Black Country Partnership Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Alliance gathering – 17 Jan

January 13, 2022
Published by Dudley CVS

The next Black Country Partnership VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) Alliance gathering is taking place on Monday, 17th January, 12.25 – 2.30 pm. Agenda as follows:

  • Greetings and an introduction to the interim ICS CEO, Mark Axcell – Mark will share more about his remit as ICS Chief and CEO of the Black Country Healthcare Mental Health Trust, his love of the Black Country, and the importance of integrating the VCSE into the health and care system. There will also be an update on the progress to adopt new Integrated Care Boards and the Health and Care Reform Bill.
  • What do we, the VCSE Alliance, know and what have we achieved already? – A recap of insights gathered from co-design workshops and inaugural Black Country Partnership VCSE Alliance gathering in November.
  • ‘Bridging the gap’ workshop – An opportunity to co-design what you think the next steps for Alliance should be and how we get there to ensure the Alliance becomes a credible and meaningful vehicle for distributing leadership, power, resources and agency.
  •  News and opportunities

For further details please contact Stephen Terry, Engagement and Partnership Lead, on 07458 308445.  Email

Register for the event here:

Background information:

The NHS Long Term Plan laid out its commitment for commissioning, partnering with and championing the VCSE as well as embedding the voice of the VCSE across the NHS. This is widely welcomed by system partners throughout the Black Country. But, the time has come to widen VCSE representation beyond what is currently in place. To raise the profile of the VCSE and elevate its voice and influence on key strategic transformation matters. To support the development of effective partnership working to deliver integrated care and realise the full contribution the voluntary sector can make. And to mobilise a mechanism that ensures our VCSE, and communities, play an active role in improving population health and happiness across the Black Country.


Replies from attendees at a co-design workshop when asked ‘What’s great about the VCSE?’

In systems across England (NHS STP/ICS Accelerator Programme), VCSE Leadership Forums/Alliances have successfully been established with the aim of being a broker for wider sector engagement and a single point of contact for ICS system colleagues.

The overarching purpose of the Black Country Partnership VCSE Alliance is;

–          To strengthen the voice and influence of the VCSE at system level

–          To act as a vehicle for the VCSE to operate as equitable transformation, innovation and integration partners.

–          To connect the amazing work that’s already happening at neighbourhood and place, bringing together insight and activity at system level.

–          To improve the 2-way flow of information with members of the system Alliance acting as brokers for place and neighbourhood structures.

–          To provide a single point of contact for the ICS to engage with the VCSE ensuring that VCSE leadership is present around the decision making tables at the earliest possible point in time.

–          Develop a culture of ‘working together’ with the VCSE able to play a lead role in shaping policy, strategy, new cultural emergence and commissioning frameworks.

–          Building the capacity of the VCSE, helping health and care partners cement themselves as ‘anchor institutions’ and critically, reducing inequalities and improving population health.


The inaugural gathering of the Black Country Partnership VCSE Alliance took place in November 2021 and the Alliance gathers every 8 weeks. Everyone from the sector is invited – it’s an open invite affair. And anyone who is unable to attend is encouraged to sign up to the mailing list so that they can remain connected to Alliance updates, news from around the system and opportunities to lead, deliver and/or contribute to projects, transformation programmes, events etc – 

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