There has never been a better time to look at how the HCV Partnership engages with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. This allows us to build on the strong partnerships we have already achieved and look at what we can do together in the future.

Jason Stamp, Chair of the HCV Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector Programme

One of the key legacies of the Covid-19 response across the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership has been the role of the voluntary and community sector.

In each of our six places, the voluntary and community sector has been integral to the response to our most vulnerable communities. The work they have undertaken has been hard to measure but they were key partners in coordinating services at a time to when communities needed them most.

This included food provision, prescription collection, continuing to provide frontline services and mobilising an army of volunteers. The value and importance of the sector has never been better demonstrated and I am proud to work alongside groups and organisations who continue to make a difference in our communities.

As with all partner organisations, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in each of our six places faces significant challenges over the next few months. The long-term sustainability and resilience of the sector is a key priority for all of us.

With challenges come opportunities and there has never been a better time to look at how the HCV Partnership engages with a diverse and skilled voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. This allows us to build on the strong partnerships we have already achieved and look at what we can do together in the future.

The commitment of the HCV Partnership to developing a new relationship with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector is via a new Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Leadership Programme, which brings together senior voluntary, community and social enterprise leaders from all six places, alongside colleagues from both health and local government.

I am pleased to have been asked to chair this workstream, which is designed to integrate the sector into the wider HCV Partnership and to look at how our collective skills, experience and knowledge can be used to help us all achieve better outcomes at both a place and system level.

Although the programme was only established in July, we have already made significant progress. This is not only about voluntary, community and social enterprise representation in existing workstreams but raising awareness about what we contribute and what we can do in the future.

To support this we have agreed to work together to better understand current levels of partner investment into the sector and look at our longer-term sustainability.

The voluntary, community and social enterprise sector currently makes a significant contribution to place-based working and we need to recognise the value of what we do and make better use of what exists already. This workstream is designed to build on this and unlock our potential as a system partner.

Leo Stevens

Author Leo Stevens

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