This has been a functional kind of week, writing reports for Trustees – Risk Register and so on.
But I had an interesting private meeting with a County Councillor to convey my views about how things are going which is…stickily, by which I mean the voluntary sector is under pressure financially and organisationally and the opportunities afforded by Localism, outsourcing and so on seem limited. Nevertheless, a well-informed colleague from a member organisation was expressing optimistic views to me about the opportunities for the voluntary sector from the current County Council youth work contracts, but I guess it depends if our member organizations do in fact win them - I am sure they’ll win some.
We are about to launch a marketing campaign to new member prospects using our very smart new folders into which to put material about who we are, what we do, our offer and the benefits accruing to members.
On Thursday evening I did some consultancy work with a brilliant member organisation – Guildford CHIPS – an Easter/ Summer play scheme in the high priority ward of Westborough. They have two successive “Outstanding” Oftsted reports. Interestingly, last year by this stage they had received bookings for over 300 day places from Social Services but to date they had just 2 referrals. Equally, they were finding that whereas last year parents were booking at a week or two at a time for their kids, now it was just one day or two - an interesting reflection on the impact of cuts and the recession. The challenge for CHIPS is that their Lottery funding expires next March…what to do was the issue.
I am walking 12 miles over the Sussex Downs (again) with my former Vicar who is walking the bounds from his current parish in Redhill to all his former parishes, so we’re walking from Midhurst to Chichester ..sunshine and heavy showers forecast ..which just about sums up where we are …mixed fortunes.
Enjoy what you do this week- end