Friends outside of work often ask me what The Care Forum does, and I’ve been trying a few different ‘elevator pitches’ out to try and sum it all up in one go. This includes:
“We act as a conduit between statutory organisations and charities to help health and care work better”
“We work with individuals and communities to improve how health and care works for everyone”
“We network and support charities, big and small, and make sure their voices are heard by local planners”
… As you can see it’s still a bit of a work in progress (!), but what stands out each time I think about it is the unique role The Care Forum performs, and the variety of skills within our excellent project teams.
This month I was proud to be able to represent the voluntary sector at a shared Health and Wellbeing Board planning session. The Boards from Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire came together to think about developing shared priorities.
I presented to the meeting on behalf of The Care Forum, VOSCUR and VANS. We have been working together with some NHS England funding to think about how we all in the voluntary sector can develop together as NHS and care services develop around us, to set ourselves up to succeed.
I pointed out to the Boards that:
– Improving the health of our local communities via the voluntary and community sector is often a cost-effective way to spend money
– Signposting to services in our sector is improving – but we need to make sure investment goes into our sector so that there is capacity to support people who are signposted
– We need to make sure that while we focus on ‘places’ we don’t lose sight of the fact that many of our communities don’t fit neatly into a ‘place’, and many VCSE organisations support people across areas and places too
We discussed shared priorities and developed a draft proposal, which I will share with you as soon as it is made available. In the meantime, please link in with us to make sure you are receiving our updates, and to make sure you can tell us what is important to you around health and care.
Telephone 0117 965 4444 and ask for one of the South Gloucestershire Voluntary Sector Service Team – Nick Dean, James Picardo or Ronnie Wright.