Gloucestershire VCS Alliance News


Gloucestershire publishes its Covid-19 local outbreak management plan

The plan covers, in detail, the ways in which the county council and its partners will work together to support and protect groups and settings across the county if there were to be a local outbreak of the coronavirus.

Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health said: “The local outbreak plan should be seen as a continuation of the hard work put in by all local partners over the past few months. Although the infection rate is currently falling, Covid-19 remains in the population and if we don’t pay it the utmost respect, it will work its way back into our communities.

“To be successful in beating Covid-19 we have to work together – do enjoy all that the relaxing of restrictions allows you to, but keep up the hand washing, stick with social distancing and don’t gather in big groups. The things we are being asked to do remain simple but the impact of not doing them could be significant and lead to unnecessary loss of life in the county.”

More information and data will make it possible for local agencies to learn more about any links between Covid-19 and inequality, mental and physical health and enable action to be taken to address them now and into the future.

The plan will be tested in early July, and an updated version, taking account of any lessons learnt, will be reviewed by Mark Hawthorne, Leader of the County Council, before it is formally adopted as Gloucestershire’s Local Outbreak Management Plan.

You can find out more at

Healthwatch Gloucestershire Annual Report 2019/20

Guided by you, is the annual report 2019/20 from Healthwatch Gloucestershire. It shows how they have worked with communities across the county to make a difference to the way health and care services are run, and to raise awareness of important health and social care issues.  The report also identifies the most common health and social care concerns raised by local people and looks forward to 2020/21.

Healthwatch Gloucestershire Annual Report 2019/20.

Online training from NCVO

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is running a series of online webinars and training events. Topics include writing funding bids, principles of fundraising, volunteer management and trustee induction. Prices for training start at £46. Find out more at

Community Circles invitation

Philip Douch at Active Impact is looking for individuals or organisations interested in trying out a model of support used successfully elsewhere called Community Circles – See

Circles can be used to support a wide variety of people who would like to make some sort of change in their life. Essentially a Circle brings together a small number of members of the community, all of whom are usually (but not always) already known to the person wanting support. They meet monthly for up to a couple of hours. Their role is to hear what would improve that person’s life and to do whatever they can to facilitate that improvement – not necessarily by doing things themselves but often by making contacts with other people and enlisting help.

Philip is looking to identify a range of people who like the sound of Community Circles and would like to find out more – leading to a number of those people each setting one up for the benefit of a person they know. Facilitators are usually volunteers, though some people may be able to do this pilot work as part of their existing employment responsibilities.

The facilitator role requires careful reading of very clear (free of charge) online advice and some pre-planning. Once up and running it takes around three hours a month. It would be great to start up a network of people trying this out in Gloucestershire, exchanging experiences with one another to develop Circles so that we can learn together and promote Circles as a viable tool for others to pick up and use across the county.

If you might like to be involved, please contact Philip before the end of July on 07847 664359 or at

Free online exercise classes

Local weight loss and fitness organisations GutBusters and BellyBusters are offering a range of free online exercise classes (Technical Tuesday and Thursday Boot Camp) in July. These are aimed for anyone who may have put on a few pounds and/or been struggling to improve or maintain their fitness over lockdown. See Eventbrite links below for more details and to book a place.

The Technical Tuesday classes break down a range of exercises that target body areas such as your legs, shoulders and core.  The sessions are aimed to help you get the most out of your workouts.
Technical Tuesday:

The Thursday Boot Camp class uses a range of exercises to work your entire body to help you get fitter, lose weight, burn off calories and shape up.  The sessions also include easier or harder variations of exercises covered in the class for those with differing fitness levels.
Thursday Boot Camp:

GutBusters and BellyBusters are combined weight loss and fitness services for men and women respectively.  They offer a range of packages to support and help people improve their body shape, manage their weight and be fitter. Find out more at


Healthwatch Gloucestershire Team Administrator
28 hours per week worked over 5 days. £17,850 pro rata pa

Are you an experienced administrator? Excited about the idea of running a small office? Are you a people person who is confident talking to the public? If you answered yes, we’d love to hear from you.

At Healthwatch Gloucestershire we are passionate about having a health and care service which is shaped by the people who use it. We’re the county’s independent health and care champion and we exist to make sure people are at the heart of care.

Healthwatch Gloucestershire has a small staff team and around 50 active volunteers who help us be the voice of the people. We need someone to help us manage the office, organise events, look after volunteers and answer the phone.

In return we offer 25 days annual leave plus bank holidays and a generous contributory pension scheme.  We have comfortable office accommodation in Quedgeley, although we are currently working remotely and reviewing how we can use the office in line with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

For more information and to download an application form please visit: or telephone 0800 652 5193. Closing date for applications: midnight on 22 July.


UK Civil Society Almanac – an overview of facts and figures related to the voluntary sector

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) published its annual UK Civil Society Almanac, giving an insight into the charity sector’s finances. Because of the time delay in charities’ accounts being available, the latest data covers the financial year 2017/18.

Key points from the Executive Summary:

  • The total number of voluntary organisations remains relatively stable. The majority of organisations are small and operate locally. Eight in ten organisations have an income of less than £100,000.
  • The make-up of the sector is changing with a shift towards bigger organisations but the real picture is more complex.
  • Voluntary sector income and expenditure are growing, but more slowly than in previous years.
  • The public is driving overall income growth. In 2017/18, the public continued to be the largest income source for the sector, representing almost half (47%) of its income.
  • The amount of income from government has remained largely stable in recent years.
  • The growth of investment assets is slowing down. On average, voluntary organisations hold reserves worth seven months of spending (excluding grant makers). Almost a quarter (23%) of organisations do not hold any reserves.
  • The sector’s workforce reached 900,000 for the first time, representing almost 3% of the total UK workforce. Spending on staff costs makes up 38% of the sector’s total expenditure.
  • Volunteering rates remain largely unchanged, with those aged 65–74 most likely to volunteer regularly.
  • The sector contributes more than £18bn to the UK economy

The  Almanac  uses data from the Labour Force Survey for workforce figures. It is prepared using data from a sample of around 10,000 charities’ annual accounts submitted to the Charity Commission and weighted to the scale of the sector as a whole.

You can find the report here and a blog by NCVO about what the almanac tells us about present and future challenges.

15 July 2020