VAC Annual Report 2015-16


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A summary of our work in 2015-16 supporting local residents, communities and community groups in Camden.

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voluntary action camden ANNUAL REPORT E DEV NNECT IN FLUENC ELOP CO 2015/16


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VAC’S Mission To work with local residents, community groups and organisations to develop and support a vibrant civil society that underpins a high quality of life in Camden and the surrounding areas. Strategic Objectives • To support and empower individuals, groups and communities to become actively involved in civil society, particularly those that are socially excluded. • To develop opportunities to share good practice and provide access to high quality resources to maximise the efforts of individuals, groups and local communities to achieve their objectives. • T o coordinate the diverse voices of individuals and civil society organisations to enable them to lobby and campaign and have a positive impact on wider agendas. ELOP CO E DEV FLUENC Voluntary Action Camden Charity Number: 802186 Company Number: 2388150 Registered Office: 29 – 31 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 3JA Web: Tel: 0207 284 6550 Tel: 020 7284 6551 2 ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16 NNECT IN


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Chairs Address Welcome to VAC’s Annual Report for 2015/16. This year’s report focuses very much on the support needs of local community groups, the contribution those groups make to local civil life and how VAC, as Camden’s Council for Voluntary Service, can best support their work.We have chosen to structure our account around three themes of developing, connecting and influencing and I shall comment briefly on these below. Writing this just three days after the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA, I am tempted to look back on 2015/16 as a time of relative calm. However, the surprise election of a majority Conservative Government in May 2015 meant the continuation of Central Government’s austerity programme, with continuing significant cuts in welfare benefits, clear evidence of rising levels of poverty and need amongst the most vulnerable in society, further cuts to the support for disabled people and the steady growth of insecure employment.There continued to be major reductions in funding for local government leading to the loss of local services and the erosion of many aspects of civil life. In common with other support organisations, VAC sustained a major reduction in its funding for 2015/16 from Camden Council leading to further retrenchment. For organisations and groups big and small, the impact of austerity policies placed, and continue to place, major pressures on all the resources we depend on: whether that’s people’s time and enthusiasm, affordable places to meet or hold an event, the capacity of organisations to collaborate and enter partnerships or funds to provide services and support to those who need help. At VAC, our objectives for the year remained unchanged: supporting individuals and groups to get involved in civil society, developing ways of sharing good practice and resources and helping to coordinate diverse voices of individuals and organisations so that together we can have a positive impact on wider social agendas. VAC’s Executive Committee saw a number of changes in 2015/16 with two new members joining us,Angela Routley and Oliver Peachey, both of whom brought new skills and insights to the team. There were also three resignations – Ralph Scott, Sara Elie and Catherine Russell – and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their service to the Committee. This report demonstrates the range of work that VAC staff and volunteers have undertaken during the year to empower individuals and civil organisations, network within and across sectors and help develop the potential, particularly of small, volunteerled groups. I am impressed by and proud of the flexibility and creativity of VAC’s staff and volunteers who continue to find the innovative and people-focused approaches that make such a difference. Sue Wilby Chair of VAC ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16 3


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Camden Context The London Borough of Camden is one of the most diverse places in the capital - and indeed in the country. It has a population of 225,000, 34% of the population are from Black,Asian, Minority, Ethnic & Refugee (BAMER) communities, 22% non – British White (Irish, New World and Eastern Europeans) and 52% adults.The largest communities with distinctive cultural identities are the Bangladeshi, Black African, Irish, Chinese and Indian. The borough is also a place of inequality.The difference in life expectancy for those living in the richest parts of the borough compared to those in deprived wards is 13 years for men and 8 years for women. 24% of residents live in 20% of the most deprived areas of England and there is an 84% higher prevalence of serious mental illness. In the past decade the financial landscape has changed dramatically.The Government has been pursuing a policy of austerity.This has led to large cuts in public sector funding. Camden Council expects to have to implement a further £75 million in cuts in 20152018 in addition to the £93 million that had been made in 2011-2015. Central government has also introduced changes to welfare benefits that are impacting on the demographics and cohesiveness of the borough. Some areas are now too expensive for families on benefits to live in, families are moving out to cheaper areas and have to face the challenge of trying to establish new support networks. Demand for NHS services is increasing faster than population growth, Camden has the highest mental health spend in London, poor outcomes for under-fives and a below average performance for helping people recover and live with illness.The borough is also facing the pressures of a growing older population and keeping the community safe. The overall policy context is bringing huge challenges to the sustainability of services in the borough and the maintaining of strong and cohesive communities. There is a need to develop new solutions to tackle inequality, increase economic growth and to underpin a strong and cohesive community. Indices of Deprivation 2015: IMD Rank of Most Deprived 30% LSOAs in England Within 10% Most Deprived 10% to 20% Most Deprived (29) 20% to 30% Most Deprived (19) Other (78) 4 ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16


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A Brief history of VAC Voluntary Action Camden has its roots in the pioneering philanthropy of the nineteenth century and traces its origins back to the Charity Organisation Society of 1860 and the pioneering work of the nineteenth century Hampstead philanthropists. At the turn of the last century, the Hampstead system was widely recognised as establishing cooperation between municipalities and the voluntary and community sector and was also pioneering in acting as a coordinating body for a plethora of overlapping organisations. In 1965 the organisation took on a Camden wide remit, adopting the name Voluntary Action Camden (VAC) in 1983.Throughout the 1990s VAC developed its strategy working through forums and networks as an effective way of supporting, involving and strengthening the sector.Today, VAC continues to build on its historical foundations and, in particular, the role of coordinating the work of people, communities and organisations across a wide spectrum of activities.Whilst VAC focusses its work on the London Borough of Camden it also works across Greater London in providing specialised and bespoke services. VAC Today VAC is an independent charity which has been operating in Camden for over 100 years and is known as the ‘Council for Voluntary Service’ or ‘CVS’ for Camden. CVS’ have been around for almost a century and exist in almost every local area, yet the term ‘CVS’ doesn’t have a great deal of meaning to many people, especially those working outside of the voluntary and community sector. CVS’ up and down the country are a special type of charity known as infrastructure organisations, or “Civil Society Support Organisation”. In VAC’s case, this means working with local residents, community groups and organisations, as well as other sectors and local stakeholders, to develop and support a vibrant civil society that underpins a high quality of life in Camden and the surrounding areas. To achieve this VAC’s core work wraps around three main themes: Developing local people, community organisations, community projects and partnerships through direct support, training and providing and sharing timely information, advice and guidance. Connecting local people, communities, community organisations and partnerships to support and work with each other and other sectors through networking, collaboration and brokering opportunities. Influencing: enabling and supporting local people, communities and community organisations to shape their life chances and opportunities by influencing civil society and pro-actively participating in social action, policy development, the design and delivery of services and general debates about community matters. ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16 5


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VAC also embeds these key themes through its works with local communities and other cross-sector organisations (e.g. private sector, council and NHS) to run projects that address local need. This includes research projects, training programmes and innovative pilot schemes in areas such as mental health, safeguarding children, health inequalities and neighbourhood development. Consultation Representation Direct Support Influence Promotion Facilitating Learning Develop Information Advice Guidance Infrastructure Connect Diagram source: NCVO’s Value of Infrastructure Programme Brokering Networking Collaboration Conclusion VAC has a role through all its work in keeping an eye on the changing needs and aspirations of local people, as well as changes in the national and local policy environment, influencing funders and policy makers and enabling local people to respond to those changing needs.This Annual Report provides VAC with the opportunity to showcase our cross-sector work with organisations, local residents and communities in 2015-16 and the difference this made to those involved in improving their lives and the lives of others in the communities in which they live or work. 6 ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16


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Profile of the sector The voluntary and community sector, especially micro and small organisations, have an intrinsic part to play in tackling the borough’s challenges through the work they do on prevention, the reach they have into communities and the ability to be niche providers and try out new and flexible models of service delivery. The voluntary and community sector is a key mechanism through which communities can be enabled to do more for themselves and each other, and in so-doing, supporting individual and community resilience and the long term sustainability of the Camden community. Within the borough of Camden there is a very diverse and vibrant voluntary and community sector: Camden is home to a mixture of registered charities, community interest companies, social enterprises as well as smaller (and often more informal) unregistered community groups and associations such as football clubs, reading groups, campaign and support groups. Many of these groups operate at the hyper-local level and are the “nuts-and-bolts” of the local voluntary and community sector. harder to count and include in ‘sector-wide’ statistics. In 2015-16,VAC undertook a significant piece of research to help increase the availability of statistical information about the local voluntary and community sector in Camden. This yearVAC continues its research to build up a more detailed picture of the sector, especially data relating to smaller registered charities with a turnover under £500,000, and a significant number of smaller, unincorporated organisations that are not registered with any regulator. Our findings to date: • Over 2800 voluntary and community organisations are physically located in Camden • A round 1252 of these organisations specifically work in Camden • O ver 753 of these are small, community associations not registered with the Charity Commission. The actual figure is likely to be much higher. VAC is often asked: how many community organisations are there in Highgate Camden? What do they do? Who 126 145 do they work with? How Hampstead much income do they have? Whilst these 160seem like simple 62 150 72questions, actually providing the answer 68 79is quite tricky! Frognal & Fortune Green Fitzjohns HamWpessttead Town Gospel Oak Kentish Town Belsize Haverstock Cantelowes 81 77We know that many of 68these smaller, informal groups 138 133are providing vital services for Swiss Cottage Kilburn Camden Town with Primrose Hill St Pancras local people and opportunities to connect with one another, but Grand Total 2888 as they are not formally constituted or required to register with a statutory body, like the Charity Commission, consequently Regent’s Park 257 & Somers Town 137 King’s C1ro9ss5 they tend to operate ‘under the radar’ of current sampling methodology which makes them much Bloomsbury Holborn 327 & Covent 613Garden ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16 7


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Area of Operation CAMDEN WARDS WORKS IN: Belsize Bloomsbury Camden Town with Primrose Hill Cantelowes Fortune Green Frognal and Fitzjohns Gospel Oak Hampstead Town Haverstock Highgate Holborn and Covent Garden Kentish Town Kilburn King's Cross Regent's Park St Pancras and Somers Town Swiss Cottage West Hampstead Grand Total CAMDEN 32 46 70 43 35 48 52 54 59 55 79 101 54 79 58 78 33 21 997 NO. OF ORGS LONDON 11 25 11 8 5 12 4 11 3 12 50 19 19 13 27 12 4 9 255 CAMDEN & LONDON 43 71 81 51 40 60 56 65 62 67 129 120 73 92 85 90 37 30 1252 • T he total income for 622* charities operating mainly in Camden (excluding the top 11 charities with the highest income) is £223,147,170 • 10% of charities registered in Camden have an income over £1million • 59% of charities registered in Camden have an income of less than £100k • 30% of charities registered in Camden have an income between £10k and £100k • 29% of charities registered in Camden have an income of less than £10k * Financial data only available in the Charity Commission data file for 633 charities. 8 ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16


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Services Activities of Registered Charities in Camden Accommodation/Housing Acts as an umbrella or resource body Amateur Sport Animals Armed Forces/Emergency Service Efficiency Arts/Culture/Heritage/Science Children/Young People Disability Economic/Community Education/Training Elderly/Old People Environment/Conservation/Heritage General Charitable Purposes Human Rights/Religious or Racial Makes Grants To Individuals Makes Grants to Organisations Other Charitable Activities Other Charitable Purposes Other Charities or Voluntary Bodies Other Defined Groups Overseas Aid/Famine Relief People of a Particular Ethnic or Racial Origin People with Disabilities Provides Advocacy/Advice/Information Provides Buildings/Facilities/Open Space Provides Human Resources Provides other finance Provides Services Recreation Religious Activities Sponsors or undertakes research The advancement of health or saving of lives The General Public/Mankind The prevention or relief of poverty 53 78 133 7 1 224 433 100 174 460 243 82 244 34 119 199 119 44 158 136 64 165 214 280 240 181 43 420 63 144 86 169 373 205 ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16 9


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Outcome 1: Social cohesion and a sense of belonging are increased as established and new communities are empowered to take responsibility for their health, economic contribution, welfare and sense of community Local communities are best placed to know what the community needs to meet local challenges and opportunities. This might be a group of people wanting to preserve a wellloved green space, square or local pub for community use, an individual setting up an organisation to help local unemployed people network with others and acquire skills to find employment, or a group of people who want to set up a support group to help others who are suffering from a chronic health or mental health condition where there is no such service provided by the state. Whatever the need may be,VAC works with a wide cross-section of civil society in Camden: helping groups to setup and develop internally; connect with users, peers, stakeholders, funders, and others; and helping organisations influence and shape policy, strategy and local delivery through a range of channels and mechanisms. Providing access to skills & knowledge required to run and develop successful civil society organisations This year VAC’s team of staff, volunteers and coaches continued to support over 142 organisations with setting up as a new group, registering as a charity or social enterprise; business planning; governance; fundraising and income generation; finance and payroll and employment and Human Resources advice. Generally, groups present with a mix of support needs. • 32 x Employment & Human Resources • 10 x Business Planning • 32 x Governance & Setting Up a New Group • 20 x Fundraising • 9 x Marketing & Collaboration • 39 x Payroll and Accountancy Support 10 A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 0 1 5 / 1 6


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“When it came to specifically deciding what governance and legal structure we wanted for our new group,VAC were really good at being able to identify and assess what the project was about and help us decide upon the most suitable structure.That was fantastic and VAC really helped get us through the actual bureaucratic procedure of setting up an organisation.They also helped us think about the business plan and what that needed to include, and to start thinking beyond this, for things like publicity and promotion. It was really helpful during the setup process just to meet with someone on a regular basis and talk things through.” “I think VAC makes an amazing difference to community groups like us. Sometimes, as a front line organisation, we get so involved in the ins-and-outs of what we do we forget to look at our own organisational development. And VAC helps with that in a very specific way and helps double check that we are doing what is expected, for example around specific problems like HR policies, or we are re-doing our business strategy at the moment and looking again at all our policy documents. Our CEO has used VAC to look to see if there is anything that we need to update.They’ve been invaluable.” “We continue to use the VAC Employment and HR service which has helped us with recruitment, reviewing application forms, sickness, and things like that.We ask many questions and the service has been excellent, always willing to give their time and nothing is too much.” “VAC provided us with advice on preparing a constitution and aims and objectives, model papers for policies, information on room hire for office space, along with one-to-one, faceto-face sessions. Following their support, we completed our constitution with clear aims and objectives. We were able to prepare for the next steps: policy development, publicity, starting the project. VAC gave clear, detailed and effective communication. They responded quickly and discussed with us the best ways of achieving our goals. The support was appropriately tailored to our level.” ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16 11


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Income of Groups Supported with Capacity Building £500k £10k Specify Didn’t 9% Under 22% 9£250k % 500k £250k £100k Under 41% Under 12% Over £ 8% Primary Services (%) Supplementary School 1.4 Equality and access 11 Environment 4.1 Leisure and sports 16.4 Social business 4.1 Advocacy 17.8 Translation 4.1 Self help 17.8 Housing 5.5 Health 19.2 Law 5.5 Training 19.2 Employment 6.8 Education 20.5 Campaigning 8.2 Community centre 27.4 Care services 8.2 Community work 27.4 Fundraising 8.2 Advice/information 37 Art, music, drama 9.6 Total 279.5* * Greater than 100 as organisations offer more than one service 12 A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 0 1 5 / 1 6


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nal nal ational Primary Beneficiaries Other Ex-offenders and families LGBTT people Drug/Alcohol/Substance users Carers People with basic skill needs Tenants and residents People with learning disabilities Unemployed people People in most deprived areas People with mental health needs Disabled people Adults Older people Refugees, asylum seekers and migrants Young people Children Women Black and minority ethnic people All people * TGroeatterathlan 100 as organisations serve more than one beneficiary Primary Area of Operation (%) Intern 2.7 Natio Regio 8.2 19.2 specific gh-wide Borou Ward 42.5 21.9 1.4 2.7 2.7 4.1 5.5 5.5 5.5 6.8 9.6 11.0 13.7 20.5 21.9 21.9 27.4 28.8 30.1 30.1 43.8 64.4 357.5 * Sub-re 5.5 gional ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16 13


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Developing Opportunities for Training & Skill Development to Enable Local People to Address Local Need Throughout 2015-16 VAC continued to provide a range of opportunities for local people involved in civil society activity to develop and use a range of skills required to help set up, lead and manage new and existing community-based initiatives. Governance and Trustees VAC supports governance because the trustees the community.They are also responsible for the are core to voluntary activity. They are among efficient and lawful governance of charities and the unsung heroes of the voluntary and not-for profits. cfroeme manDudnaibttyreinssegicntfgoorin.r Diynovoanulautarinbdgletiehaxerpiryetritmisee for and Enabling people to develop their own skills teohxregpaeonr••viiseearnWPtacilooelen,sststbrrtauasantsietdltegaeecyosnamlanadrdmeudourninernisectplcyhiotnginorfseonoibuoerlpefsnnv,foohrereloulwspnleimtntatgcrienyotgonutrssefrsotag:hnrmee1d3aotk:rnJw1gou3aawnynJilsteeuoadtgnih2oeeen0ltpso12t6lobh0eact1ca6lowpmoeerokpalientrcuthosetneinreecciostmawlsmiotuhanity, dastneedveerhl••oetphlpeSPitnhueogerrmitgrshawenmomiosnareektairmoalnbnSardctanhechredxootuoeotgpnehpldol:tteirhm1t1peu-ei2nhrsi9rtooieefnaJsccuhethoalineyngtneo2r0o1l6mehawnnehdltpicsiihnngfftluhtreheonyemcmleivfe:deee2oclr0imswiooJonruresknt.ehmeatp2oa0fwfe1ec6rtetdhetophlaeclep shape in Fopr raocsoppeyctoufso@umr aNrEyWwaprrdVboyAcsCpeprneosuvtcpirdtpeiuno.gsratrcsee.tsmuroukusartcielee:ss, in a number of ways advice, consultancy, ‘‘voluntary action camden training and one-to-one support.Trustees’ Week The frinieNnodvelymber is an opportunity to focus on placetrtuostleeeasr.nThis year VAC launched new trustee resources on our website and produced a special trustee’s edition of the e-bulletin.We also explored new ways of networking with Camden trustees using online platforms and social media. Every year VAC also runs an ‘Introduction to Governance in the Voluntary and Community Sector’ course with Mary Ward Centre, aimed at new trustees or those who want a refresher. The course attracts a wide cross section of community organisations ranging from charities, through to cooperatives, social enterprises and campaign groups and is always well received by the participants. Many Camden organisations send along new trustees as part of their induction process. Often two or three VAC Staff & Trustees Come Together at VAC Away Day to look at Future Strategic Planning attend from the same organisation as part of a process of revitalising a trustee board. This year there were 11 attendees. “The course was very well structured and gave me a good insight into the subject.” “Very well taught with digestible information.” ‘‘ 14 A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 0 1 5 / 1 6


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“The course provides an excellent base to understanding first steps in setting up your own business.” “The course helped me to gain a clear focus and direction and took away some uncertainties I was having about setting up a social business.” “I feel ready to challenge myself to take the next step.” Setting Up a Social Business Faced with difficulty finding work but with a commitment to making their own lives and the lives of their local community better, over the last year VAC has noticed an increase in the uptake of local residents on the Business Start-up for Social Enterprise, Micro Enterprise, Sole Trader courses, delivered at Mary Ward College. Differing to standard Business Start Up courses, these courses are focused on using life experiences in paid or voluntary work to set up a business enterprise with a social focus. The course covers the practical steps needed to set up as a sole trader and/or a micro enterprise and/or a social enterprise and offers the opportunity to connect, network and share ideas with others embarking on a similar journey. Project Management & Leadership ‘‘ VAC also delivered a number of courses in Project Management and Leadership & Management. These courses are designed to equip local people who work or are involved in the community and voluntary sector with skills in project management that can be applied to the running of projects, small and large and in a number of settings and to enable local people to make the transition from working in a team to leading one. Training Statistics 6 x Project Management Starter Courses 5 x Accredited Project Management Courses 1 x Business Start Up course 1 x Governance in the Voluntary & Community Sector course 1 x Accredited Leadership & Management Course 120 students received training Feedback 100% satisfaction rate across all courses 99% said course content met student need 98% pass rate for APM Introductory Certificate 90% pass rate ILM Level 2 Certificate in Team Leading “Thoroughly enjoyed the course and hope to progress to the certification course.” “Very happy with what I have learnt. Great course.” ‘‘ ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16 15



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