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Voscur: for Bristol's voluntary and community sector

23 July 2014

Voscur's mission is to support, develop and represent Bristol's voluntary and community sector, as a whole. They build the capacity of and advocate on behalf of local organisations so they can improve the quality of life of individuals and communities. They facilitate partnerships within and between the public, private and voluntary sectors to create social impact, reduce public spending and increase social capital.

Voscur was formed in 1995 and is a Bristol-based charity. It's slightly strange name is an abbreviation for Voluntary Organisations Standing Conference on Urban Renewal, which references their routes in the urban renewal of Bristol in the 1980s. Though the acronym no longer applies, the name and organisation remains a very well-known brand in Bristol's voluntary and community sector (VCS).

They are primarily funded by Bristol City Council but also attract other commissions, which have included NHS England, Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, Avon & Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner, Equality & Human Rights Commission and the Big Lottery Fund.

Their work supporting the VCS in Bristol is wide and varied, and includes:

  • A support hub team working one to one with charities to improve their performance or upscale their activities
  • Training - a full programme of VCS related training topics runs throughout the year
  • Information on a wide range of topics, via their resources page, e-bulletins and briefings and online directories, with specific information going to bespoke networks such as health and social care
  • Sector news via their e-bulletin, which goes to more than 2,500 people, online notice board and events calendar
  • Speaking up for sector wide interests - advocating on behalf of the sector and bringing the perspective of Bristol VCS to strategic partners
  • Brokering strategic partnerships

Their website includes a noticeboard, directory of Bristol-based community groups (715 at the last count), and a popular jobs page.

Their health and social care network coordinator keeps the sector informed of local and national initiatives and programmes, and works to promote the 'VCS offer' - advocating for recognition of the skills, perspective and community links that the VCS can bring to any collaborative work programme.

Their work is often described as a bridge between statutory and quasi-statutory stakeholders and the 2,000 plus groups that make up the Bristol voluntary and community sector. Their roots in urban renewal and bespoke work with equalities in Bristol mean they have a wide reach across the diverse city.

To find out more about their work, sign up to the e-bulletin or use their directories and events pages at www.voscur.org.

Voscur: for Bristol's voluntary and community sector
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