During the recent bout of hot weather, I somehow managed to come down with a cold. I not only felt ill, I also felt ridiculous: I mean who gets a cold in the middle of a heatwave? As I write this, figures have just been released showing that the country’s economy is slowly starting to grow again after the recession. It’s a similar feeling: I’m being told it’s lovely out there but it feels dreadful. No matter what the economic analysis says, when I look around I see incomes reducing, prices rising, services closing and life generally becoming more difficult.
I've mentioned previously that there's a danger that this blog becomes a series of rants about things I'm angry about. Well not today, at least!
Our State of the Voluntary Sector report shows there are over 3000 voluntary and community groups in Manchester. I don't know them all but I do know a lot of them and one of the great pleasures of my job is that I get to see some of the amazing things happening in groups across Manchester and meet some fantastic people.
Since April 2013, North, Central and South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups have taken on responsibility for organising and paying for NHS Mental Health services in Manchester. They have just released their draft commissioning intentions document that describes how they think Mental Health services should look by 2015. You can find out more at their web pagehttp://www.manchester.nhs.uk/commissioning/mental-health-commissioning-i... .
The Health Scrutiny Committee meeting is happening on Thursday at 2pm, Committee room 11 in the Town Hall.
It is a public meeting and anyone can attend.
If you want to ask a question you need to ask the Chair, in advance, to do this, please contact Kate Hines on 0161 234 3071 and she will check with the chair whether they will accept your question. You may be able to ask the chair on the day of the meeting but it is less likely they will say yes. They have a very full agenda on Thursday.
1. In 2012/13 there were 3,093 community and voluntary organisations, co-operatives and social enterprises in Manchester
2. In 2012/13 the total income of the sector was £477 million
3. Medium and large organisations receive 95% of the total sector income
4. 1,987 organisations are micro (with an annual income under £10 thousand)
5. There are 94,300 volunteers in the sector
6. Volunteers give 370,000 hours each week
7. The contribution of volunteers in the sector is valued at £332 million each year
This morning I was in the happy position of being able to present our new research into the state of the voluntary sector in Manchester. It has been a long-held ambition of mine to be able to show the full extent of the enormous contribution which voluntary organisations, community groups, social enterprises and the community work of faith groups make to the city.
Race on the Agenda have started the petition "The British Government: Keep the Public Sector Equality Duty" and need your help to get it off the ground.
If you are affected disproportionately by stop and search policies, school exclusions, poor access to public services or other forms of institutional discrimination, the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is the only provision within the law to fight such institutional discrimination effectively.
When the Work Programme was first introduced as part of the new Welfare to Work agenda the LSEN organised a number of meetings, seminars and events to inform voluntary organisations about the opportunities and risks of getting involved in the Programme as a sub-contractor.
It became clear, early on in these discussions, that the Programme did not recognise the difficulties many people at a distance from the labour market would find in re-engaging in sustained employment.
The Department for Communities and Local Government recently launched a competition to discover and support organisations that can deliver community-based English language programmes in the following identified areas of the North West
Bradford, Kirklees, Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Oldham, Manchester, Rochdale, Pendle
This competition is open to all organisations and further information can be found at:
The Muslim and Jewish Forum Greater Manchester will be hosting it's 5th annual arts event in celebration of International Women's Day 2013 at The Manchester Multifaith Centre. This year's event is bigger than ever with more workshops planned over two weekends! There will be drama, art, dance and creative writing workshops as well as kosher and Asian refreshments!