Sharing the latest news from NAVCA

  • Spring Budget: what you need to know
  • Learn more about: Leadership and advocacy
  • Invitation to Quote – NAVCA Research Project
  • Latest VCSE Barometer results released
  • Free support from expert economists now available
  • Guarantee Our Essentials Campaign
  • Community Transport Association – new manifesto and launch event
  • UK Health Security Agency – child vaccinations communications toolkit
  • World Book Day – NAVCA’s recommendations

Spring Budget: what you need to know

The Spring Budget bought welcome news of the extension of the Household Support Fund by £500M for a further six months to September 2024. Despite the reduction of 2% in employee national insurance, the tax burden will continue to rise over the next five years. Public spending will increase by 1% over inflation, but even this increase will require significant cuts to unprotected departments of around £20Bn per year by 2028. Government suggest that these cuts will be offset by savings from the implementation of public sector productivity plans. Most announcements are small in scale but will help some places in terms of more funding for 20 towns, further devolution deals and community regeneration.

Download the full briefing by NAVCA here.

Learn more about: Leadership and advocacy

March is the first month in a campaign we are running to increase awareness of the amazing work of local infrastructure organisations. Through exploring the Four Functions of Infrastructure, we want to communicate what NAVCA members do, as well as your impact and value. We will be sharing blog posts and social media posts throughout the month, especially on LinkedIn, so please do engage and let us know what you think. 

As well as the public campaign, we are publishing guides for NAVCA members that will help you to think about activities and outcomes for each of the four functions, using research to evidence this, and case studies from NAVCA members to give practical examples. This will help you communicate what you do, and offer some things to consider for strategy and planning. 

 You can download the guide on Leadership and Advocacy here. 

Invitation to Quote – NAVCA Research Project

We are looking for a research partner to work with us to design and deliver a detailed research project identifying the internal and external conditions that enable or prevent effective delivery of local VCSE infrastructure support services by local infrastructure organisations (LIOs).This project forms part of our wider Development Programme, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. The project will be led by Dr Jill Hopkinson, Policy Manager at NAVCA.

You can find out more here. Please share this opportunity with anyone that may be interested.

Latest VCSE Barometer results released

You can now read the latest results of the VCSE Barometer Survey. The latest report, ‘Tethered fortunes: The threat to charities from trouble in local government’ asked charities how cuts to local authority funding were affecting them. 

 “Across England, local government funding is in disarray. Councils are issuing section 114 notices – indicating unlawful expenditure or their equivalent of bankruptcy – at unprecedented rates. Cuts are following rapidly, with even more looming as local and national government tussle over responsibility for services such as social care.” 

Download the full report here.

2x Transforming Lives PhD Studentships @  Sheffield Hallam University available

Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) Doctoral School has an opportunity for two PhD students to undertake research into the role of voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs) whose work addresses health inequalities and associated physical and mental health needs and conditions.

The studentship is linked to a three-year project funded through the UKRI Collaborative Community Research to Tackle Health Inequalities programme led by Professor Chris Dayson. The project aims to develop an innovative model to make arts, culture and creativity a core part of health and care services across the UK. It will help to establish a number of “Creative Health Boards” – collaborative forums where voluntary and community organizations like charities, museums, and theatres will work with the NHS, local councils, and private sector to better integrate creative activities into health services.

 To apply, please complete an online application form for October 2024, available here:

 Closing date for applications: 17:00 (BST) on 26th April 2024.

Free support from expert economists now available 

Are you struggling to make your volunteer spreadsheet do what you want it to? Do you know you have great data but not sure how to make it visually appealing or tell the right story for your supporters or your board? Need an expert to compare your data to other sources, or analyse a survey of your beneficiaries?

Pro Bono Economics (PBE) is a charity which can provide other charities, voluntary organisations and community groups with quick, easy, pro bono support from a dedicated volunteer economist to help with ad hoc data needs. That might include data analysis or visualisation, spreadsheet tasks or short pieces of research and analysis.

PBE have availability to help right now. Tell them what you need on their website so they can match you with the right expert.

Guarantee Our Essentials Campaign

People in the UK are having to go without food and other essentials because Universal Credit is falling short. Universal Credit should at least cover the cost of the things we all need to survive.

That’s why we’re standing with the Trussell Trust, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and over 150,000 people to call for an Essentials Guarantee that would make sure Universal Credit protects people from going without the essentials.

Find out more about this campaign here.

Community Transport Association – new manifesto and launch event

The Community Transport Association (CTA) have launched their manifesto for the next UK general election – ”A Better Future for Transport: National Challenges, Community Solutions”. The manifesto calls for a new and dynamic partnership between the next UK government, CTA and the community transport sector.

”The national challenges we face need #CommunitySolutions. Community transport must be an integral part of the next UK government’s efforts to tackle a shrinking bus network, an ageing population, the future of the NHS and social care, climate change, the cost-of-living crisis and levelling up.”

You can download the manifesto here.

CTA are also hosting a launch event where you can find out more about the manifesto and the campaign. The event will take place online on Tuesday 19th March at 11am. Find out more and sign up here.

UK Health Security Agency – child vaccinations communications toolkit

In response to falling vaccine rates, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and NHS England have launched the campaign to support efforts to increase uptake of childhood immunisations among children aged 0-5, and highlight the serious risk childhood diseases can pose if children aren’t vaccinated.

To support you with promoting the campaign, UKHSA have produced a communications toolkit to help you encourage parents and carers, whose children (0-5 years old) have missed or may miss a vaccine, to get their child vaccinated. It contains key messages, background information, and statistics on the childhood immunisation programme. It also includes information on how to promote the campaign through your own channels, as well as supporting materials such as social media assets, printable posters, videos and skyscraper banners for your website.

World Book Day – our recommendations

Happy World Book Day (Thursday 7th March)! A lot of the NAVCA staff team enjoy reading in their spare time, and we’ve listed some of our current reads for anyone looking for a new book to dive into. 

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell: Exploring nature, geography and community relationships, this book provides a new vision for how we focus our attention and time in a world of social media, information overload, and disconnect from the natural world.

How Westminster Works… and Why it Doesn’t by Ian Dunt: This insightful and accessible book takes you through the different structures of our unwritten constitution and the challenges that exist within it. It explores the roles of Ministers, the Treasury, civil service and the press. It unpacks the rules and conventions of the Commons and the Lords, and the interplay with the law. Whilst it is depressing in places, it is an essential guide to the realities of our political system and is ultimately hopeful in suggesting what might be changed for the better.

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt: This is a funny and honest look at some real life examples of wider implications of small innocuous decisions and actions. Entertaining and eye-opening.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières: This book is just so beautiful and bittersweet, and touch on the eccentric side, due to it being magical realism. It took Yvonne three attempts to complete, but she’s so glad she did. ”My copy has torn up strips of paper marking out my favourite passages so I can easily go back and re-read them.”

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: Yvonne: ”just a great guide to life (if you like stoicism, which I do). If you like the adage “it is what it is”, then this is an expansion of that kind of mentality.”

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus: Smart, funny, joyous and powerful, this book is about an unconventional female scientist with a quiet game-plan to change the world.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: A beautifully written coming-of-age novel with exquisitely drawn characters, that follows a grieving boy’s entanglement with a small famous painting that has eluded destruction.