Health and wellbeing organisations join forces to strengthen integrated working with the voluntary and community sector

6 October 2023


Over 100 attendees from nearly 50 organisations in the voluntary and community sector came together this week in a bid to further strengthen working relationships on health and wellbeing.

The 'Working with the VCSE Sector: The Key to Health and Care in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin' conference was supported by funding from Shropshire Council hosted by Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership in partnership with, Telford & Wrekin Chief Officers Group (COG) and Shropshire Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly (VCSA).

Voluntary and community sector organisations working on health and wellbeing were invited to the event and had the opportunity to showcase the important and positive impact they make across the health and care system and local communities.

The event also offered the opportunity for partners to network and forge new alliances and to gather learning to inform and influence future plans across the sector.

Throughout the day delegates engaged in a programme of inspiration and thought-provoking activities which included presentations from voluntary sector partners, NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin leaders and guest speakers.

Participates took part in a range of workshops focusing on social value and impact, measurement tools, the value of VCSE infrastructure and ways of collaborating for societal change.

Julie Mellor, Chief Executive of Taking Part and Co-Chair of the VCSA, said: “What an event – a day packed with information and a room full of delegates, energy and positive vibes. This event was a good opportunity to showcase the work of the VCSE STW and start our journey going forward in true partnership. It was my privilege to be part of such an amazing day.”

Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and communities, added: “We know that our voluntary and community sector organisations offer huge amounts to local communities through the services they provide and play a pivotal role in supporting the health and wellbeing of our communities.

“At a time of increased pressure on services, cost of living crises and tough financial constraints, it is more important than ever that as a health and care system, we can harness their local strengths and build successful partnerships with our local voluntary and community sector.

“While we have a great relationship with our VCS we can always do more, and I am delighted that the conference was a great success and gave attendees the opportunity to learn more about the work happening within the VCS and how we as a system can build on this, to help improving the health, social care and wellbeing for people in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin."

Sir Neil McKay, Chair of NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “The conference has brought meaningful understanding to the wide and deep contributions that the voluntary and community sector offers our county. It has also been an opportunity to discuss how we can work together better on our shared aims.

“Wednesday’s event showcased the drive and enthusiasm present within the sector, and I would like to thank everyone in attendance for their contributions. We know our resources are scarce, but we are committed to doing our work better for the benefit of our residents – reducing health inequalities and improving healthcare outcomes and experiences.

“What I have taken from the conference is that both sectors want to find new ways of working and learning from each other. We have an opportunity to do something special – to build a partnership with purpose and to bring about positive change. We have moved the conversation on in a positive and constructive way, and I look forward to the next steps.”

Page last updated 6 October 2023