Voluntary and Community Sector - invitations to bid

Invitation to Bid - co-design of Voluntary and Community Sector Infrastructure Support Services in Rotherham

The Council is seeking to appoint a lead VCS organisation in Rotherham to develop co-designed infrastructure support services for the VCS over a three-year period commencing 1st April 2021. The co-design will lead to a three-year service level agreement (2021/22, 22/23, 23/24) with the partner VCS Infrastructure organisation. A budget of £126,000 per annum is allocated.

Infrastructure services provide support that helps VCS organisations across the borough to become more effective and sustainable.

Strategic drive and ambition

Critically, the co-design for VCS infrastructure provision will be required to review the strategic aspiration for the VCS in Rotherham. The developing policy agendas around devolution; the role of the VCS in partnership working; and supporting the voluntary sector to advance in a post COVID environment, all offer challenges and opportunities for infrastructure provision to bring new aspiration to developing and supporting the independence of the sector. This includes voluntary organisations being innovators in the community as well as services providers.

The co-design for VCS Infrastructure will also need to provide for how the VCS generally will engage in a major review of equalities policy and practice, supporting organisations to engage not just in the process of policy review, but also in a resulting new drive to tackle inequalities in Rotherham.

Specifics to be addressed

The three-year grant funding Service Level Agreement for infrastructure services will ensure, among other things, that outcomes are planned for and met against the following key areas in support of the strategic drive and ambition:

  • Developing and delivering a dynamic programme, taking forward strategic drive and ambition to build the role of the VCS to engage at all levels including Nationally, Sheffield City Region, and in Rotherham, to support and promote a vibrant VCS that can initiate and act as a catalyst for sustainable and resilient community activity.
  • Constructive engagement in partnership working across agencies in Rotherham, contributing to strategic direction for the Borough and engaging the VCS in delivering outcomes aligned to shared priorities.
  • Building social capital and strengthening community assets in neighbourhoods and wards, linking with the roles of councillors, Neighbourhoods officers and VCS activity at the local level.
  • Supporting VCS organisations to become financially resilient and not overly reliant on single sources of funding. Providing support for bidding for funds including information and help with bids as appropriate.
  • Championing the “Rotherham Compact” and facilitating update and review as appropriate.
  • Supporting and developing the role of volunteers in the community including developing the skills of volunteers. This to include brokerage of volunteer offers to VCS activity need and volunteering opportunities in public services.
  • Promote equalities and community cohesion through working with communities (particularly those who are marginalised or facing social exclusion) at ward and neighbourhood levels. This includes the approach to supporting tackling inequalities and deprivation, linking to and supporting working across advice and crisis support services.

The lead organisation will need to clearly show its previous experience in this area of work, and demonstrate management and organisational capacity to manage funds, initiatives and complex delivery partnerships/consortia. 

Bids should be sent in a letter format by e-mail addressing the criteria set out above. The co-design process is that set out in the Rotherham Compact. This available from the Voluntary Action Rotherham website and sets out the relationship between the Council and VCS in Rotherham.

The closing date for bids is Friday 23rd October 2020. Bids should be sent to [email protected]

Co-design is timetabled to be completed by mid-February 2021.

Information for bidders is available from Jackie Mould, Policy, Performance and Intelligence, 4th Floor, Riverside House, Main Street, Rotherham S60 2RB.

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 01709 823618