VANL is a membership Charity and that means it is owned by the members who delegate its development and management to representatives elected by membership to act as Trustees.

VANL Board of Directors (Trustees) are reviewing the way that we provide services to the members and it is therefore crucially important that we consult with our members to tell us what services and activities your organisation wants from your support organisation.

VANL was created out of the 2 local Council’s for Voluntary Services in 1997. Which means we are 20 years old this year! In that time the needs of the local voluntary sector and the people it serves and the way the sector carries out its activities has changed massively.

These changes sit with an ever increasingly complex and often difficult economic, social and technological environment which has led to massive change in the way the sector operates and is funded.

This is captured in a recent Select Committee Report Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society (2017)

The funding of charities has changed significantly over the last decade. Public sector grants have been replaced in most instances with contracts, often with complex commissioning processes. These have disadvantaged smaller charities, which struggle to bid for services at scale, and constrained the valuable innovation that charities can bring to service delivery’

And in relation to infrastructure bodies like ourselves ‘Good governance is fundamental to a strong charity sector. Charities need strong governance, with robust structures, processes and good behaviours, in order to deliver effectively for their beneficiaries. We call for new efforts to provide training and development for trustees and recommend that charity boards should undertake greater self-reflection, examining their behaviours, processes and skills. We also believe that infrastructure bodies need to identify the shortcomings in provision of governance advice and training for charities and do more to raise awareness of the support that currently exists’

As you know VANL has provided or facilitated much of the governance and support needs to the VCS locally, however the funding environment for local infrastructure support is arguably even more difficult as a result of public sector austerity, and this certainly the case for VANL. That said in our 20th year it’s time for a nuts and bolts review!

With this in mind we are holding 2 Focus Groups and would like a cross section of members to take part:

27th April 10am – VANL Training Room, 4-6 Robert Street, Scunthorpe, or

3rd May 6pm – VANL Training Room, 4-6 Robert Street.

Please email carole.phillips@vanl.org.uk or call 01724 845155 to express an interest