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Voluntary Sector Development Fund (£100,000)

Future Funds

Portfolio: Health and Partnerships Portfolio

One off investment

The fund will help develop new initiatives with the Voluntary Sector in particular in respect of support to vulnerable children.

[Reference: Cabinet papers, Item 6, paragraph 53(r)]



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. 

Your Say

5 comment(s)

This table lists comments from the public about this proposal


FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

Just wanted to flag up some work we do that DBC senior management might not be aware that we do, but which is of benefit to them – and whether there is scope to get some funding from the VSDF.

We provide support for ‘Looked After Children/Care leavers’ to support them into Education Employment and Training and have been very effective in this area.

Since last summer we have worked with 23 young people and 19 are now engaged in Education, Employment and Apprenticeships.

Think this may be an area of work that DBC would be interested in funding in the future.

Not sure if this is the sort of idea you were looking for and would be happy to provide more information if it was.

FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

This money needs to be looked at more holistically and consideration given to supporting innovative ideas which aim to generate income into the voluntary sector to reverse some of the budget cuts and bring in more than the initial £100k investment. Such ideas could support a wide range of services such as childrens centres, services for vulnerable groups which are facing significant cuts this year.

FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

Our Darlington : A Movement for Collective Responsibility. Why? We believe that the solution to the budget problem lies within the hands of Darlington people. Currently the stability and long term viability of Darlington is threatened by reducing support from central government. As “Our Darlington” we will take back the initiative and take collective responsibility for our community – and change the future, so that it is not the 7th best place to live in the North East, but the best We believe that the budget problem in Darlington is a problem of income not expenditure. Services are being cut to satisfy a budget, not because they are not needed by the people of Darlington. We believe that the austerity agenda demands a radical and imaginative reshaping of the way in which non-statutory services are paid for. The Medium Term Financial Plan runs until 2020, by which it is probable that all non-statutory funding will have disappeared. The absence of non-statutory provision will affect the life quality of every member of the community, both directly and indirectly. To maintain a strong, inclusive and supportive community, in which every citizen (including the vulnerable) has an investment and from which everyone gains, immediate and collective action is required. We believe in local services for local people. We want to live in a town where all citizens are valued and have a place What? A new community income stream. (The “Our Darlington” Fund). Currently, local authority services for people in Darlington are essentially dependent upon two income streams, the central government grant and rates. The proposal is for a third and substantial income stream – a people’s fund, that sustains the fabric of communal living – supporting the vulnerable, sustaining the vital services provided by the voluntary and community sector, but at the same time building upon those things that make Darlington a safe and good place to live, where there flowers on the roundabout, where Christmas is celebrated, where the pride and vibrancy of the community is a magnet for people to invest and put roots down in the town. The “Our Darlington” Fund will benefit every person in Darlington. The loss of services envisaged through the Medium Term Financial Plan will destroy the social infrastructure of the town, making it a far less attractive place to do business, to live, and to spend leisure time. The “Our Darlington” Fund will not be used to supplement Statutory Services The ”Our Darlington” Fund will be the embodiment of true cross-sector partnership, working with the statutory and commercial sectors to achieve a valued and a positive benefit for all - a partnership that empowers the whole community and positively contributes to the wellbeing of all, a partnership which gives back greater control over service decisions and resources to the community in which those services are delivered. How? “Our Darlington” will seek pump-priming finance. Money will be used to pay for professional services to help us reach every Darlington citizen and win hearts and minds. We will create ‘belief’ and ownership of the “Our Darlington” brand as a people’s fund. We will use the strength and reach of the Voluntary and Community Sector to ensure we capture the Darlington audience.” Individuals will be asked to commit to a minimum of £2 / week to the “Our Darlington” Fund as their commitment to Darlington. Mechanism will be put in place to make payment straightforward. (Tentative feasibility conversations with the most vulnerable citizens, those on benefit, as well as those who are better off, suggest unequivocal support for the proposal). Businesses in Darlington will be asked to commit 1% of profits to the “Our Darlington” Fund as their commitment to Darlington. The fund will be promoted as a Civic duty. It will build on the “Our Darlington” core values of civic pride, civic responsibility, civic commitment. Building on shared community values, we will aim to involve Credit Union as actively as possible. “Our Darlington” will belong to the people of Darlington. The Trustees will develop mechanisms to listen to what the community wants in terms of services etc. The Fund will belong to local people – and therefore local people will have mechanisms to directly influence expenditure. Governance of the “Our Darlington” Fund will reside with a Board of Trustees (to be appointed). It will work in partnership with local government, but will be distinct from it. Administration of the Fund will rely primarily upon the skills and knowledge of the voluntary and community sector, while at the same time working with partners (i.e., local authority and commercial sector) to identify needs, to commission and to monitor services – but when it comes to budget time, the community sector would bring not only its expertise but its resources to the table … a true model of co-production”.

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

This is a transcription of comments made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: The current value of homeless prevention work the CAB do is mitigating the local authority’s statutory duty to house, which left unsupported would result in the local authority spending more than £3m. Has the council made provision for the extra cost of this?

A (Cllr Copeland): The CAB offers excellent advice and support, Age UK offers excellent advice and support. We have our own housing options staff within the council and also have our own welfare officers, who assist in making sure people get the right allowances they are entitled to. I appreciate it’s going to be a reduced service. I have the largest part of the council’s budget [in my portfolio], although most of my statutory, I still have to put something in the pot to assist, otherwise we will just wipe out Street Scene altogether and do nothing in parks etc. But, if that’s what you would like, then that’s the suggestion you make – that we save whatever happens in the way of advice to CAB and we stop doing something else. If you want us to keep something, then we have got to let something else go.
A (Cllr Scott): We completely understand the concerns about the impact on the voluntary sector. We’ve got some proposals, some add-backs, because we recognise the value of that sector. One of those is the voluntary sector development fund, where we’ve put aside £100k to develop some of the things like back office and sharing functions between organisations.

Q: I do not want you to stop paying into something to help something else. Why not just reduce things a little and put some of it into CAB?
A (Cllr Dixon): That’s what this exercise is about. We’ve got the Core Offer and we’re trying to find out what we can do as far as the add-backs are concerned.

FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q; This is a great town, there are many volunteers. I want to know how you will decide which voluntary sector areas you will support and which you will not

A: We are doing impact assessments on the impact of all the cuts and the assessments on the voluntary sector are not ready yet. We have done a desk top exercise but we need to hear from them. We understand they do a hugely valuable job. We are already putting an add back of £50k for benefit advice but there is much more to do.