Croydon’s voluntary and community sector (VCS) has led the way in providing emergency relief for our residents throughout the Covid19 crisis. The VCS was the first to raise the underlying issue of health inequality and, looking ahead, will be at the frontline in dealing with economic recession and the longer term impact of Covid19 on our mental health. CVA is calling on the Council, as it seeks to recover its financial position, to protect VCS budgets in Croydon so that the VCS can continue to do what it does best – strengthen our communities and put local people first.
The Council’s financial position is now requiring a root and branch review of how Croydon’s residents are best supported to achieve health, prosperity and wellbeing within a safe and sustainable environment. Central within this review will be the need to build on the strengths, assets and reach of Croydon’s VCS. CVA is working with its partners on a VCS Renewal Action Plan to capture just how the VCS can be enabled to play its full part in Croydon’s recovery.
The Council, in planning for renewal, now has the opportunity to consider whether it can achieve more of the objectives associated with its localities operating model by delivering through its partners in the local VCS. One of the key locality objectives is to create a form of community-led provision that engages local people in designing services that are more responsive to the strengths, needs and opportunities found within local communities. The Covid19 experience in 2020 has raised the profile of VCS services in Croydon and highlighted how much more agile and responsive they can be. This has ignited a high-level discourse on how a shifting of resources is needed to ensure the growth and sustainability of VCS services reaching Croydon’s most vulnerable people – and its most enterprising residents. This shifting of resources, in the context of Croydon Council’s financial position, will have a significant bearing on how far Croydon’s VCS is enabled to play its full part in managing Croydon’s recovery from the calamities of 2020.
Alongside developing the VCS role within the localities operating model, the VCS Renewal Action Plan will review how responsive the Council’s commissioning and procurement practices are to the social value provided by local VCS delivery partners. It will also make reference to the GLA’s London Recovery Programme and the VCS role in its key recovery missions on financial hardship, jobs, mental health and resilient communities.
In developing the plan with our Council and NHS partners the strategic purpose will be to agree a realignment of preventative services in the borough, with the VCS commissioned to work side-by-side with local communities in shaping Croydon’s renewal.
Next Croydon Voluntary Sector Alliance (CVSA) Meeting
The above meeting - CVSA Croydon Renewal: The VCS Role - takes place on 10 December 2020, from 10am to 12pm via Zoom.
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