Elevating the Role of the Voluntary Sector Within the ICS to a Transformational Partnership of Equals
A letter from Marianne Grant, VCS Partnership and Engagement Lead
"To my fellow colleagues across the Voluntary Sector in Telford and Wrekin. Let me take this opportunity to say ‘hello’ and to introduce myself and the exciting project I will be leading.
For those who haven’t come across me yet, I’m Marianne Grant the new Voluntary Sector Engagement and Partnership Lead based at Meeting Point House. Over the coming 12 months, I will be working to embed the VCS firmly within the Integrated Care System – no mean feat, I’m sure you’ll agree.
To fill you in on progress to date; since signing a Memorandum of Understanding back in 2021, the sectors have been working more closely together. But it will be my role to crystallise this approach, formalise our structures, and ensure we are taking full advantage of every opportunity that comes our way.
All of this work will elevate the role of the sector with organisations across the ICS but will ultimately aim to benefit our communities – something I am passionate about. Just a little bit about me - I have lived in Telford for most of my life and for the last 11 years my career has taken me across to Wolverhampton and Staffordshire. I recently made the decision to return to the county that I love, and I’m very excited to be in post and leading on this project.
I have over 15 years of experience working in partnership and community development and during this time have had the opportunity to lead on projects relating to employment and skills, addressing health inequalities and developing initiatives that engage and empower communities to make a difference.
I only started my role mid-March and I’m excited to start making a difference to this new and collaborative way of working. My role is funded for a fixed term period of 12 months, and I’m fully aware that I will not be able to do this alone. It will take a big shift in perspective to truly embrace this change.
As I’m sure you’ll agree, it is widely recognised that partnership working between ICS organisations and the VCS makes complete sense and is the right thing to do. We now need to work hard to make this happen, with willingness and confidence to do things differently and to improve on what has gone before.
I see this as a new dawn for the VCS and am incredibly excited to be leading the change. My work will centre on the development of what we call ‘enabling structures’ so that organisations and, in turn, sections of our populations have a greater voice at the decision table.
To give you a flavour of my plans; I want to focus on strengthening the VCSE Alliance over the coming months which I see as an opportunity for more engagement as well as networking opportunities for the sector. I also want to seek out funding opportunities to continue the VCSE’s good work and ultimately begin to enable the sector to move into clearer focus for collaboration opportunities in the future.
It’s a big piece of work but I am excited to move forwards and work with you make progress towards this vision. For all VCS colleagues, if you would like to reach out to find out more on the above or drop me a line to understand my role a little more, please do get in touch.
It would be great to hear from you. My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org"