We currently have four senior leaders from the VCS who have been elected as Involvement Partners by our full members.
They aim to bring a loud voice to the VCS by introducing Involvement Partners to represent the sector at strategic level. Ensuring the sector has a place at the table where discussions are held, and decisions are made, it is vital to have VCS representation, as it informs and positively influences how local public services are developed and delivered.
What does a VCS Involvement Partner do?
VCSIP play a key role in giving the voluntary and community sector a voice. Our Connect team work closely with them to ensure:
- they are clear about their role
- they recognise they are working on behalf of the VCS and not for self-interest
- key information is being fed back effectively across the network
- views of the VCS are discussed appropriately within the meetings.
All VCIPS are provided with a role description and training and are fully supported by both our Connect team and our senior adviser.
Who are they?
Our VCS Involvement Partners have breadth of knowledge, experience and passion in supporting communities, championing the VCS and ensuring they have a voice and a seat at the table.
Karen Loftus, CEO of Community Action Network – Health and Wellbeing Board (BCP), Local Resilience Forum (pan-Dorset), Vibrant Communities Partnership Board (BCP), Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (South West), Our Dorset Integrated Care Board and the Our Dorset Integrated Care Partnership Board
Transformation Lead, Community Action Network – BCP Council’s Family Hub Governance Board. Rachel joined CAN in August 2022 after working in the public sector for the past 28 years and has a passion for health and wellbeing. She started her career in education and most recently worked in children’s services at Dorset Council, taking on several roles during her time there.
Partnership Manager, Community Action Network – BCP Council’s Family Hub Transformation Governance Board, Family Hub Transformation Communications, Marketing and Communities (BCP Council) and the Early Help Partnership Board (BCP Council). Emma joined CAN in September 2020 and has over 10 years’ experience within the voluntary and community sector. She is passionate about the work and impact VCS organisations have on both the communities it works directly with and the wider impact it can have by ensuring people’s voices are heard.
Action for Children – Children and Young Peoples Partnership Board (BCP). Lynn has been working at Action for Children for over 16 years and brings a wealth of experience and passion having been involved in developing and managing lots of different services for children and families in Dorset during this time.
CEO of SEDCAT – Dorset & BCP Joint Safeguarding Adult Board (BCP representative). SEDCAT is a local transport charity working with many different types of vulnerable adults in addition to this Natascha has over 10 years of experience dealing with vulnerable people with a disability.
CEO of Escapeline – Missing, Exploited and Trafficked (MET) Panel (BCP). Escapeline is a unique and specialist charity supporting and preventing young people being exploited by criminal gangs, known as county lines through training and education to professionals, young people, parents and the community. As well as 1-1 support to young people involved in county lines and support to parents whose children have been exploited by criminal gangs.
Lisa set up the charity in 2019, after identifying so many children were being exploited by county line gangs. Consequently, Lisa has a wealth of knowledge and experience that she is keen to share and support better partnership working to protect children and young people of BCP.
Charity Manager of West Howe Community Enterprises – BCP Council’s Partnerships Coordination Strategy Group (part of the Community Safety Partnership). Julie is passionate about representing the VCS as she believes it is important to have representation across all sectors when working in partnership. She has 18 years’ experience of working in the Justice system for the Public Sector and now having been with WHCE for 18 months, have gained much experience in the voluntary and community sector.