Cultural Playing Field


Visiting NAVCA by Robin Simpson
October 28, 2009, 2:20 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , , , , ,

On Tuesday I was in Sheffield to visit the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action. NAVCA is the national umbrella body for local third sector infrastructure in England and represents 344 local councils for voluntary service and similar organisations. In a series of quick one-to-one meetings (that felt a bit like speed dating!) I talked to a range of NAVCA staff, got a good overview of the work of the organisation and identified a number of areas in which we might be able to work together. I discussed with NAVCA Chief Executive, Kevin Curley, the role NAVCA members could play in the model for local delivery of capacity-building for voluntary arts groups that we are currently working on with the Arts Council England Amateur Arts Partnership Development Programme steering group. Carrie McKenzie, NAVCA’s Sport Partnership Adviser, told me about the work she has been doing (funded by Sport England) to embed a culture of collaboration between sport and the wider third sector and we discussed how we might develop a similar approach in relation to the voluntary arts. Every Child Matters Adviser, Angela Barnes, explained the work NAVCA is doing (funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families) to support young people, disabled children and the extended schools programme. I talked to Barney Mynott, Policy & Communications Manager, about how we might work together on advocacy and information services. Helen Oparinde told me about NAVCA’s SKILD project (Skills and Knowledge for Local Development) which provides training for development workers supporting front line third sector organisations. Finally I met Terry Perkins, Public Law Training Officer, who explained how the Public Law Project is allowing third sector organisations to influence decisions made by public bodies. It was a very interesting day and I came away determined to encourage voluntary arts groups to make more use of the wide range of (often free) services available through local Councils for Voluntary Service: to find your nearest CVS go to: http://webdb.navca.org.uk. Many thanks to Kevin, Carrie and everyone at NAVCA.

Robin Simpson.

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