Together Fund Programme

The Together Fund is a support package to help the sport and physical activity sector through the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. The funding for this programme comes from Sport England and the National Lottery but administered locally by Northamptonshire Sport.

Within applications we are looking for organisations that can demonstrate they fulfil the criteria listed below.

The Together Fund will continue to focus on these priority audiences are:

  • Lower socio-economic groups (eligible delivery areas can be found here)
  • Ethnically diverse communities
  • Disabled people
  • People with long-term health conditions.

Additional weighting will go to applications showing:

  • How the funding will help support their participants to remain active post funding.
  • How the funding will remain within the locality of the organisation/ delivery site/ community.
  • That the funded organisation has a strong workforce to deliver the project, or shows they are willing to engage in part funded training to increase their workforce.
  • The existing relationship the club/group have with the target audience and the extent of its reach into the target community.
  • That they are based in North Northants, in particular:
    • Avondale/ Grange (Kettering),
    • Kingswood (Corby),
    • Corby as a whole,
    • Victoria (Wellingborough),
  • They are aiming to engage the West Northants Bangladeshi and Caribbean Communities.
  • Shows how the funding will either help the club/community body to survive through till the 31stMarch 2023 and/or support their participants to regain activity levels or restart their physical activity journey (funding must be spent by 31st March 2023)

As part of the application organisations must also complete the Community Groups Workforce Needs survey

Full details and how organisations can apply is found via our website on (a printable version of the form can be found online)

Deadline 8th September 2022 (Midday)

Changes to the Northampton Door to Door Service

Northampton Door to Door Service is making some changes. Take a look at our leaflet for exciting new updates and improvements.

Integrated Care Strategies

Every Integrated Care System must produce an Integrated Care Strategy. This Strategy helps the Integrated Care Board to build a 5-year Health Plan for its communities. In Northamptonshire, the Integrated Care Strategy will be prepared by the Integrated Care Partnership or ICP. Guidance on what should be included has just been produced by the Department of Health and Social Care (or DHSC) and can be viewed here:

The timelines to produce these strategies are incredibly tight. In Northamptonshire, the strategy is likely to be a high-level document with a series of high-level aspirations which can be modified over time within the Local Area Partnerships or LAPS.

Watch this section for further information and news on the ICS as it develops.

The latest on the Integrated Care System

The Integrated Care System (or ICS) is the biggest transformation in health for many years – and it arrived in Northamptonshire on the 1st of July 2022.

But what is it?

Integrated Care Systems were born from the NHS Long Term Plan. At its heart is the need for any health system to work more cohesively to ensure that the health needs of communities are met: It sounds simple in theory, and it’s as much about saving and redirecting resource to where its most needed as much as expending new funds. In addition, though, it’s about ensuring that the wider determinants of health are catered for, and that the health system engages with communities and tailors’ bespoke solutions that fit their needs: And therein lies a huge challenge, but one that might benefit the VCSE.

How will it work in Northamptonshire?

At its head lies the Integrated Care Board or ICB.  This is effectively the Governance function for the ICS whose responsibility it will be to deliver a 5 Year Health Plan for our communities.

Sitting next is the Integrated Care Partnership or ICP. The ICP is the Operational Board of the ICS and has responsibility for drafting the Integrated Care Partnership Strategy upon which the ICB will base its 5 Year Plan. The Independent Chair of the VCSE Assembly will represent the VCSE in entirety at this Partnership.

Below the ICB and the ICP is Point of Place Delivery which will be within the gift of 17 new Local Authority Partnerships or LAPS (9 in West Northamptonshire and 8 in North Northamptonshire). These LAPS will have a population size of between 30 and 50,000. Who sits where within these LAPS is still a point of debate, but it is quite clear that this is where the VCSE has most relevance and resonance because of our knowledge and experience in working directly with those communities.

Points for consideration?

The timelines to produce an Integrated Care Partnership Strategy are impossibly tight (December 2022) and are set by NHS Guidance.  The Strategy is likely to be a set of high-level principles which few people can argue with, and over time the Strategy will be developed within the LAPS. There is likely to be some limited engagement in September and October 2022, so watch out for this..!!

In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding needs to exist between the Integrated Care System and the VCSE which needs to be signed off at both the North and West Health and Wellbeing Boards. A copy of the proposed MOU can be found here: The ICS and the VCSE – the MOU | Voluntary Impact Northampton

Not every VCSE organisation will be able to sit at the LAPS: Each LAP will base its Priorities on Population Health Data for their Area and by choosing one or more of the priorities from a framework known as Live Your Best Life. The 10 ambitions of Live Your Best Life are:

·        Thriving Childhood

·        Access to the best available education and learning

·        Opportunity to be fit, well and independent

·        Employment that keeps them and their families out of poverty

·        Housing that is affordable, safe, and sustainable in places which are clean and green

·        To feel safe in their homes and when out and about

·        Connected to their families and friends

·        The chance for a fresh start when things go wrong

·        Access to health and social care when they need it

·        To be accepted and valued simply for who they are.

Because the system needs to report on Metrics, Metrics or Measurements will be set for each of these ambitions. This will be known as the Public Outcomes Framework. However, there may be some subtle differences between the North and the West and for organisations working across County you should be aware and looking out for these differences.

How a VCSE organisation sits at a LAP based upon Data and Priorities has yet to be determined but VIN as the NHS ICS Broker will be instrumental in helping to make these decisions.

The ICS is complex, and therefore Engagement and Feedback Loops for organisations across the piece (particularly those who are not sitting at the LAPS) will be crucial. VIN is proposing a VCSE ICS Designated Portal which will act as a One Stop Shop for all things VCSE ICS related, which includes Strategy formulation, minutes of Partnership Boards and a host of Engagement Resources.

The ICS has also identified 4 Clinical Priorities for Northamptonshire: These are: Children and Young People: Mental Health:  Ageing Well and Elective Care. The VCSE is represented on 3 of these through a collaborative approach in Children and Young People (through the REACH Partnership), Mental Health (through the Mental Health Collaborative) and in Ageing Well (through Northamptonshire Carers). As these are Clinical Priorities it stands to reason that funding will follow these.

However, the ICS is also about the Wider Determinants of Public Health and how this plays out within LAPS is still to be decided or seen.

How the Health System and Local Government will engage and tailor solutions for the community is also an unknown. This is new territory for Health (although GPS might call me to account on that point) and is often a limited exercise for Local Authorities. In this area the VCSE can be true partners and enablers.

LAPS will also need to understand what Assets already exist in their Areas (Buildings, Skills, and Organisations). If they don’t, they are likely to use a scarce resource in duplicating or replicating and existing programme. The VCSE has a key role to play in this Asset Mapping Exercise, which has been talked about for many years but has never come to fruition (probably because it’s a labour-intensive exercise to both do and maintain).

What’s Next?

Where the ICS starts is not necessarily where it will finish. At the moment it might appear imperfect in construct, and it will certainly need to be refined and developed over time. Most system leaders believe that We have to Start Somewhere, and in that VIN supports the process.

Watch out for more information on the ICS by regularly visiting our website and checking out the What’s New Section.

A Call to Action for Business

At VIN, we are always looking at new ways of working with local business. We realise that business lives, works, and invests in many of the same communities we operate in, and like us, helps to connect People to Places. Our Corporate Membership provides the opportunity for local business to tailor their Corporate and Social Responsibility by working with a well-respected local Charity with a history of over 30 years in Northamptonshire.

With prices starting at £500.00 per annum, local business gets a range of benefits including Learning and Development sessions for staff, Health and Wellbeing Network Sessions, the use of the VIN Logo, a mention in our Annual Snapshot and our Friday Bulletin and of course access to differing marketplaces throughout the County.

For more information contact the VIN CEO at

If you prefer Sponsorship as an option, we have two excellent schemes worthy of support:

Northampton Door-to-Door Service: Our fleet of red minibuses can be seen throughout Northampton assisting individuals to remain independent and connected. For many, the service enables individuals to remain independent and live their lives. if you want to raise your business profile what better way than by complete branding or part branding one of our buses. For prices contact

Happy @ Home: Our Happy at Home Service matches volunteers to those who are lonely, isolated, and vulnerable. For many, a visit, or a weekly telephone call from one of our volunteers provides their only contact. Why not support the work we do by funding the recruitment, training, and placing of Home Befriending or Telephone Befriender Volunteers. Prices start from as little as £250.00 and it’s a great way of helping your local community. Contact for more information.

Friday Bulletin

This Friday Bulletin has the latest updates from the ICS, volunteering opportunities and of course the latest VIN news.


Read it here


If your interested in the subject of Poverty or Financial Vulnerability, and you want to hear more about the Poverty Truth Commission in West Northamptonshire then why not join us.

Andrew Grinnell from the Poverty Truth Network will be talking about his experiences of other Poverty Truth Commissions across the UK, including his own in Leeds, and the challenges and opportunities they present.

VIN will be talking about training for Commissioners – and how the Poverty Truth Commission can help inform West Northamptonshire’s Anti-Poverty Strategy and the new ICS Local Area Partnerships.

Lunch is provided – and its free to attend. We would love to see you there..!!

The venue is: Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, 4-6 Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP

Time: 11-3

The ICS and the VCSE – the MOU

The ICS in Northamptonshire became a formal construct on the 1st of July 2022. NHS guidance requires a Memorandum of Understanding between the system (the ICS) and the VCSE. This is effectively a set of high-level principles about how the system and the VCSE should work together.  The Northamptonshire draft MOU can be seen here

It is envisaged that this MOU will be signed off by both the North and West Health and Wellbeing Boards in September of 2022.

VIN would encourage all VCSE organisations to read and understand the shared principles and undertakings which form part of this document.

Any comments about the MOU should be sent to the VIN CEO at by close of play on the 5th of August 2022.

ICS Implementation Guide on the VCSE and the ICS

NHS England have produced a Guidance Note entitled Building Strong Integrated Care Systems Everywhere (GN PAR 905)

It is attached for information and can be seen here

It provides excellent context for the ICS generally, but pages 14 – 16 talks specifically about VCSE involvement at a system and local level (Point of Place Delivery).

It also mentions an Alliance Model for the VCSE, which in Northamptonshire rests with the VCSE Assembly and its Thematic Groups. For more information about the Assembly and how to get involved contact the Assembly Project Officer at:

The conclusion of this Guidance states what for many of us operating within the VCSE is obvious, but it is worth restating:

The voluntary, community and social enterprise sector is key to the creation of successful integrated care systems. NHS England and Improvement are committed to supporting systems to build effective local partnerships everywhere. We hope this guidance will help local leaders to strengthen their arrangements, building on learning from around the country.

Please take the time to read and understand this Guidance.


Public Engagement within the Integrated Care System

Public engagement is a principal plank of the new Integrated Care System or ICS. Each ICS across the UK (including Northamptonshire) will need to work directly with communities on issues of Health Inequality and tailor bespoke solutions for and with them. This is likely to happen most at a localised level, through the concept of Local Area Partnerships (there will be 17 of these in total across both West and North Northamptonshire).

Local Area Partnerships will consist of household populations of between 30,000 and 50,000.

It is a requirement of the ICS to engage with communities and engage well. It stands to reason that if you engage well, communities understand and can, on occasions, mobilise support.

The Draft Public Engagement Strategy for Northamptonshire can be found here: Get involved | Integrated Care Northamptonshire (

This new Integrated Care Website also provides details of the newly constituted Integrated Care Board (or ICB) – which is effectively the Governance of the System at a strategic level.

The Public Engagement Strategy is currently in Draft format awaiting ratification by both the North and West Health and Well-being Boards in September of 2022.