A message from Khadiru, MVSC's CEO

It is summer, although it has felt more like the rainy season. Yet, I hope it hasn’t dampened your spirits.

August is traditionally the month when we are looking forward to a holiday, have just come back from holiday or wishing we were on holiday. Those at work tend to think things will slow down, with at least fewer meetings and maybe, time to declutter.

From my experience so far, I have not seen much evidence of things slowing down. I have even had to reschedule my decluttering day, not much success there yet!

So, what’s been happening?

East Merton Model of Health and Wellbeing
After the series of community conversations, work has been going on to develop the scope for health and community services at the Wilson Hospital site. The Wilson Programme Board will soon provide further information and engage the community and stakeholders on the emerging plans.

Social Prescribing Pilot
The one year pilot at the Wideway and Tamworth GP Centres have been making very good strides, with GPs referring many patients to local community services. A joint meeting with community navigators, care navigators, health professionals and voluntary sector organisations in July explored the various models, how they are working and collaborating, and opportunities for future service coordination and shared resources. The highlight was the testimony from two people who have directly benefited from referrals and seen marked improvement to their wellbeing through voluntary sector advice, support and volunteering. The pilot is being evaluated to provide evidence of its successes and challenges, and to inform future plans.

MVSC Enterprise
This is a new trading arm of MVSC. It will undertake trading activities to generate funds which could be gift-aided to the MVSC charity. This venture is in significant step in the direction of diversifying MVSC’s income and achieving sustainability.

MVSC membership, service offer and training programme
MVSC has not operated a formal membership scheme for a while. Current membership is therefore ad hoc with many local organisations not fully aware whether they are MVSC members or not.  We want to change this and will be sending information about our proposals soon to all voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations on our database.

We are also developing a revised service offer and training programme that will be linked to our membership offer. We want to hear your views and suggestions, so please look out for the information and respond!

Merton Accord - Health and Social Care Consortium
Over the past few months, we have been working with the Health & Social Care Forum Steering Group to develop a consortium with the ambition, scale, scope and reach to bid for contracts to deliver services for residents. The Steering Group members have tested their ideas with senior procurement and commissioning offers from Merton Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group and housing associations. The feedback was positive and encouraging.

Merton Accord will be formally launched in the autumn. The membership prospectus will tell you all you need to know. Meanwhile, if you want to know more information, please contact Naomi Martin; Naomi@commonside.net

On a regional basis, I am on a Task and Finish Group of the London CVS Directors’ Network which will be developing a five year plan for CVSs, including looking at how we are resourced to serve local organisations and how we could collaborate across borough boundaries.

Finally, keep a look out for the Merton Partnership Small Grants in October 2017.