BAVO's spring newsletter 2017

Date published: 11/04/2017

Welcome to our spring newsletter. The daffodils are out, so it must be spring... the time of new beginnings andfront page of newsletter of course, a new financial year has started. New beginnings, as BAVO recently embarked on renewing ourstrategic plan and priorities.

Download our spring newsletter here >>>

Many of you who attended our excellent AGM (page 4) will have given feedback to staff on what you feel the challenges are and what is important to you in terms of BAVO services. All that data is currently being looked at alongside surveys and feedback from focus groups with other stakeholders.

However, a cursory look shows that 89% rate our services good or excellent and that funding and volunteering are the key challenges. These two issues together with training, governance and representation remain the key priorities for our members!

Suggested improvements included more third sector forums (such as a Funding Workers’ Network and a Managers’ Network), more use of technology in our service offer and a more blended training provision with options for accreditation. In the next edition, we will tell you more fully what we will be doing differently as a result of your feedback. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.

Some people though, highlighted they were unclear of the breadth of what BAVO already does and what it doesn’t do (and should not do!). So what does BAVO do?

We offer free generic development and social enterprise support, reduced cost open training programmes, funding advice/searches and a volunteering matching service as our core development offer. Additionally, through our partnership funded posts, we try to give a broad-sector representation at strategic level and offer connectivity through forum support. These are either issue based forums (such as health or children and young people) or they serve to support specific service user groups – depending on the funding source.

In the main, our function is to assist groups to be the best they can be in terms of what they provide to their community (or user group). We serve to enable organisations to be robust, compliant and safeguarded and we help them get into shape to achieve funding/investment if they are looking for it.

We support groups and organisations to do things for themselves as much as possible, to build capacity so people have the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead their organisations. If we aren’t able to provide the support ourselves, we connect you to other experts who may be better able to assist.

We also recognise from time to time, organisations can struggle with some complex and critical issues such as governance, finance and/or legalities. Some also hit unforeseen crises points for which they need a short term intervention to help them back on track. We are able to step in and ‘practically help’ through a confidential ‘trouble shooting’ consultancy role. However, complex services of these nature – such as HR issues, preparing funding bids, governance reports etc. – has a cost implication to BAVO and we unfortunately need to charge for those services. That said, however uncomfortable it has been for those groups to ask BAVO to come in and work through ‘warts and all’, those services have learnt and grown from their experiences, coming through stronger and more sustainable as a result. We are grateful for the positive feedback!

We are also delighted to be celebrating our 20th birthday this year and the good news is, we have another years funding for 2017/18! You can also be assured that whatever developments we go through, we are committed to delivering a high quality service.

We recently received the PQASSO Quality Mark, a Charity Commission endorsed mark which covers our systems, processes, leadership and management and outcomes. I am really proud and grateful to the Board and especially the staff team for their hard work and achievements and for the volunteers that fed into the accreditation process on our behalf.

Before signing off, we referenced the Urdd in a previous newsletter, but here is a timely reminder. It is being held at Pencoed Campus from 29 May to 3 June and is suitable for all, so please support it. More information can be found here

Heidi Bennett MBA, MCIPD, FInstLM.

Chief Executive Officer / Prif Weithredwraig

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