Elevating the role of the Voluntary Sector within the ICS to a transformational partnership of equals

Hi, for those who don’t know me, I’m Marianne Grant.

I’m the new Voluntary Sector Engagement and Partnership Lead, and alongside colleagues across the sector, I will be working to embed the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector firmly within the Integrated Care System – no mean feat, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Since signing a Memorandum of Understanding back in 2021, the sectors have been working more closely together, but it will be my role to crystalise the approach, formalise our structures, and ensure we are taking advantage of every opportunity that comes our way - ultimately for the benefit of our communities, a topic which I am passionate about.

I only began my role earlier this month and am 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 am fully aware that I will not be able to do this alone - it will take an ICS-wide shift in perspective to truly embrace this change.

It is widely recognised that partnership working with the VCSE makes complete sense for our system 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 VCSE in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin 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.

Over the next year I will be focusing on the development of a VCSE Alliance – more on that soon – as well as seeking out funding opportunities to continue the VCSE’s good work. My ambition is to ultimately enable the sector to move to the top of the pile for any feasible, collaboration opportunities in the future.

We want to flesh out where we see ourselves now as a sector, how we can capitalise on opportunities and harness the wealth of potential we have within our grasp.

For anyone wishing to reach out. My email address is: marianne.grant@stwvcse.org

Page last updated 28 March 2023