THE voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector has been given a boost with the news that the Torbay, Plymouth and Devon (TPD) VCSE Assembly will continue to build on its work in involving the sector in key discussions, policy and decision making over the next two years.    

NHS Devon has agreed to continue supporting the TPD VCSE Assembly until 2026, building on the strong partnership that has been built so far between the Assembly and the Integrated Care Board.

Looking ahead, the Assembly is encouraging more VCSE organisations to get involved, whether they are involved with health and care or any other aspect of supporting people and places in Devon, including Plymouth and Torbay.

It is also keen to work with other statutory organisations to bring the expertise and experience of the VCSE sector to add value to their operations.

The TPD VCSE Assembly was established in 2022 to bring together independent charities, social enterprises and community-led organisations across Torbay, Plymouth and Devon.

It aims to act at a strategic level to support systemic change in services. Through having a stronger shared voice, it aims to address wider societal issues and inequalities and to celebrate and share local community innovation and success.

The Assembly actively listens and shares intelligence, data and research across the sector to support, complement and add value to local VCSE networks and partnerships, including Local Care Partnerships.

It aims to collaborate with statutory sector partners as an equal partner in order to provide opportunities for VCSE organisations, local community groups and people with lived experience to engage at a strategic level on service design and co-production.

It currently has representatives from the VCSE sector in several different strategic partnerships and groups, giving a voice to not only the sector and the organisations within it, but the people who benefit from their services.

A recent example of this includes representatives from the Assembly being part of the selection panel to recruit the new CEO of the Devon Integrated Care Board, Steve Moore. 

Independent Chair of the TPD VCSE Assembly, Diana Crump, commented: “We are pleased to be able to continue to build on the work of the Assembly for the next two years, and would like to thank NHS Devon for its support.

“There is a vibrant and varied VCSE sector here in Devon and it’s fantastic to see it is valued in this way.

“We would love even more organisations to get involved with the Assembly, whether that’s coming to our monthly online meetings, applying to represent the sector at a strategic level or getting involved in one of our specialist hubs.

“We are not just involved in health services, we have organisations that work right across the VCSE sector, from environmental to housing, health, transport, enterprise and any other delivery area that has an impact on our communities here in Devon.”   

To support the Assembly, NHS Devon has committed £50,000 in funding each for the 2024-5 and 2025-6 financial years.

Darin Halifax, NHS Devon Lead for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise, added: “The funding support for the Torbay,

 Plymouth and Devon VCSE Assembly is confirmation that NHS Devon sees the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector as a key anchor institution and strategic partner of the wider health and care system.

“The next two years will see even more opportunities for partnership work to ensure that communities are key in supporting people in Devon to be happier and healthier.” 

For more information about the Torbay, Plymouth and Devon VCSE Assembly, including joining its monthly meetings or to request VCSE input for a particular initiative, contact: [email protected] .