of awards will be at the lower end of that scale.
More information including guidance and the application form can be found here. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions about the fund. Deadline: midnight 8th September
Support Offered by VAC
Briefing Thursday 8th August 2 – 3.15. Followed by one-to-one sessions to discuss people’s ideas with them. Each session will run for 15 minutes. You must attend the briefing followed by a one to one session.
Further support sessions will be held on 26th August pm and 21st August am for people who have got to the stage of developing a draft application.
To book contact Monica or Ricky 020 7284 6550 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Children Schools and Families – Provider Conference – Wednesday 15th May 2013 – Feedback Pack
Download presentations from the day, an attendance list and a summary of the feedback evaluations.
Office Space to let at VAC
Do you need a large modern office in a good location? If so click here for details.
Summary Report of the Voluntary and Community Sector Summit 25th September 2012.
A summary report of this important conference is now available here.
- VAC has developed a template collaborative working agreement. You can download it from our ‘resources’ page on the VAC website (scroll to the bottom of the page).
- VAC is developing a new web page containing sample policies and procedures that groups might find useful when creating or updating their own policies and procedures. Click here to visit this page.
- Hot desk space is available free to VAC members.
- New pages contain VAC good practice briefings on topics of interest to voluntary and community groups.