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INFRASTRUCTURE - ChangeUp and Capacitybuilders

Jane Cater is the Policy and Development Officer responsible within VONNE for Changeup and Capacitybuilders, contact Jane by tel: 0191 233 2000 or email janecater@vonne.co.uk

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In continuation of the ChangeUp programme Capacitybuilders was launched in April 2006 and will focus on the implementation of the ChangeUp investment programme, designed to build capacity and infrastructure framework for the voluntary and community sector. The Home Office has committed £150 million nationally over an initial four year period to this initiative.

In August 2006 Capacitybuilders announced details of a pilot funding programme, Improving Reach, to improve the reach of infrastructure bodies for a range of marginalised groups, including black and minority ethnic groups; refugee and migrant groups; faith groups; and isolated rural groups. Capacitybuilders has allocated just over £6 million in 2006-07 and £5 million in 2007-08 for this programme.  The closing date for submission of applications was 10 October 2006. www.capacitybuilders.org.uk/fund


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Capacitybuilders appoints Jon Fox

Capacitybuilders has appointed Jon Fox as Director of Strategy and Policy. Fox joins Capacitybuilders from BVSC, the centre for Voluntary Action in Birmingham, where he was Director of Sector Development & Active Citizenship.

Fox has over 10 years of experience at a national and regional level within the third sector and was a member of the Home Office, Active Community Unit team responsible for the implementation of capacity building recommendations from the 2002 Cross Cutting Review of the Role of the Voluntary and Community Sector in Service Delivery.

This new post, based in the Birmingham Head Office, is the result of an organisational review carried out by Capacitybuilders earlier this year and reports into Simon Hebditch - Chief Executive. The role will act in support of policy development and programmes, including providing leadership and support to the Capacitybuilders’ regional team on their work priorities.

(29 June 2007)

Capacitybuilders - What's happening in the North East

Applications were submitted to Capacitybuilders in July 2006 for the Consortia Project Programme 2006 - 2008 by the four Sub-regional Consortia and the Region-wide Consortium. Applications were approved in September 2006 and projects will commence in October 2006. A list of these projects is available as a spreadsheet (Excel 39kb).

Capacitybuilders - What's happening regionally (word 34kb): this briefing lists each of the five consortia's projects and funding for 2006 to 2008.Specifically there is a list of Northumberland's projects (Word 386kb).

Details of the Consortia Projects Programme allocations are now available on the Capacitybuilders' website www.capacitybuilders.org.uk/info/default.asp To view details of the allocations in your region, simply select the relevant area from the regional drop down box which is accessible from the above link.

Regional and Sub-regional Consortia

Four sub-regional consortia have been set up and a fifth regional level consortia, listed below with the lead contact:

The Consortia Leads for the sub-regional partners are as follows:

Tyne and Wear - Newcastle CVS - Carol Howells
Northumberland - Community Action Northumberland - George Courtice
Tees Valley - Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency - Keith Bayley
County Durham - 2D - Michelle Armstrong
Region-wide - VONNE - Jane Cater

Reviewing the Structure of the Regional Consortium
The structure of the regional consortium was reviewed early in 2007 by consultants and a final report (Word 189kb)was presented to the region-wide consortium. They considered the findings alongside Capacitybuilders model, and at a meeting on 20th April 2007 have agreed to a new structure taking both into account. More details will follow as the membership of the new consortium is established.

Capacitybuilders North East Contacts
Capacitybuilders Regional Co-ordinators for the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber are:

Sandra Beighton e sandra.beighton@capacitybuilders.org.uk
01484 415 460
Neil Bennett e neil.bennett@capacitybuilders.org.uk t 01484 415 460


As a result of the Treasury's review of the voluntary and community sector's (VCS) role in public service delivery, the Home Office invested £80m for the sector's infrastructure. In September 2003 the Active Community Unit (ACU) published a consultation document which asked some broad questions about VCS infrastructure and the sector's needs. The long awaited strategy that came out of this was launched with title of 'ChangeUp', and is available from the ChangeUp web site.

It sets out the Government's aim that "by 2014 the needs of frontline voluntary and community organisations will be met with support which is available nationwide, structured for maximum efficiency, offering excellent provision which is accessible to all while reflecting and promoting diversity, and is sustainably funded". The £80m of funding was split into various categories, for local, regional and national work.

Mapping the North East

Each Government Office region was tasked with ensuring that a mapping exercise to identify key infrastructure services and gaps was carried out in their area as part of the 'Early Spend'. In February 2004 it was agreed that VONNE should be commissioned to oversee work on this analysis of infrastructure in the North East.

For more detailed background information on this work please see our separate page on Infrastructure Research.

ChangeUp across the North East

The ChangeUp Infrastructure Programme was introduced to the region at the end of 2004. VONNE was tasked with bringing together key agencies from all sectors as a decision-making body now known as the Region-wide Infrastructure Consortium. Membership of the consortium was based on ChangeUp Investment criteria and guidance and included Infrastructure organisations: GONE; ONE; ANEC; frontline VCS Orgs; Social Enterprise network; Funders Forum; Sub regional Consortia reps; LSC; NOMS; and Sport England. This group was originally formed in May 2004 to guide the Regional Level Infrastructure Research and was widened to form a consortium in October 2004.

The Consortium first met in November 2004 to identify the Regional priorities for infrastructure expenditure. The group identified three regional priorities; signposting, representation and good practice and selected three national priorities; workforce development, ICT, Specialist Infrastructure. Early spend funding was allocated to research the state of the region. Following five interlinked pieces of research a development plan was written for the region and funding was selected for 14 projects to deliver in 2005.

The fourteen projects are as follows:

Funding - FINE, NESEP and ESFVON
Facilitation of Consortium
Equality Consortium
Signposting and representation - research
LGBT infrastructure
Workforce development
Faith sector support
Community Development Network
Regional Forum on ageing
Mental Health Consortium
ICT Champion
Volunteering infrastructure
Performance improvement/governance - research

Regional and Sub-regional Development Plans

Four sub-regional consortia and a region-wide consortium have been established and were given the task of producing infrastructure development plans for their areas.

VONNE facilitates the region-wide consortium, for more information contact Jane Cater at VONNE.

Region-wide Development PlanMS Word icon (328kb)


TynedaleMS Word icon (401kb)
County DurhamMS Word icon (124kb)
Tyne and WearMS Word icon (716kb)
NorthumberlandMS Word icon (100kb)
Tees ValleyMS Word icon (156kb)

Region-wide research

In 2006 VONNE was responsible for commissioning four pieces of research on behalf of the Region-wide Consortium for ChangeUp which had been prioritised within the regional development plan.

Further developments aiming to address the issues and recommendations from the research will be carried out by the Region-wide Consortium over the coming months.

The regional research projects included:

Performance Improvement and Governance
Commissioned by the Foundation for Good Governance, the aim was to identify and report on the relevant issues relating to performance and governance within the VCS especially as they relate to groups working at the regional level.

Performance Improvement and Governance pdf image (389kb)

(Issued 20 July 2006)

Research carried out by Diane Jones with the aim of identifying and reporting on relevant issues relating to representation of the VCS at a regional level and identifying sector representation opportunities.

Representation of the VCS at a regional level
in the North East of England
- Executive Summary (24 kb pdf).

To request a full copy of the report please email vonne@vonne.co.uk

A list of networks and VCS reps (32kb Excel) is available to download as an Excel Spreadsheet.

(Issued 18 September 2006)

Signposting - NEVol Direct
This online database aims to provide accessible information on which infrastructure organisations do what for whom. The web based directory enables keyword and category searches and link to national, sub-regional and local equivalents with the potential to develop and expand in the future.


(Issued 18 September 2006)

Best Practice Review
This piece of work includes examples of initiatives from the sub regional and region-wide consortia. It was commissioned by ARK 19 and Regeneration Exchange to explore 23 case studies. This project aimed to identify and highlight areas of good practice as well as issues facing the VCS organisations involved in ChangeUp. The report will enable the sharing of good practice, inform the further regional development and support the case for funding of infrastructure within the North East.

North East ChangeUp Good Practice Review and Case Studies

(Issued 21 September 2006)

Additional information

ChangeUp briefing note (word 44kb)
ChangeUp investment programme (word 36kb)
Frequently asked questions

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Capacity Building and Infrastructure National Exemplar Fund - winning national bids announced (posted March 2004)
Twenty-two national projects to support frontline organisations ranging from grassroots community groups to large organisations delivering services in marginalised communities across the country will benefit from the investment from the Home Office's Capacity Building and Infrastructure National Exemplar Fund. The funding is the first step in a wider £80 million programme to create and sustain the right support structures for the voluntary and community sector (VCS) such as use of information technology, developing human resources and ensuring communities have a voice in policy-making.

Early Spend announced by Government for Infrastructure (updated March 2004)
The plans for 'early spend' have been announced for the £93 million investment in the voluntary and community sector infrastructure. £6.25 million is to be spent to support two themes:

- Development work, to improve capacity and communications in areas with very little or no voluntary and community sector infrastructure.
- "Exemplar" work, both nationally and locally, to develop ideas and proposals on building and sharing good practice, delivering support services in new and innovative ways, and redesigning the way services are delivered to improve sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness.

Home Office Active Community Unit publish Voluntary and Community Sector Infrastructure document (posted September 2003, updated December 2003)
The Government has published its consultation on the development and funding of voluntary and community sector infrastructure. Read the VONNE summary, our response to the consultation or download the original documents below.

Voluntary and Community Sector Infrastructure - A Consultationpdf icon (224kb)
Executive Summary pdf icon (35kb)
ACU Questionnairepdf icon (77kb)

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Page last updated July 17, 2007

VONNE © 2001-2007

Further Information
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Regional ICT Coordinator/Champion
VONNE manages this post, which is funded by ChangeUp, to link up ICT activities in the North East VCS.
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External Links
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Capacitybuilders Consortium Development Toolkit