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Representation of the VCSE Sector

CAS aims to coordinate representation of CAS and VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) representatives to ensure that the VCSE sector in Suffolk has a voice in areas where we need to influence for the benefit of our communities, and to provide input into the development of the inclusive economic growth of Suffolk. 

We aim to use a range of mediums to communicate and promote the benefits of partnerships and collaboration.

We already use a range of social media and open and closed groups on Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Instagram and other mediums to ensure that we can capture sector views and concerns and that these are able to be communicated effectively.

We are working across our wider VCSE sector to develop and implement communications systems that will enable effective information exchange within the sector and with partners.  We will aim to create conditions to enable the sector to form effective partnerships and collaborations.

VCSE organisations in our sector can make themselves heard through our networks.

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  • Funding
  • Health and Wellbeing Network
  • New Anglia Social Investment Partnership (NASIP)
  • Safeguarding
  • Suffolk Good Neighbour Network
  • The Pod (a dedicated network for Comms, Marketing & PR people across the sector)
  • Training and Events
  • Village Halls and Community Buildings
  • Volunteer Coordinators Network

CAS also organises and supports events to ensure that VCSE organisations in all parts of the sector have an opportunity to have a voice and be heard, for example:

  • Talk Volunteering Network Events held around the county
  • Health and Wellbeing Network Meetings
  • Suffolk Village Halls and Community Buildings Conference
  • Suffolk Volunteering Conference
  • Funding Conference
  • Suffolk Safeguarding Conference

CAS aims to ensure that the sector can be heard at national level too.  We facilitate representation on national bodies such as Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the Rural Services Network (RSN) events, National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), and other VCSE relevant bodies.

Suffolk VCSE Leaders Network

The Leaders meet monthly to enable the sharing of knowledge and information.  The network was formed in 2019 and initially met quarterly.  During Covid it met weekly and has evolved to meet monthly as this provides benefits for all attendees and enables timely communication on key issues.  The group was originally formed with the aims of:

  • Sharing expertise and experience – lessons learnt;
  • Peer support;
  • Identification of themes that we can work together on to be successful;
  • Funding – sharing knowledge to help maximise the sectors chances given tight timescales;
  • Promotion of collaboration and partnership to develop trust and enable better statutory sector engagement.

There are regular presentations from leaders from across the VCSE sector and from sectors relevant to our work – we have recently had presentations from the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Chamber of Commerce on the impact of Covid and how the economy is moving forward, on climate change and the work that the sector will need to undertake to help Suffolk achieve net zero.

Moving forward into 2022, we have presentations planned on diversity building on the work that has taken place over the last year to address inequalities identified as part of #What are We Missing?, and on opportunities for partnership and collaborative working with Suffolk County Council Adult Social Care..

The Network enables the Leaders to discuss and plan action on issues of interest to the VCSE sector in Suffolk.

There are currently two sub groups to look at

  • commissioning review
  • working with ACS and care sector

If you would like further information, please contact Belinda Couldridge at Community Action Suffolk (