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Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy consultation

Views are being sought on a new vision of how public sector bodies in Kingston work with and support the borough’s voluntary and community organisations.

The important role of large voluntary organisations, smaller grassroots community groups and other not-for-profit social enterprise organisations in providing valuable local services and in building stronger communities is highlighted in the new Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy and Voluntary Sector Compact for Kingston.

The strategy has been developed by a group under the Kingston Strategic Partnership including representatives from Kingston Council, Kingston Voluntary Action, Kingston WelCare, Kingston Citizens Advice Bureau, Age Concern Kingston, Kingston Race and Equalities Council, Kingston Centre for Independent Living and Public Health.

It aims to raise the profile of and get the most out of the sector’s place in the community and highlights the importance of taking a partnership approach to improving services for Kingston’s residents. The strategy focuses on four key themes, all supported by the Compact: community development, commissioning, communications and capacity building.

Kingston Council has given £4.5m to the voluntary sector since 2010.

Kingston Voluntary Action has a membership of more than 600 local voluntary and community organisations. There are an estimated 300 active registered charities in Kingston with a total turnover of more than £30million, making a significant contribution to the local economy. In addition, the contribution of volunteers to the borough runs into hundreds of millions.

“The contribution that the voluntary sector makes to Kingston is enormous, it is a vital thread in the fabric of our community.

“Kingston has a long tradition of working through its local neighbourhoods and with voluntary and community organisations to improve the quality of life for everyone in the borough. This strategy shows how we can all work better together for the benefit of local people and communities.

“We recognise the social, economic and environmental benefits to our residents of investing in and supporting the voluntary and community sector in Kingston.”

Councillor Liz Green, Leader of Kingston Council

As well as seeking responses to the questionnaire, views on how the Strategy and the Compact can be implemented are being sought.

If you need help completing the online questionnaire, visit your local library or call 020 8547 5000. Hard copies are also available on request.