Voluntary Voice Reports

One of the ways in which the voice of our sector is heard is through the Voluntary Voice programme. Voluntary Voice is the process through which representatives from organisations obtain their mandate to speak on behalf of the sector on various strategic partnerships. Voluntary Voice elections are run every two years, with the last election in 2015.

Devon Voluntary Action (DeVA) co-ordinates communications between representatives and the wider sector. If you would like to receive communications relating to any of the strategic partnerships Contact Us.

After attending any meetings on behalf of the sector, representatives prepare reports. These are sent to the various communities of interest and issues arising are summarised and communicated to appropriate policy and strategic decision makers.

The latest reports are below: 


Devon Strategic Partnership (DSP) reports: 

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  • Devon Strategic Partnership (DSP) Conference March 2017

Diana Crump is the lead Voluntary Voice representative for the Devon Strategic Partnership and under this role co-organised the event with Devon County Council and other DSP Partners.  This year’s theme was collaboration and was attended by over 40 people including good representation from both voluntary sector and public sector influencers.
Main points made during the conference included:
• Sharing good practice examples of voluntary sector collaborative working
• Possible support voluntary sector could offer other public sector organisations
• Showing how the voluntary sector can influence and change outcomes.
Specific examples shared by the voluntary sector included Devon Communities Together’s new pilot project working with the police to support communities and DYS Space Ltd talking about the journey from a public sector organisation to becoming independent of the local authority and bidding successfully for contracts.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) Steering and Development Group


  • JSNA Steering and Development Group Meeting held in October 2018

Nora Corkery attended as the Voluntary Voice representative and highlighted the need for ‘whole system’ partnership work between Devon County Council , Public Health and the voluntary sector in taking forward the new Communities Strategy. Devon Community Profiles are being refreshed and made more interactive and accessible and it was agreed there will be more engagement in Spring 2018 to help people and communities to use them better. They are available via the Devon County Council website at http://www.devonhealthandwellbeing.org.uk/jsna/.

The Health and Well-Being priorities were also outlined as housing, fuel poverty, older people, Homelessness and Mental Health. Adult Social Care Market Position Statement is available to view at https://new.devon.gov.uk/providerengagementnetwork/files/pdf_cache/adults-market-position-statement.pdf

LGBTQ+ and Young People's online toolkits are now available at: https://new.devon.gov.uk/equality/lgbttoolkit


  • JSNA Steering and Development Group Meeting held in March 2017

Nora Corkery attended as the Voluntary Voice Representative and acts as a conduit from the JSNA to the wider voluntary sector. The JSNA Overview data will be updated in May 2017 ready for the Health and Wellbeing Board Meeting in June. The JSNA economic data is being aligned with Devon Economics data - food poverty is a growing area of concern.  It was agreed that data on volunteering will be added into the JSNA overview this year, to identify where there are gaps and/or where extra support may be needed in communities. Data will also be included on domiciliary care users (redacted to protect anonymity).

The JSNA Community Profiles are due to be updated in mid May 2017. Nora requested again that adult personal care data is included in the JSNA Community Profiles on the Devon County Council Website.

Other things of note from the meeting include Barnstaple Diocese has produced an Inequality Report, Supporting Independance 5 Year Strategy will be signed off after local elections in May, Devon Fire and Rescue are refreshing their Integrated Risk and Needs Management Plan and Environmental Health have set up a Migrant Workers Group of regulatory bodies sharing insight on modern slavery etc. 

The next JSNA Steering and Development Group is planned for September. If you would like to provide feedback on the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy or the Health Needs Assessment to the JSNA you can email Nora on ncorkery@devoncommunities.org.uk.

Visit www.devonhealthandwellbeing.org.uk/strategies/


Devon Safeguarding Children's Board reports: 

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  • Devon Safeguarding Children’s Board held in September 2016
    Mark Goodman, led representative, was invited along with all the other DSCB Board Members to be part of the consultation and here proposals in light of the recommendations in the Woods Review and give feedback on these. The proposal on a way forward was agreed to be that:

• There be one partnership for children and young people (the DSCB merges with the Alliance);
• The partnership could be wider than the DCC footprint for certain areas of work;
• There are three strategic priorities, child protection, safeguarding and health and well being;
• There will be a clear separation of functions between coordination (doing) and monitoring (scrutiny).

This proposal would then be submitted to the Alliance Executive and between now and 31.12.2016 detailed work will take place in terms of terms of reference, membership, meetings etc for the new arrangements to be (hopefully) operational from 01.01.2017.


Devon Children Young People and Families Alliance Executive Group reports: 

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  • Children Young People and Families Alliance December  2016

    Mark Goodman and Natalie Coen participated in the meeting. There has been a delay in the proposal for a single strategic partnership following the recommendations in the ‘Woods Review’. It is still envisaged that the new strategic groups would manage the functions previously run by the Alliance and the Safeguarding Children Board and be operational by 1st April 2017.  There is a new Neglect Strategy being developed and will be out for consultation shortly. South Devon and Torbay CCG are leading on the development of a new approach to mental health. Young Minds Resilience Framework is being looked at as a potential way forward and to be adopted by the Alliance. The Young Minds Framework can be found at http://www.youngminds.org.uk/training_services/academic_resilience/what_is_academic_resilience/academic_resilience_framework. Plans are being put in place for the renewal of the Integrated Childrens Sysytem (ICS) contract in 2018 which is currently held by Virgin Care.


Safer Devon Partnership reports: 

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  • Safer Devon Partnership - Operational Delivery Group January 2018

Meeting of the Safer Devon Partnership Operational Delivery Group brings together Police, Fire, Local Authority Officers and Community Safety Partnerships. Greg Davis as the Voluntary Voice Representative is the only VCS attendee.
Agenda items are wide ranging with the key items this meeting:
Suicide Prevention: The risk of suicide is seen as principally a health (mental health) issue. A Strategy Group led by DCC and including key VCS organisations, Blue Lights and Health, has developed a Suicide Prevention Implementation Plan. It recognises that potential suicide needs to be tackled at community level and this will involve local VCS groups. There are a range of leaflets and training opportunities available for groups to access. The Suicide Intervention Toolkit developed by North Devon CSP is highly recommended. Also well worth watching on the tedxexeter website is the 2017 presentation from Gill Hayes.

Substance Misuse and DSVA (Domestic, Sexual Violence and Abuse): Devon’s stated ambition is to end DSVA. The SDP recognises there are several local DSVA forums doing good work across the county. However there is no central record of these. It would be helpful to record what groups exist, who’s involved, how often they meet, how they link into local Community Safety Partnerships …. Contracts have just been tendered for each of the above services. The tenders were developed as a result of extensive stakeholder engagement. The new contracts have been awarded to local organisations on a 5 year plus 2 + 1 + 1 demonstrating long term commitment. The contracts follow a new model in that they are not fully defined from the outset but will develop as the programmes progress.

Child Sexual Exploitation: CSE is positioned within the wider Children and Families Board which has a CSE Sub Group. The CSE Sub Group has developed a strategy and is considering priorities. At present the service seems to be disjointed. Many of the Local Authorities follow their own policies with little joined up working. The CSE Sub Group will circulate and ask the different areas to identify their policies/practices across a range of themes. The CSE Sub Group will then respond by identifying what it considers to be the key priorities. CSP/LAs will take advice from these priorities and focus their interventions in these areas.

  • Safer Devon Partnership - Opertional Delivery Group November 2017

Greg Davis attended the latest Safer Devon Partnership, Operational Delivery Group meeting on 8th November which was primarily to discuss the Spending Plan for 2018/19. There were discussions about insufficient clarity about progress in meeting expected outcomes and there was an overriding feeling that it would be inappropriate to just allocate on a similar basis to 2017/18 and that more innovative ways of using the funding available should be looked at to meet the emerging priorities.

At the meeting the issue of voluntary sector representation was also revisited. The question was again raised as to the relevance of the voluntary sector to the Safer Devon Partnership agenda. Greg reminded the Group the voluntary sector is very active in addressing many of the priorities within their Strategic Aims and this was acknowledged. The Group went on to suggest that with the reduction in resources at an agency level there would be increasing reliance on volunteering in general. Greg continued to reminded the Group that this is a key function of the voluntary sector, helping to build local resilience. It was agreed that the Safer Devon Partnership Operational Delivery Group would welcome a voluntary sector representative at their meetings, which could be facilitated through the Voluntary Voice programme.

  • Safer Devon Partnership - Opertional Delivery Group September 2017

The Safer Devon Partnership is currently undergoing a restructuring process and the role of the mandated representative through Voluntary Voice is part of that process. In February 2017, the Safer Devon Partnership decided to reduce the size of the Board in order for it to be more efficient and more strategic.

Greg Davis is the lead mandated representative for this partnership has been advocating the importance of the voluntary sector in supporting the delivery of the strategic priorities of the partnership during the restructuring.

Along side the Safer Devon Partnership Board an Operational Delivery Group has been developed to support the priorities. Voluntary Voice is currently engaged in this group with Greg attending the meetings as it develops but is a rather loose arrangement that doesn’t live up to current expectations of Voluntary Voice.

Greg spoke strongly for the need for the voluntary sector to be part of the Safer Devon Partnership agenda and it was agreed to keep the voluntary sector informed of what issues are emerging at an earlier stage so that they can engage in the discussions and feedback through Greg as the mandated representative.

Local Community Safety Partnerships and voluntary sector engagement was also raised as there is varying degrees of success around the county. DeVA will take this point forward and see how the sector can participate at a local level better.

  • Safer Devon Partnership Meeting held in September 2016

The draft Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse (DSVA) Strategy for Devon  - Devon's Vision 2016-2021 was discussed. The intention is to end DSVA with the current focus on crime and victims of crime in crisis, risk and harm reduction. The need for more focus on prevention and perpetrators and early intervention was highlighted. Make every contact count - enable disclosure: ask 'are you safe?'. There are three action groups working to develop the proposals further. 

Future Role and Purpose of the Safer Devon Partnership was also on the agenda (full paper available through Voluntary Voice). It is intended to look at: Vision, Priorities, Leadership and Governance and Delivery. Facilitated workshop planned for later this year. 

Serious and Organised Crime Local Profiles (OCLPs) are produced by police for use by Community Safety Partnerships. They would like more involvement of the voluntary sector - Community Safety Partnerships will identify gaps in representation and an approach will then be made via Voluntary Voice for support. 

  • Safer Devon Partnership Meeting held in May 2016
    Greg Davis, Lead Representative, attended this meeting. There is a new campaign being launched called ‘Be Curious’ which will cover the Prevent agenda plus Child Abuse and Domestic Abuse - main message ‘if you see it, report it’. The partnership has continued funding the ARID project for another year. If any organisation is making use of the ARID data please advise Greg as your representative, because if the data is not used the partnership will consider removing support next year. There are 36 Child Sexual Exploitation training events planned across Devon. If you would like more information on them please contact your local Community Safety Partnership.


Devon Local Nature Partnership reports: 

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  • Devon Loca Nature Partnership Meeting held in October 2017

Lyn Winter attended as the lead representative and input into discussions on opportunities to offer information on good practice and signposting on green infrastructure and natural capitol to the Neighbourhood Planning process. Lyn also contributed on how to consult widely for priorities for he next prospectus (2019 onwards), with increased focused on nature and people/communities.

There are two new board members on the partnership: Ian Vosper from South West Water represents businesses in Devon and Mark Williams, CE of East Devon Council.

The partnership is inputting to the consultation on DEFRA’s 25 Year Strategy and is producing a Natural Capital Advocacy document which aims to communicate the relevance of Natural Capital to partners in the Heart of the South West. The meeting also agreed to plan a conference in mid March 2018.

  • Devon Local Nature Partnership Meeting held in June 2017

    Lyn Winter attended as Lead Rep. She gave feedback on the MARVL project (GP referrals to the Voluntary Sector).  Similar challenges are being evidenced through GP referral schemes to environmental projects.

    Items discussed included the Devon State of the Environment Summary Document which is about to be updated by the Environment and Resilience Group at DCC. It can be viewed at: http://www.naturaldevon.org.uk/state-of-the-environment. The thirteen themed papers give more detail. Groups can consider definitions in the Devon State of the Environment Paper and feedback to Sarah Jennings or Doug Eltham at DCC.

    The Environment Viewer, an online GIS type mapping app with current data held, can be found at: http://map.devon.gov.uk/DCCViewer.  This will be developed and updated as data allows. Please promote this tool widely.

    The North Devon Pioneer Projects are going ahead with baseline information being finalized and themes and plans being agreed.  The LNP role will be to help disseminate information.

    The first draft of the HotSW Productivity Plan didn’t mention green ambitions or Natural Capital.  Harry Barton (Devon Wildlife Trust) is working with a working group to look at how the environment can be included.

    Formal Outdoor Learning for children is now being linked to rigorous outcomes based planning and evaluation.

    Naturally Healthy Month.  The project is now being evaluated.  Active Devon currently have a bid submitted for funding aimed at getting inactive over 55s active for 30mins (moderate intensity) per week.  

    A review of Pinpoint, the DCC searchable online directory for Community Groups, is being undertaken.

    New Business Sector Representative on Devon Local Nature Partnership Board will be Ian Voicey, Director at SWW. 

  • Devon Local Nature Partnership Meeting held in April 2017

Lyn Winter as Voluntary Voice Lead representative for the partnership attended. She gave information on Green Infrastructure priorities for local authorities and links to the neighbourhood planning process. The partnership is looking at putting together an advocacy document with advice on ensuring a natural capitol approach to strategic development. £5k has been applied for inclusion of Natural Capital at a strategic level. South West Partnership for Environment and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) academic project has secured funding (for more information see https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/news/experts-secure-_5-million-grant-to-protect-and-enhance-the-south-wests-natural-capital)
The HotSW LEP white paper is now being consulted on: http://heartofswlep.co.uk/projects/south-west-local-enterprise-partnerships-new-rural-productivity-commission-seeks-views-rural-businesses

Lyn gave feedback on Dementia Friends awareness session delivered to project workers and on new partnership working with Alzheimer’s Society she facilitated as voluntary sector rep. She also ensured key voluntary sector dates such as Volunteers’ Week are added to the comms and social media plan.
The partnership is still seeking a business representative to sit on the Board.

Dates for Diary:
May 2017 is Naturally Healthy Month with a target audience of older people who are inactive. Details of events in Devon that are outdoors can be added at: http://www.naturaldevon.org.uk/naturallyhealthy2017
Tweet #whendidyoulast..... #haveyouever......

July is Get Devon Buzzing Month. There is a Build for Bees competition at: http://www.naturaldevon.org.uk/devons-natural-environment/pollinators



 For reports from 2016, 2015 and 2014 click here to view the archive.