Collaboration and Co-ordination

I’m now two months in role and starting to find my feet a bit more now – thank you for your support and warm welcomes!  This month I am highlighting some of the many links of recent weeks and some ideas and thoughts arising.  As ever, all feedback and comments welcome!

It’s been a pleasure to meet infrastructure colleagues from ACTion with Communities in Cumbria and Cumbria Third Sector Network Executive; and funders including Cumbria Community Foundation and the National Lottery Community Fund. I’ve also been pleased to meet with Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council, the Carlisle Partnership – and with the Lake District National Park Authority, Lake District Foundation, the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and colleagues working in the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS area – including the Population Health Strategic Group and the Morecambe Bay University Hospitals Trust – and in between to celebrate Disability Association Carlisle and Eden’s (DaCE) 20th Birthday. Many thanks to all these agencies for their time and thoughtful discussions.

So, if you’ve gotten this far – why the long list?! For me, the list and the high level of interest in the work of the voluntary, community and faith sector demonstrates the importance of collaboration and co-ordination.  Our sector is huge – too big for any one agency to cover – and the opportunities to make a difference are substantial; and we can lever more resources, have greater impact and be more effective if we collaborate.  And I mean really collaborate: share our resources and funding opportunities, our strategic plans, our expertise and experience for the greater good.  In my experience, organisations sometimes guard their sovereignty too closely – until the competition in the system forces the change.  We need to use our foresight to plan effectively and agree our roles more clearly.
At Cumbria CVS, we need to ensure we have effective representation of our constituencies and we need to listen to our membership.  Moreover, we need our membership to work for each other and commit to a bigger plan for Cumbria.  An effective CVS must capitalise on the skills, knowledge and resources of its members and find ways to make this exchange easy and mutually advantageous.  We can help map our sector and the opportunities, help prioritise our use of resources and link up partners to increase funding in the sector.
It’s beginning to feel to me that Cumbria CVS needs to focus on Impact, Influence and Investment – what’s your thoughts?

I’ll be talking more about partnerships and collaborations and our ideas for future strategy  at our upcoming AGM in Barrow – which will now take place in December – but in the meantime I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to our Open Day at Shaddongate on Wednesday 4 December 2019. Please come along, meet the team and each other, network over coffee and mince pies (yes I know it’s early!), take a tour of our resources and learn more about what our sector has to offer.

Best wishes

David Allen
Chief Executive Officer
Cumbria CVS