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Influencing & Representation

The voice of the voluntary, community and social enterprise  (VCSE) sector needs to be heard and Support Staffordshire aims to help its colleagues across the sector to clarify and strengthen that voice, helping to get it heard in the right places.

Our sector is made up of such a variety of organisations with very many different views and passions that there cannot be a single voice but, on key topics, we can often have a shared view to express, for example, to our public sector partners. Increasingly we hear talk about involving the VCSE sector in co-production when the public sector are developing new policies, initiatives or commissioning specifications. Support Staffordshire will facilitate the involvement of front line organisations in co-production as much as it can within its resources, seeking to set up representative processes where appropriate.

Support Staffordshire wishes to encourage all VCSE organisations across Stoke and Staffordshire to get involved in expressing their views and ideas and will not restrict information sharing on voice activities to its members. However, by becoming a member of Support Staffordshire you will be giving us your up-to-date contact details, ensuring that you do not miss out on relevant opportunities to get your voice heard. To join visit our Membership page.

Support Staffordshire can help with

  • Identifying appropriate forums and partnership boards for you to engage with
  • Orientation and confidence building to influence effectively
  • Signposting to sector representatives
  • Working with others to ensure your voice is heard, through our VCSE Locality Forums

Locality Forums

There are six VCSE Locality Forums across Staffordshire. These are open to all VCSE organisations who are active in that locality. If you would like to add a topic or issue to the next agenda of one of the meetings, please contact the person named against the relevant forum below. You can just turn up at the meetings although it is useful for us to know in advance for setting the room, etc. To book a place at the next meeting please either email the named contact or book online as indicated.

The aim is to hold Locality Forum meetings for the VCSE sector in each locality, every quarter (four times a year). Some of these meetings have different names due to the history of their development over the years. 

Whilst each locality forum has its own, locally developed, terms of reference, the main purpose of each of them is to provide a forum for VCSE organisations delivering services or activities in that locality so that they can:

  • Network with each other, developing contacts and sharing information
  • Connect with other sectors, particularly the public sector, to find out about, and influence, relevant developments and initiatives
  • Voice their views, collectively or as individual organisations, but particularly to inform and mandate any representatives
  • Feedback directly on the services provided by Support Staffordshire in the locality      

For Support Staffordshire Locality Forums in Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Stafford, Tamworth, East Staffordshire and Staffordshire Moorlands please contact your local office

The VCSE Forum in Newcastle-under-Lyme is currently run by VAST and meets quarterly. For more information go to www.vast.org.uk or contact Dave Benge of VAST on dave.benge@vast.org.uk

County and City Forums

Staffordshire Voice Chief Officer's Group

There is a countywide forum which is open to VCSE Chief Officers of leading organisations. This forum is attended by Support Staffordshire's Chief Executive, Garry Jones, who is happy to raise issues on behalf of any VCSE organisations. Please contact 01543 303030 or Garry.Jones@supportstaffordshire.org.uk  

North Staffordshire Chief Officers’ Group

There is a regular meeting of VCSE chief officers of VCSE organisations operating in Stoke-on-Trent or other parts of North Staffordshire. To find out more about its meetings contact Tim Lucas at Saltbox on 01782 207200 or email timl@saltbox.org.uk

This forum is attended by Support Staffordshire's Chief Executive, Garry Jones, who is happy to raise issues on behalf of any VCSE organisations. Please contact 01543 303030 or Garry.Jones@supportstaffordshire.org.uk   



For further information, or an informal chat, about how we can help you on this subject or any other, please contact your locality office during their opening hours, or on 0300 777 1207 anytime Monday to Friday, 9am - 4pm. You can also email us at info@supportstaffordshire.org.uk