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Voluntary Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) Sector Resilience

Our Ambition: Suffolk & North East Essex has a Resilient Voluntary Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) Sector

In Suffolk and North East Essex ICS, the VCFSE sector is considered an equal partner to local government and NHS statutory partners.  VCFSE partners are actively involved in planning and developing strategy and services across the ICS including at local neighbourhood level, alliances and board level.  The Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) agreed a strategic ambition of ‘enabling a resilient voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector (VCFSE) sector’ which led to the development of the SNEE ICS VCFSE Resilience Charter.

The Charter has been co-designed by system partners, with over 100 people from 59 different organisations contributing to the co-design process.  To develop the principles system partners were asked to review 5 keys areas:

  • Trust and Culture
  • Co-Production
  • Sustainable Funding
  • Quality and Monitoring
  • Building Resilience and Capacity

The groups explored what is working well and whether there were challenges and obstacles impacting the VCFSE sector.  This insight enabled them to define principles and ways of working to strengthen the relationship between statutory and VCFSE partners as well as making a number of recommendations to be taken forward by the ICP Committee.

In the summer of 2023, the Suffolk and North East Essex VCFSE Resilience Charter Principles were adopted by the ICP Committee, and a formal signing of the Charter took place at the SNEE ICS EXPO.

The work to embed and fully realise the Resilience Charter and its recommendations will be an ongoing process, that is led by the VCFSE Assembly Chair and ICP Communities Lead with regular reporting in to the SNEE ICS VCFSE Assembly and the ICP Committee.

The Suffolk and North East Essex VCFSE Resilience Charter Principles

  • We will work together as equal partners with mutual respect, acknowledging that whilst there may be differences between sectors, we have shared values and principles to improve the health and well-being of our communities, and through working as equal partners we are stronger.
  • We will have open and honest communication, using common language, recognising that transparency builds stronger, trusted relationships.
  • We will work collaboratively to ensure that we are utilising the insight and trusted relationships the VCFSE sector has in strategic planning such as prevention.
  • We will prioritise collaboration between sectors which is underpinned by genuine co-design at the earliest stage, valuing the benefits that the diversity of partnerships brings which allow us to share knowledge and ideas leading to innovation and maximising our resources.
  • We will actively recognise the diversity of the VCFSE sector and will seek to engage the sector as widely as possible whilst being cognisant of the resource and capacity challenges that affects both small grassroots organisations and larger providers.
  • We will work collaboratively to identify ways of streamlining and removing unduly onerous processes to how we fund, monitor, and evaluate programmes so they are proportionate to the scale and value of the activity and are led by the outcomes we seek to achieve.
  • As a system we recognise the impact that short-term funding has on how services and interventions are delivered and how VCFSE organisations are sustained. We will use the full range of funding mechanisms available to us to achieve a range of funding opportunities that are suitable for all partners, and where appropriate, we will seek to expand upon multiyear investment. And we commit to finding opportunities that help us to shape the funding environment that we all operate in.
  • We commit to the principles of the One Workforce and through this we are committed to how we can build the resilience and capacity of the VCFSE sector, recognising the scale and responsibilities the VCFSE sector has to its diverse workforce.

Achieving VCFSE sector resilience


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Grant Funding and Procurement

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Lived Experience



Harry's Story

Tom's Story

Suffolk Libraries

This is Shirley

Relevant plans and strategies


NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board
Joint Forward Plan

Last Updated on 13 February 2024

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