Office of the Civil Society, Local Intelligence Team NE Update

Welcome to the monthly news bulletin from the Office for Civil Society – This contains policy updates, funding opportunities, consultations and much more.

OCS FOR INFO - November 2017

Please see below updates that you may find interesting

Office for Civil Society (OCS) updates:

Civil Society Strategy Announcement

Local Charities Day 2017

NCS Guidance for Schools and Colleges

Updates from government departments:

DCLG Troubled Families Blog

Home Office Super-Complaints System

DCMS Community Managed Libraries Peer Network

DCMS Libraries Master Class

DCMS Arts and Heritage Crowdfunding

DoH £15 million grant scheme

DfE Safeguarding Consultation

Social Impact Investment

Stakeholder updates:

State of SMEs in the UK

Industrial Strategy Challenge

Charity Commission Report on Trusteeship

Community Economic Development

Empowering Places

Arts Impact Fund

DoE Expansion

Storytelling in the Health Sector

Grants and Procurement

Voice of the Councillor

State of Health and Care in England

Office for Civil Society:

1. Civil Society Strategy

This morning the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley announced government's intention to develop a Civil Society Strategy. This was accompanied by a Written Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch which explains how vital civil society is to the wellbeing of the country, helping to tackle burning injustices. The Strategy will reaffirm the value that government places on civil society and explore what more government can do to support its work in building a stronger and fairer society. It will provide an opportunity to explore ways to build new partnerships within and between sectors and communities in order to better mobilise resources and expertise and find practical new solutions to the problems we face. It will be developed through dialogue and debate. A listening exercise will be launched in the new year and findings reported later in the year.

2. Local Charities Day 2017 - 1 Month To Go!

15th December is Local Charities Day 2017. DCMS have been publishing guest blogs from small local charities over the last few weeks - powerful stories well worth a read:

Charities have been registering on the Local Charities Day Map which lets people search for charities in their area

The LCD Toolkit contains publicity materials that people can to download to help show support for local charities

Sign-up for the #LocalCharitiesDay Thunderclap

New Foundation for Social Improvement training offers are now available

Let us know how you will be celebrating this year by emailing us at:

3. NCS Guidance

Guidance for School and Colleges has been published to help students get involved with the National Citizen Service, together with Guidance for Local Authorities. 

Updates from other government departments:

1. DCLG Troubled Families blog

The Troubled Families Programme based in DCLG  have launched a blog on GOV.UK: to share developing and innovative practice on early help. It will be a forum to discuss and promote what is working and hear voices from across disciplines and sectors, and is encouraging input particularly from the voluntary and community sector. There are blogs on how to support parents of children affected by sexual exploitation and how to commission parenting programmes that work, written by the Early Intervention Foundation. If you want to contribute please contact:

2. Home Office

The public consultation on the criteria for designated bodies in the police super-complaints system is now live.

The Policing and Crime Act 2017 includes provisions for the introduction of a new policing super-complaints system. We know that systems have, in the past, sometimes been too slow in capturing major issues, such as widespread child sexual abuse or the misuse of stop and search. Complementing wider reforms to the individual complaints system, the Government committed to bring in a groundbreaking system of police super-complaints. The super-complaints system provides a new mechanism for organisations that have been designated by the Home Secretary to raise concerns about systemic issues in policing which are, or appear to be, significantly harming the interests of the public, and require a response. Whilst there are existing super-complaints systems in the financial and commercial sectors to protect the interests of consumers, this will be the first to cover a public sector body 

The new system will enable organisations, such as charities, to apply to become Designated Bodies (DBs) so that they can raise issues on behalf of the public about patterns or trends in policing that are not otherwise dealt with by the existing complaints system. We are now launching an 8-week public consultation to gather views on the criteria which organisations should meet if they wish to become a DB. These criteria will be set out in secondary legislation and open to parliamentary scrutiny. We welcome your views on this subject which will help us to strike the right balance between providing maximum access to this new system, whilst also ensuring that those designated are able to fulfil the associated responsibilities. The consultation will close at 11.45pm on 08 December 2017. More information from 

3. Community Managed Libraries Peer Network

Over the next 18 months, a new initiative, funded by Power to Change, will see the creation of the Community Managed Libraries Peer Network. The project aims to expand the existing Community Knowledge Hub to include a further 200 libraries with shared interests and goals. Many local authorities work in partnership with communities in delivering their library services. This can be valuable in augmenting the services available and ensuring close collaboration and engagement between public libraries and the communities they serve. It’s important that community managed libraries have access to the advice and support they need to run their library effectively. For more about this project read this blog post: 

4. Libraries Master Class

12 December is the 3rd libraries masterclass on alternative delivery models which being held in Beeston.

On 27 November in London and on 29 November in Leeds there are masterclasses on the guidance to LAs on longer-term, evidence-based and sustainable planning, and on the libraries benchmarking framework. These are aimed not only at libraries staff but also wider decision-makers in LAs. Read more in the masterclasses blog here. And have a look at the strategic planning toolkit here.

5. Arts and heritage organisations unlock new support

DCMS, Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and Nesta have launched the findings of a pilot programme, in a report titled Matching the Crowd – combining crowdfunding and institutional funding to get great ideas off the ground. It reveals the potential of matched crowdfunding(1), to generate income and a new network of supporters for UK arts and heritage sectors. Read about it here.

6. Department of Health

The Department of Health has launched a £15 million fund to better support people at risk of experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Beyond Places of Safety scheme will improve support services for those needing urgent and emergency mental healthcare. This includes conditions such as psychosis, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders that could cause people to be a risk to themselves or others.

7. Department for Education

The Department for Education have published a consultation about proposed changes to statutory guidance on child safeguarding, which will be relevant to all charities running children’s services. The main changes are around the way in which multi-agency safeguarding ‘partners’ (e.g. local authorities, chief officers of police, and clinical commissioning groups) will replace local safeguarding children’s boards (LSCBs). Click here to read the consultation.

8. Social Impact Investment

On 14th November the Advisory Group on mainstreaming social impact investment and savings in the UK release their report and recommendations to industry and government. Please find a link to the final report on ‘Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK’.

Updates from stakeholders:

1. The State of Small Business website

A website that maps the landscape of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Together with an accompanying report, it provides a fine-grained picture of how such businesses are performing and changing; find out more here.

2. The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fun 

Aims to bring together the UK’s world leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. Six challenges have so far been selected to receive fund support: healthcare & medicines; robotics & artificial intelligence; clean & flexible energy; driverless vehicles; manufacturing & materials of the future; and space technology. Find out more here.

3. The Charity Commission

Has published a major new report into trusteeship which calls for changes in the way boards are recruited and supported. The report, Taken on Trust: the Awareness and Effectiveness of Charity Trustees in England & Wales, finds that there are 150,000 fewer trustees in the UK than previously believed - see more here 

4. Community Economic Development: Lessons from two years' action research

A recent report summarising two years of work supporting 71 communities to come together to develop and implement plans to shape their local economy. Funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the work was led by Coops UK in collaboration with CLES, New Economics Foundation, Locality and Responsible Finance. Community-led economic development (CED) is significantly different from more conventional approaches. While conventional approaches are typically top-down and focused on economic growth, CED is led by local residents and emphasises approaches to development that bring real benefits for people and places. Read the report here.

5. Empowering Places launches

Cooperatives UK and Power to Change have launched a new community economic development programme that will channel £8 million of targeted support into seven areas of England, to tackle inequality at a local level. Find out more here.

6. Second year insights from the Arts Impact Fund: financial resilience

Over the last two years, the Arts Impact Fund portfolio has grown to 16 organisations, which will use investment from us to achieve a wide range of social outcomes – from helping young people to develop creative writing skills to reducing falls amongst the over 65s. However, the Arts Impact Fund also has a mandate to improve the financial resilience of the arts and culture sector in England – in addition to raising the profile of the impact created. Read the full Nesta blog here.

7. Duke of Edinburgh’s Award announces £3m expansion

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has announced a £3m expansion plan to reach an extra 20,000 young people per year by 2021. It is being supported by a new partnership with the #iwill fund which is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the government. The #iwill fund is contributing £1m. DofE’s is using £1.5m that was raised by its supporters in the 2016 as part of Diamond Anniversary celebrations and additional DofE donations to Diamond Anniversary fundraising in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Read more here.

8. Storytelling in the Health Sector

NHS England and Keele University are running a research project looking at storytelling and the use of narrative across all health and social care related sectors and organisations including voluntary and charitable sectors. They’re particularly interested in existing approaches – if you want to share your organisation’s view, you can contact Keele University or Rachel White at the NHS.

On a similar note, the Kings Fund have published a short video explaining how the NHS works in England, which is a great way of getting up to speed with how powers and funding have been devolved in recent years.

9. Grants and Procurement

The government has published grants data from two departments as part of its grants register. Meanwhile, DFID have introduced a new code of conduct for its suppliers to try to reduce instances of charities being used as ‘bid candy’ during its procurement processes.

 The European Commission has also published a new public procurement initiative intended to ensure that procurements are carried out more efficiently and allows more room for innovation. The overall aim of the initiative is that member states and stakeholders focus on the overall benefit to society of public procurements rather than solely considering the lowest priced tender, and is likely to take the form of further guidance within existing EU procurement frameworks and legislation.

10. The Voice of the Councillor

These are free events to showcase and promote the findings of the Councillors Commission.

11. State of Health and Care in England

The annual assessment of health and social care by the Care Quality Commission provides a treasure trove of information about the state of services in England. Based on inspections of 21,256 adult social care services, 152 NHS acute trusts, 197 independent acute hospitals, 18 NHS community health trusts, 54 NHS mental health trusts, 226 independent mental health locations, 10 NHS ambulance trusts, and 7,028 primary care services over three years, the assessment offers grounds for concern and reassurance in equal measure. You can read a summary of the report and its findings on the Kings Fund website. 

Very best wishes,