I’m pleased to let you know that WVCA has been successful in securing the contract for the Provision of Community and Voluntary Services with the City of Wolverhampton Council. Also known as the Infrastructure Contract, it runs from 1st January 2024 for 5 years; our existing Contract ends on 31st December 2023, therefore, we will be aiming to have a seamless transition as we go into the New Year.
The Infrastructure Contract is important for a number of reasons, two of which are highlighted below;
- It secures resources for us to support the start-up, development and sustainability of groups and organisations in the VCSE sector which benefit the community, partner organisations and the whole local economy
- It provides a platform and secures the representation and voice of the VCSE at the highest strategic levels in the city where decisions are made about services, resources and strategy etc. which impact citizens and communities
The National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) has identified four broad categories that local infrastructure organisations work within which they call the ‘Four Functions of Local Infrastructure’. They are:
1. Leadership and advocacy: bringing together diverse groups and marginalised communities to mobilise ambition, and aspiration and to take action to strengthen our sector’s voice and influence on key decision-makers and funders.
2. Partnerships and collaborations: creating opportunities and driving effective joint working by building networks and partnerships between local organisations and strategic partners. Through nurturing these trusted and reliable relationships, communities are better equipped in both times of crisis and in the development of ongoing projects.
3. Capacity building or community development: providing resources or advice to facilitate community development. This work is both strategic and developmental, building strong foundations so that the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector thrives.
4. Volunteering: encouraging and nurturing volunteering opportunities, so that people can build connections and work together on things they care about, driving positive change locally.
The four functions provide an outline framework. This is challenging and ambitious work particularly when we are all operating in an environment where needs are ever-increasing and resources are ever-decreasing in real terms.
Additionally, we continue to provide services including Social Prescribing, which provides a non-medical approach to supporting people in Wolverhampton to improve their health and well-being and SUIT (Service User Involvement Team), Wolverhampton’s drug and alcohol peer-led advocacy service which has supported vulnerable adults in the city for over 15 years. You can find contact details for all of our services on our website.
We know that we have a huge agenda to tackle in terms of people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing which is further impacted by the cost of living crisis. Now more than ever we need to share ideas, skills, experience and resources across all partner organisations and agencies to support our communities and each other.
Chief Executive Officer
Wolverhampton Voluntary & Community Action