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Engagement Team (S11)


Portfolio: Leisure and Local Environment Portfolio

Futures Fund

This cut may not get implemented in full because there are proposals to include the service within the futures fund. Please visit the futures fund proposal to find out more. 

There is a one off proposal to help develop volunteering


The Community Engagement Team comprises of  2.5 officers.  Various officers in the Council liaise with the Voluntary sector and there are a range of specific contacts in place which the Council has commissioned that are being delivered by the voluntary sector. However the Community Engagement Team provide the strategic overview and support to encourage and enable the voluntary sector to deliver services the Council sees as a priority but is not able to provide due to increasingly  limited resources being available. The Team encourage the sector to self -help as much as possible with recent examples being web based products such as the Darlington Advice Network and Members/Voluntary Sector Toolkit. The team are currently tasked with developing the Volunteer Bureau and Strategic Development Group following the recent closure of Evolution as well as establishing a TECKAL (Community Enterprise) all of which should increase opportunities for more volunteering and help attract additional funding into Darlington by taking a more proactive, strategic and consistent approach across the sector.

The team are playing a key role in the financial inclusion agenda, providing reports and statistics on the impact of the Welfare Reforms to enable the Council Financial Inclusion Partnership to prioritise scarce resources where they are needed most, co-ordinating the preparations for the introduction of Universal Credit, and commissioning/monitoring contracts from the Social Fund. They also represent the Council at various regional and sub-regional groups particularly in relation to Veterans and the Voluntary Sector. This work includes a monitoring and co-ordinating role, support to elected members etc.


S11 Engagement Team



Keywords: voluntary sector VCS

Related FAQs

What will be the impact on voluntary organisations such as Citizen’s Advice, Age UK, GADD? What happens if they close?

What will be the impact on voluntary organisations such as Citizen’s Advice, Age UK, GADD? What happens if they close?

We fully support the work of our voluntary sector partners and hope to continue to work with them in the future. However, the financial situation is such that the Council is not able to continue funding these organisations at current levels. The likely impact of the budget proposals on these organisations is currently being identified, following discussions with the organisations most affected. We hope that they are able to continue their work by looking at where they can make further cost and efficiency savings, but we appreciate that in some cases this may not be possible and it will therefore mean a reduction in the support they can offer to the residents of Darlington.  It could lead to the closure of organisations if they are unable to make the necessary changes for them to be sustainable, which will be very regrettable. We want to avoid this happening and we will support organisations making grant applications where we can. We will also be undertaking work to understand the impact of any reductions in service on individuals accessing them. 

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