The Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership – Consultants Brief
Introduction and background
The Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership (SIP) is seeking to work with a consultancy to help the partnership develop; expanding its membership and creating a partnership model which supports the sector practically, and promotes greater collaborative working between VCS organisations and projects, and the public sectors.
SIP has been delivering infrastructure support to the voluntary sector in Shropshire for more than 20 years. Although not formally constituted as a partnership, our shared purpose is to build the capacity of local community organisations to meet the needs of those who are the most disadvantaged in the County. Our core objective is to promote a well-informed, vibrant and sustainable voluntary and community sector, equipped to address local needs whilst also able to benefit from funding, campaigns and initiatives at both local and national level.
SIP now wants to develop further from its current role of a partnership of infrastructure service providers, to become a partnership which aims to:
- Become a conduit which promotes greater collaboration between voluntary organisations and community groups and the public sectors, particularly the local authorities and health
- Improve communication and understanding between sectors
- Create a vehicle through which the public sector could contract/commission the wider VCS.
- Support VCS organisations to develop services which meet local need, but also align with Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin strategic intentions
- Provide infrastructure services to enable a vibrant and sustainable VCS
Proposed Future Partnership
The pandemic has brought to the forefront the importance of community action and the sustainability of the VCS sector. Many VCS organisations in Shropshire already work very closely together through partnerships or consortia such as the Wellbeing and Independence Partnership, Advice and Advocacy Partnership, Food Poverty Alliance, as well as the VCSA and its Forums of Interest such as the Community Transport Consortium, Health and Social Care Forum and others.
SIP partners have begun discussions with representatives from these partnerships and forums, to explore the benefits and pitfalls for the sector of widening the SIP partnership to meet the aims above. Discussion has been positive and it has been agreed to pursue the development of SIP. However, years of dis-investment in the VCS, in particular infrastructure services, has meant that we are starting from a lower point than we would like and therefore need support to ensure the new partnership evolves for the good of the sector and in step with sector’s needs, both voluntary and public, where they align.
The purpose of this consultancy role will be to:
- Provide facilitation and expert advice for partnership development – This role will examine the current VCS and SIP structure in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, research different models of development and give recommendations for the future of SIP.
It will help us to determine:
- What our strategy will be going forward as we develop as a partnership, and how that aligns with county and regional strategies.
- The partnership model which will suit our needs, particularly for project development and delivery.
- Explore the potential for conflict of interest for SIP members during the management and commissioning of grant funding
- How to work with new partners ensuring our purposes align with strategic developments
- Explore expanding the partnership to include the Telford and Wrekin area
- How do we ensure what we do meets the needs of the sector.
- Consult with consortia, forums of interest and stakeholders – To determine the current needs and emerging trends for support to ensure the new partnership meets their needs.
- Build a prospectus for the partnership – this will be aimed at key stakeholders and will present the role of the partnership, it’s aims and case studies of where partners have worked with Health and the public sectors.
Outcomes for the project are:
An agreed governance and operational model which will enable SIP to operate and develop
A report with recommendations for the partnership about sector support needs
A prospectus which can be either presented or sent to stakeholders
December 2021 to End of March 2022
Please send expressions of interest to Laurel Roberts at Qube, Oswestry. Email: email@example.com, Tel: 01691 656882
Deadline 6th December 2021