Project: Social Investment Ready LeicesterShire
Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) aims to build internal understanding and networks for social investment in Leicestershire. VAL provides infrastructure services for the whole of Leicestershire, city and county. It supports volunteering, provides advice and services to local charities and community groups and seeks to influence local plans and strategies on behalf of the local voluntary and community sector (VCS).
The project will focus on internal skill development by engaging with CASE Leicester in a staff training programme on social investment. VAL will also carry out work to develop a local East Midlands VCSE Network, which will strengthen local capacity and capability to advance enterprise development leading to social investment. VAL has identified a number of areas where social investment could provide the up-front support to develop services with the potential to reduce the pressure on public services: providing working capital for an existing social prescribing programme to be rolled-out widely; preventing school exclusions and reducing child poverty; helping the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) reduce the effects of in-work poverty; better jobs and training outcomes for young people; improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people; reducing offending; and tackling social isolation.
The long-term aim is a more sustainable VCSE sector with diversified income streams better able to meet community needs and demonstrate impact. VAL wants to better position itself to provide advice to VCSEs and to engage with commissioning teams. VAL will upskill its own staff to take the first steps to achieve broader engagement with social investment. VAL will also measure its contribution to the East Midlands regional VCSE network in partnership with CASE.