This self-organised partnership provides the infrastructure for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector at a West of England level. Established in 2011, the West of England Civil Society Partnership brings together the following umbrella organisations; CVS South Gloucestershire, The Care Forum, Voluntary Action North Somerset, Voscur, Wesport and West of England Rural Network.

The role of the Partnership

  • Brings together VCSE organisations across Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire
  • Represents and promotes the sector’s role in the provision of Inclusive Growth, in terms of wellbeing, jobs, skills and learning opportunities
  • And in this way plays a critical role to enable the West of England to grow in a way that includes all people in society.

Achievements of the Partnership

  • Supported the development of and work of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
  • Supported the development of the LEP Economic Strategy, in particular the approach to supporting Social Inclusion
  • Enabled the development of and supported a successful grant application to the EU Social Fund Building Better Opportunities programme led by Weston College, which has secured £6 million of funding
  • Enabled activity delivered by 25 local VCSE organisations across the West of England to support people furthest from work.

The Partnership’s current work

  • Has representatives that sit on the EU Structural Investment Funds Committee
  • Has membership of the LEP Skills Group and the Rural and Social Enterprise Sector Group
  • Is involved in consultation groups to support the development of the Industrial Strategy including meetings with Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • Now focusing on supporting the VCSE to engage with the new West of England Mayoral Combined Authority