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Local funding for the voluntary sector – we need your views!

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Start: 14:45
Finish: 16:00

Redbridge Council is currently reviewing its grants programmes. This review is not about the amount of funding spent on the voluntary sector, but about the ways it is distributed. The Council currently has fourgrants programmes and is considering whether this is the best way to support local voluntary organisations in ways that help the Council meet its priorities.

If we don’t tell the Council how much we value their funding, and how they might make it more effective use of this resource, they may decide that we don’t want or need this vital funding – so please share your experiences, views and ideas!

Do you think the current grant programmes

  • are easy to access?
  • are fairly distributed?
  • help you to meet the needs of your organisation and the people you serve?

The Council’s voluntary sector "Strategic Partners” are local voluntary organisations that help support smaller groups working in the same fields of work and provide valuable services to vulnerable people in Redbridge. The Strategic Partners are currently:

  • Age UK Redbridge, Barking and Havering
  • Redbridge Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Redbridge Council for Voluntary Service (RedbridgeCVS)
  • Redbridge Disability Consortium
  • Redbridge Equalities and Community Council
  • Redbridge Faith Forum
  • Victim Support
  • Redbridge Carers Support Services
  • Redbridge Children and Young People’s Network
  • Forest Farm Peace Gardens

Together we aim to help and support smaller local groups to achieve your aims – including helping you to access funding and support. We are now writing to all the voluntary groups in Redbridge to strongly encourage you to get involved in the current review. Firstly, this is because your views are vital to help Redbridge Council decide how best to support the local voluntary sector, and secondly, because we want to ensure that we show the Council that we value the funding they are able to offer locally – and want to protect it for the future!

RedbridgeCVS will be hosting a Grants Review meeting for all voluntary groups on Wednesday 6April from 2.45 until 4 pm(5thFloor, Forest House, 16-20 Clements Road, Ilford, IG1 1BA). This will follow on from the monthly Voluntary Sector Network meeting (which starts at 1 pm, after an informal networking session from 12.30) and you are all warmly invited to attend the Network and/or the Grants Review meeting. The grants review meeting will be facilitated by an independent consultant who wants to fully understand your thoughts about Redbridge’s grants programme – including how you might want to see it changed to meet your needs. (The Network meeting also has a focus on raising funds for your organisations, and will include a workshop exploring ways we can generate more funds for all of our work.)

There is also a simple online survey – which will be open until May 12th – that we strongly encourage all local voluntary groups to complete. This can be found at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LBRVCSGrantReview

(If you are unable to complete this online, RedbridgeCVS can provide you with a printed copy that you can complete and we will arrange to input your responses – confidentially – to the online survey. Please contact Ross at RedbridgeCVS on 020 8514 9612 or via ross@redbridgecvs.net if you would like a printed copy. These will also be available at the meeting on 6April.)

We have already heard that some groups find the current application processes complex and challenging (particularly with regards to the requirement for match-funding) and we want to hear your ideas for making changes that enable your organisations to make strong funding bids. If we don’t tell the Council how much we value their funding, and how we might make it more effective for you, they may decide that we don’t want or need this vital funding – please share your views and ideas!

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