Contracts for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Improvement Programme

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Contracts for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Improvement Programme

Bradford Council and Bradford District Craven CCG have appointed two local consortiums to support its vital Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Support and Improvement Programme.

Following the conclusion of a procurement process in late 2021 the successful bidders are two local consortiums, ‘Here4BDCC’ and ‘Network Central’. The contract will operate for three years from April with the option to extend for a further two years, subject to performance.

The value of the new contract is £767,000 per annum and amalgamates existing grants.

Councillor Abdul Jabar, Neighbourhoods and Community Safety Portfolio holder said: “Following the extensive consultation with the districts community organisations and our desire to deliver single contracts for support to community organisations and residents, these contracts will provide a one point of contact for those who want to develop and sustain valuable local services provided in our neighbourhoods.

“The support offered from April 2022 will improve collaboration between organisations delivering services and increase the capacity of the sector to become more self-reliant.”

In 2019 an independent review was commissioned to assess the effectiveness of the existing infrastructure support to the VCSE sector across Bradford District. The offer to the VCSE in Bradford needed to be robust, co-designed and ‘fit for purpose’ in a new and changing landscape.

The six areas of work came from what had worked previously and the new areas of work needing support in the new contract.

Here 4 BDCC – a Bradford District and Craven Communities consortium led by Community Action Bradford and District in partnership with Participate, VCS Alliance and HALE will deliver:

• Capacity Building: Developing people, leaders, governance, organisational capacity and skills

• Insight and Information: Central to this work area will be to ensure there is an accurate, user-friendly database of VCSE organisations that is linked with key systems used by public services and that there is a one stop site for online information and resources

• Citizen Engagement: to build on existing approaches to engaging and co-producing with people and communities. A broad mix of engagement activities and asset-based approaches is needed to be available to ensure the effective involvement of people and communities

• Voice and Influence: to promote the voice and influence of the VCSE sector and their collective endeavour. Establish partnership structures/networks to bring together public sector services and VCSE. This area of would include support around equalities and diversity.

• Promoting: volunteering to include recruitment, training, maintaining of a database, promoting volunteering opportunities across the public, voluntary and business sectors.

A spokesperson for Here 4 BDCC said: “Community Action Bradford & District, HALE, Participate Projects and The VCS Alliance have come together to put Bradford District and Craven communities at the heart of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. We are honoured to have been selected to deliver upon such a big contract for the not-for-profit sector within Bradford and District with Craven and are excited to get started. This contract allows our consortium to continue to deliver much needed services to the local groups helping communities to thrive. We have big plans for how this support will be delivered over the next 3 years, so watch this space.

“We’d like to say thank you to the commissioners at Bradford Council and Bradford District and Craven CCG for their hard work behind the scenes, and for believing in our vision for a brighter Bradford District.”

Network Central – consortium led by CNet with Race Equality Network and Bradford Impact Hub will deliver:

• Sustainability: to build the skills and knowledge of VCSE organisation’s fundraising capabilities, introducing and improving the tools, techniques and practical support available to become self-reliant.

A spokesperson from Network Central said: “We are pleased that we will be delivering the building sustainability and business development programme with our partners Impact Hub and Race Equality Network. We look forward to working with and supporting the VCSE sector in exploring opportunities for investment, funding and skills development. This will be done in collaboration with VCS partners and the public sector through co-design.”

Ali Jan Haider, Director of Integrated Health and Care, Bradford District & Craven CCG, said: “We are excited to be working with Bradford Council to support transformation of infrastructure support to the VCSE. VCSE organisations locally are crucial in the delivery of our health and wellbeing programmes. VCSE organisations often have trusted relationships with communities that can help us gain the insight about people’s lives and experiences that is integral to improving health outcomes. Integrated working with the VCSE is undoubtedly the way forward as it ensures a joint approach to shaping, improving, delivering and monitoring the effectiveness of services.

“The new infrastructure support model will meet the needs the VCSE sector going forward, support our partnership ambitions and enable local communities to take an active role in co-designing and delivering health services.”

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