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Cheltenham Voluntary and Community Sector Forum

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					      Cheltenham Voluntary and Community Sector Forum
            Notes from meeting held at Community Resource Centre
                                11th June 2009

Present: Angela Gilbert (Cheltenham VCA); Bernice Thomson (Cheltenham West
End Partnership); Chris Hickey (Vision 21); Celia Wear (Hester’s Way Partnership);
Doreen Spiers (Friends of Springfield); Hazel Lonsdale (Third Sector Services);
Hazel Kitchin (The Gardens Gallery CIC); Hilary James (Cheltenham Disability
Forum); Jerry Evans (Cheltenham YMCA); Jill Poppleton (Friends of Rowanfield);
Kathy Tasker (Young Gloucestershire); Les Bonney (St Vincent’s & St George’s);
Malcolm Gardiner (Langley House Trust); Michael Dower (St Philip and St James
Area Residents’ Association); Mike Hayes; Miranda Steele (People & Places in
Gloucestershire CIC); Nicola Dean (Cheltenham VCA); Sue Dove (Friends of
Rowanfield); Wendy Ellyatt (Cheltenham Connect)

Apologies: Alison Bendall (Friends of Springbank); Andy Hayes (Hester’s Way
Partnership); Carol Cross (Cheltenham Borough Council); David Wallace
(Cheltenham YMCA); Deacon Robin Littlewood (St Gregory’s Church); Fran
Dancyger (Mencap); Kath Chamberlain (Cheltenham Borough Council); Kevin
Devaney (Hester’s Way Neighbourhood Project); Nick Edwards (Cheltenham Tree
Group); Peter Guns (Gloucestershire Boys’ Brigade)

1. Notes of last meeting held 2nd March 2009 – all correct

2. Matters arising:

Fiesta in the Park
        Saturday 4th July in Pittville Park from 1pm – 6.30pm
        Organisations that would like to have a stall should contact
           carol.cross@cheltenham.gov.uk
        Groups that work with children who would like to be part of opening
           procession should contact Zareen.ahmed@cheltenham.gov.uk
        Free bus service from Rowanfield School, Coronation Square, Springbank
           Road, Gardners Lane & Town Hall. To book a seat contact Emily Adams
           01242 774791

Mencap – ‘Changing Places Toilet’
Fran Dancyger sent her apologies and updated the Forum with Mencap's 'Changing
Places toilet' campaign. Gloucestershire County Council has agreed to install a
'Changing Places toilet' in each of its 6 localities using the capital from the 'Aiming
High for Disabled Children'. Fran would like to thank people for their interest and
especially to those who offered support with the campaign.

4. Speaker: Kath Chamberlain
Head of Service – Stronger Communities Cheltenham Borough Council

Unfortunately Kath was unwell and unable to attend the meeting. In her absence the
Forum noted some of questions they would have raised.

Questions/Issues:
   1. When would the VCS Forum receive a response to their paper sent in Nov 08
       following a request to comment on the proposed changes to Community
       Development team at CBC?
   2. Will there be a report from the Community Development conference?
   3. Would it be better to encourage an ‘organic’ development of
      area/neighbourhoods? The issue of Neighbourhood Management could be a
      discussion topic (including existing structures e.g. police neighbourhood
      meetings).
   4. Rather than a rigid division of the town into 3 specific areas for the CBC
      community development team to work in, the Forum again re-confirmed it’s
      view that a ‘team approach’ would allow the staff to work where there was
      identified need for support and would also allow for team members to develop
      specialisms that could be used across the town.
   5. The relationship between CBC workers and the neighbourhood partnerships
      and each others role within all of this needs to be discussed. Recognising the
      work that the partnerships already carry out, the Forum was keen to ensure
      that there was no duplication of services.
   6. Michael Dower suggested that a special VCS Forum meeting be arranged
      with Kath Chamberlain to discuss these questions and to listen to CBC plans
      for community development. This was agreed.                   ACTION AG

5. Low Carbon Partnership Event – Chris Hickey
Chris Hickey wears several ‘hats’ but on this occasion was representing Vision 21, a
vcs sustainability organisation. Chris sits on the Low Carbon Partnership which aims
to encourage the reduction of energy and carbon emissions. The public and private
sector are already working towards these goals and the Partnership is looking to
support the participation of voluntary and community sector.

To this end an event has been organised at Pittville Pump Room on Wednesday 30th
September from 9am – 1pm. The event will include presentations, exhibitors,
equipment suppliers and local organisations giving information and advice.
Organisations attending the event have the opportunity to apply for 50% funding, up
to a maximum of £500, to buy energy saving equipment. To book a place contact
office@vision21.org.uk

As part of this support Chris showed the Forum the Voluntary Sector Telephone
Survey June/July 2009 called ‘Reducing Carbon Emissions’. The Partnership has
asked Vision 21 to contact all VCS groups for their response.

The Forum was also encouraged to read a document produced by Gloucestershire
Assembly’s VCS Environment Strategy Group, entitled Voluntary and Community
Organisations and Sustainability.


6. VCS Reps Feedback - see www.gavca.org.uk (Cheltenham pages) for full
reports
In order for people to be prepared for the Forum it was agreed at the meeting in
March that in future the papers for the Forum, including vcs reps feedback, be
emailed prior to the meeting. Cheltenham VCA requested a prompt confirmation of
intention to attend the Forum in order to get information out in time.

Additional comments:
There were no additional comments but Angela Gilbert thanked all 2008/9 reps for
their hard work.

7. Nominations and Elections for VCS Reps
As the number of nominations received meant that an election did not need to take
place, the Forum was asked for ratification of the nominations for the VCS
representative positions as listed in the ‘nominees’ document (see www.gavca.org.uk
Cheltenham pages).

Additional comments:
        The Strategic Economic Partnership may request an additional vcs rep in
          the future.
        Wendy Ellyatt from Cheltenham Connect might be able to offer a vcs rep
          for the Low Carbon Partnership in the near future.

The Forum ratified the nominations and Angela thanked all those who had
offered to stand.

8. VCS News and Events, Issues and Concerns

 Langley House Trust – Malcolm Gardiner
  Service Users thoroughly enjoying Open Art exhibitions in town as they are able
  to exhibit alongside professional artists and be paid for their work. Trust exhibiting
  in St Marks Church
 Friends of Rowanfield – Sue Dove & Jill Poppleton
  Hoping to be able to offer more in Rowanfield in future e.g. drop in sessions, as
  they now have some funding & support
 St Philip and St James Area Residents’ Association – Michael Dower
   About to start work at Norwood Triangle to improve the triangular space, at
      the junction of Gratton Road, Upper Norwood Street and Norwood Road, as
      they have a grant of £43,000; have worked in cooperation with CBC and GCC
   Pioneered direct cooperation with CBC & GCC to clean drains in area & take
      responsibility for moving cars etc. Other residents’ associations are copying
      idea.
   Would like to work with residents’ associations in other areas of Cheltenham
 Cheltenham Connect – Wendy Ellyatt
  This group started in February 2009 in south Cheltenham. Aim is to empower
  residents in the area & restore ‘soul’ of community in 4 ways – Buy local, Go
  Green, SkillSpace, Community. Would also like to start a youth section in the
  future www.cheltenhamconnect.co.uk/
 The Gardens Gallery – Hazel Kitchin
  Hazel, in addition to the Gardens Gallery, also sits on the CBC Social &
  Community Overview & Scrutiny Committee, which holds their meetings around
  the town; all meetings open to public; Hazel encouraged people to attend
 Young Gloucestershire V Project – Kathy Tasker
  Kathy works in schools, colleges & with youth groups & would like to hear of
  volunteering opportunities within voluntary organisations for these young people
 Cheltenham YMCA – Jerry Evans
  YMCA going through big changes to raise its profile; Family Space now part of
  YMCA.
 Cheltenham Disability Forum – Hilary James
  The Forum will hold its AGM & Open Meeting on Thursday 25th June at the Civil
  Service Club, 2 – 4pm
 Third Sector Services – Hazel Lonsdale
   Volunteer Centre saturated with volunteers at the moment
   Hope to receive funding through Gloucestershire Infrastructure Group (lottery
      funding) to help people with volunteer management skills
   Snapper – services of young photographers provided free to VCS groups
   Nifty Knitters – older people in town helping youngsters in schools with
      knitting & sewing skills
       External adverts on 30 Gloucestershire buses promoting volunteering has
        been well received; internal adverts are on all other buses in county
 St Vincent’s & St George’s – Les Bonney
    Les emphasised that the 2 groups had merged to provide care for complete
    range of disabilities; consent to expand premises recently reported in The Echo
 People & Places in Gloucestershire CIC – Miranda Steele
Miranda spoke about NLDC (The Neighbourhood Learning in Deprived Communities)
and how the Cheltenham project ‘Working towards Work’ is focussing on
unemployed adults (19+) with mental health issues and activities that could help their
progress towards work. Miranda invited referrals from any organisation working with
individuals or groups who may benefit from this support people.places@tiscali.co.uk
 Cheltenham West End Partnership (CWEP) – Bernice Thomson
     Residents’ Forum becoming very popular with 30 attending the last meeting
     Photographic competition to be organised in Community Resource Centre;
        open to everyone in Cheltenham.
     ‘West End Week’ (organised by Cheltenham Tidy Group) 13th – 19th July
        culminating in a community picnic in Winston Churchill Gardens on Sunday
        19th July (part of ‘The Big Lunch’)

9. Volunteer of the Year Award
    To be held on Wednesday 21st October
    3 categories – Volunteer of the Year, Team of the Year, Trustee of the Year
      with cheque for the winner’s organisation
    Elaine Hodgin worked hard to promote VOY awards during Volunteer Week
    Nominations accepted until 31st August 2009. Forms available from
      www.gavca.org.uk
    Angela encouraged people to nominate others
    Chelsea Building Society have again agreed to sponsor the awards

10. Any other business
        Awards for All Events
       The Big Lottery will be coming to Cheltenham & Gloucester with its Awards
       for All roadshow; date for Cheltenham is 22nd July; information to follow
        GrantNet
        This is a straightforward free to use service from GRANTfinder which can
       help groups to identify suitable funding for activities or projects. Follow the link
       http://www.cheltenham.gov.uk/grantnet
        Training Bursary
       Cheltenham Stronger Communities Partnership has a small amount of money
       to offer a bursary of up to £150 per organisation for vcs groups to attend
       GAVCA training; Contact angelag@gavca.org.uk New GAVCA training
       brochure out in August

11. 2009 meeting dates:

       Tuesday 15th September          Venue to be confirmed

       Thursday 3rd December