Update on VCSE Leaders’ Voice Network

Over the summer the Empowering Communities Partnership has collected feedback from VCSE sector colleagues on the VCSE Leaders’ Voice Network.  Thank you to everyone who has shared their reflections and comments. These have shaped plans for the Network for the coming year.

The Leaders’ Voice Network was established with the intention of providing a space for sector leaders to meet and discuss issues, concerns and opportunities for the sector, at a time when the sector is facing perhaps unprecedented change.

One of the main themes you identified was the need for the Network to have a clear identity and add value for the sector. Furthermore we want to convey more clearly that it is open to all VCSE sector colleagues in a leadership role.

Changes to the Leaders’ Voice Network

As a result of your feedback, we have;

  • Changed the Network’s name to the ‘Norfolk VCSE Leadership Network’. This will convey that the network is open to all leaders, whether established in their role or developing into a leadership position
  • We have removed the ‘voice’ aspect, as this is not universally understood. We also want recognise that the sector will hold a diversity of views and that this is a strength to be nurtured and encouraged
  • Redefined the purpose of this Network as being to support those in leadership roles within Norfolk’s VCSE sector to work effectively in their roles, grow in confidence and provide a space for peer support and sharing of lived experiences and strengthen our collective influence.

When asked what the value of this Network would be the common themes that emerged were listening and discussing, influencing, and connecting both within the VCSE sector and with other stakeholders. With many respondents highlighting the value of having a mix of face-to-face and online sessions to increase accessibility.

As a result of this feedback, the Empowering Communities Partnership will be;

  • Facilitating alternating hybrid and online-only sessions quarterly from November 2023 beginning in Norwich.
  • Holding sessions between 4 and 6pm. This will enable the first half of the session to focus on the sharing of lived experiences from guest speakers. A peer discussion may then follow. The session will then move into a space for connecting and networking with peers and guests.

Next Steps

Having reviewed survey responses and current Network membership the ECP will increase awareness of this Network and the diversity of those engaged.  In particular the Empowering Communities Partnership will be reaching out to faith networks and smaller VCSE organisations.

You can join the VCSE Leadership Network by emailing enquiries@ecnorfolk.org.uk to ensure you receive updates and quarterly meeting invites.  The next session will take place on Wednesday 8th November 2023 from 4 to 6pm. It will be on the theme of ‘Inclusive Leadership: Sharing Perspectives and Experiences’.  This will be run in a hybrid format with colleagues able to join online and in person in Norwich.

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