As you may be aware, earlier this year the City Council launched a competitive tendering process for the contract to provide support to the city's voluntary and community sector for the next three years.
We are delighted to announce that Macc has been awarded this contract.
The new contract combines all the elements of support which Macc and partners have developed since 2009: capacity building support for local voluntary and community groups, support for the engagement and influence of the local sector and the Volunteer Centre. These services are delivered under the banner of “Manchester Community Central” which is the platform established by Macc in 2009.
All these services are accessible through our online portal www.manchestercommunitycentral.org or on 0333 321 3021.
There are three main service areas:
• Capacity building: support groups to set up, to bid for and generate funds, to train staff, put the right policies in place and develop their future planning. A key element of the service is helping groups to respond to new commissioning methods. Macc will develop a "kitemark" to support groups in being accredited providers. The contract includes a requirement to encourage larger voluntary sector organisations to nurture and support smaller ones. It also supporting organisations to exercise the Community Rights to Bid and Challenge and Community Asset Transfer. (The Manager of this service is Tracey Rawlins.)
• Volunteering: Volunteer Centre Manchester provides support to people wishing to find opportunities to get involved in volunteering and in supporting groups looking to recruit volunteers. The service has a strategic role in developing volunteering in the city as well as offering support, information and training to Manchester people who want to volunteer. The contract has an emphasis on volunteering as a stepping stone to employment. The Volunteer Centre will now also provide support for some of the Council's volunteering programmes and will take over and run the Commonwealth Games legacy programme Manchester Event Volunteers. (The Manager of this service is Mark Pritchard.)
• Engagement: Macc has now established a Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly to bring together local groups to have a voice and share ideas, opportunities and resources. The Assembly is facilitated by Macc and includes a range of activities including a quarterly event which is open to all groups in the city. Through the Assembly, Macc will support representation of the voluntary and community sector on key strategic partnership bodies. This aspect of the service maintains the relationship between the Council and the local voluntary and community sector and includes a requirement to review and update the Manchester Compact. It also requires Macc to work to increase the connections between the private and third sectors in the city. (The Manager of this service is Beth Plant.)
All of these services and a host of additional resources such as a funding search facility, factsheets, training opportunities, jobs, news and our weekly ebulletin are available through www.manchestercommunitycentral.org or via 0333 321 3021.
Mike Wild, Chief Executive of Macc said:
“I’m so thrilled Macc has been awarded this contract. When we launched our Manchester Community Central service in 2009 I said that it was “version 1” and promised it would develop. We then made further changes at Macc during 2011 and 2012 including setting up the Volunteer Centre and conducting the first ever State of the Sector survey in Manchester. For me, having been successful in winning this new version of the contract is a recognition that we really have succeeded in what we’ve tried to do over the last four years: build an organisation which supports, nurtures and celebrates our local voluntary and community sector and plays a major role in the life of Manchester.
There are challenges in this for us: like the rest of our sector, we have to do more and more with decreasing resources but I am also aware that this gives Macc some stability over the next three years. That’s very precious in the current climate and I promise we’ll put it to good use. Macc’s aim is not simply to deliver this contract but to continue to champion and strengthen the difference that our sector makes in the city.
I would like to applaud the City Council for maintaining investment in support for the voluntary and community sector with so many other pressures on public sector budgets. This acknowledges the role of the sector in the city and that a thriving voluntary and community sector is vital to Manchester’s future.”
Liz Goodger, VCS Development Manager in the Directorate for Children and Commissioning Services at Manchester City Council said:
“Our investment in this service demonstrates our commitment to building a strong and resilient third sector that can work with us to help our residents be more self-sufficient and less dependent on public services.”
If you have work that you think Macc could help you with, or if you have any questions about this contract, please contact us.