Community Foundation shares its Impact Report

The latest impact report from Northamptonshire Community Foundation can be found here: IMPACT REPORT FINAL 22.06.2022.pdf (

Page 18 of the report (entitled voices from the sector) echoes many of the issues reported to VIN on a regular basis.

Sustainability moving forward is a real issue for our sector, with many smaller charities digging deep into their reserves to survive or at the point of closure. An increasingly competitive funding market makes it harder to access and maintain funds. Fewer funders now fund core activities and there is still the issue of funding short termism rather than funding longevity which gives organisations an opportunity to rebalance following COVID. The nature of volunteering is changing, with more volunteers attracted to short term campaigns or appeals rather than longer term commitments. With the cost-of-living crisis ever present, people at work are having to work harder for longer with little extra time to volunteer. Staff and volunteer fatigue within the sector is an ever present, as is the skill drain to other sectors exacerbated by the range of pressures on family household incomes.

VIN will continue to work with NCF and other funders in an attempt to draw these issues out and raise their profile. As we move into an Integrated Care System (with its emphasis on People and Places) VIN will work tirelessly to ensure the new constructs of Local Area Partnerships are the right vehicles for the work, properly represented with the ability to make changes at a local level which involves communities.

West Northamptonshire Council UKSPF Investment Plan Survey

West Northamptonshire Council is responsible for preparing a UKSPF Investment Plan, which will be submitted to Government by 1 August, to secure a 3-year core funding allocation of £5.4m.The primary goal of the UKSPF is to build pride in place and increase life chances across the UK. To this end, the Council welcomes ideas from relevant organisations to inform its Investment Plan. However, we expect this funding opportunity will be over-subscribed. There is no guarantee that investment proposal suggestions will be successful and/or included within the Plan.All responses must be submitted by 29th June at 5pm.The Council strongly recommends all consultees to familiarise themselves with the background information and associated national guidance documents provided on the government’s webpage here.To access the survey, please click here. Your responses will be treated as confidential and in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements.Please note that during the survey you will be prompted to upload a spreadsheet outlining the expected spend if you are proposing a project to fulfil the interventions of the Investment Plan. To access the spreadsheet please click here and for any other queries regarding this form, please contact For further questions, please contact West Northamptonshire Council at

The Health Inequalities Plan 2022 – 2026

The Integrated Care System across Northamptonshire has published its Health Inequalities Plan.

This plan describes Northamptonshire’s vision to work with communities to ensure that people living in Northamptonshire have the opportunity to thrive, to access quality services providing excellent experiences and optimal outcomes for all.

The long-term ambition is to see:

  •  An increase in healthy life expectancy.
  •  A reduction in health inequalities.
  •  A reduction in premature mortality.
  •  Improved community cohesion.

Plan content can be viewed here: Northamptonshire-Health-Inequalities-Plan-2022.pdf (

The Local Northamptonshire context can be seen between pages 12 and 16.

The aims and objectives of the plan can be seen from page 17.

Any Voluntary Sector comments about the plan should be made to Please Place HIP in the subject heading.

Comments will be sent through to the current Directors of Public Health across the two Authorities.



To view more information about the VCSE view our leaflet below.

VCSE Assembly Leaflet

Household Support Fund (HSF)

Northamptonshire Community Foundation is working with West Northamptonshire Unitary Authority (WNUA) to help co-ordinate the distribution of up to 8500 food vouchers (value of £100) to financially vulnerable residents across the locality of West Northamptonshire between July and September 2022 through local community groups and charities working with residents most in need.

This is part of a second phase of the Household Support Fund: £421 million has been made available to County Councils and Unitary Authorities in England to support those most in need to help with significantly rising living costs. You can read more here:

Whilst there are short timescales of delivery for this aspect of work, this is a real opportunity to boost the support being provided to residents in real financial hardship.

In the first instance the Foundation attach an expression of interest form to be completed by 5pm on Friday 24 June. They will then be able to build a network of distribution partners who will be announced by Thursday 30 June. They expect to identify in the region of 30 partners.

If you are interested in taking part to support this crisis response aspect of HSF pertaining to the immediate distribution of food vouchers, please complete the attached form and return to by Friday 24 June at 5pm.


Friday Bulletin

In this weeks bulletin, see the latest workshops offered by VIN, funding news and job and volunteering opportunities.

Social Value Workshop 14th June 2022

19 VCSE organisations within Northamptonshire met with the Procurement Team of West Northamptonshire Council at the Icon Centre in Daventry on the 14th of June 2022. This event was funded by the Lottery Healthy Communities Fund.

The presentations for the event can be found here:


Gus De Silva (Head of Procurement for West Northamptonshire Council)  talked about the Procurement Triangle of cost versus quality versus time. He also mentioned the art of the possible through Partnerships or Coalitions, and how they would be welcomed by West Northamptonshire as a way of delivering services to local communities in the future.

Procurement and Social Values

Ashley LeDuc  (Assistant Director of Commissioning and Performance) mentioned Market Shaping and the preventative agenda – how healthcare generally needs to be repackaged and redelivered into communities and the engagement that forms part of that process.

WNC Commissioning

Martin Wilson (Sustainability Manager of West Northamptonshire Council) talked about Commissioning and Sustainability, and how West Northamptonshire is looking to provide a better future for the communities they serve.

Sustainable West Northants Social Value

VIN comments:

For those organisations that did not attend, the assumption that Commissioning does not link to the new world of the ICS would be an incorrect one. The ICS is largely about Point of Place delivery into communities via various Local Area Partnerships. Brave and intuitive Commissioning which focuses on the local is going to be an imperative within that. Commissioning will have to change to meet this new approach, and that’s why VIN believes that Commissioning Forums should be attached to each Local Area Partnership to keep the debate alive and ensure that Social Value lies at its heart. This is not the first time either that VIN has heard the call around Coalitions or Partnerships from the VCSE. We know that the ICS will deliver its services through Collaborative approaches and the idea that it will work through 70 odd single contracts is mistaken. Therefore VCSE organisations need to think about how they can come together to work at a LAP level based upon Population Health Data and the 10 ambitions enshrined In Live Your Best Life.

Martin Wilson touched on the idea that the VCSE should be thinking about its own Sustainability Pledges:  Any organisation that has can pledge here: Sustainable West Northants

If any organisation wishes to discuss their pledge, you can get advice and guidance by contacting the sustainability team –

Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership Final Update

The June 2022 Newsletter can be seen by clicking on this link: Click here to read or download the June 2022 Partnership Update newsletter.

 This edition includes the reflections of Naomi Eisenstadt, Chair designate of the Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board (ICB), as we all get ready for the ICB to formally replace NHS Northamptonshire CCG on the 1st of July 2022.

Elsewhere in this newsletter you can read about:

  • How our Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism programme is set to achieve formal Collaborative status.
  • How the NHS is looking to Northamptonshire to help develop a national integrated community stroke service model.
  • Highlights from the first two years of the iCAN programme (Ageing Well).
  • Initial work to develop a feeding difficulties strategy for the Children and Young People programme.

ICS Local Area Partnerships Identified

Local Area Partnerships will be a crucial construct around the concept of Placed Based Delivery within the ICS. In West Northamptonshire, the 9 Local Area Partnership Areas have been identified and can be viewed via the pictograph below:



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


Local Area Partnership Boards will sit in each of these 9 Areas and will ultimately be responsible for looking at and delivering services against Population Health Data and the 10 ambitions enshrined in West Northamptonshire’s Live your Best Life.


Membership to these Local Area Partnerships has yet to be agreed.


Watch this space for more information as the ICS journey continues……..

The ICS arrives on the 1st of July 2022

The Integrated Care System arrives in Northamptonshire and elsewhere on the 1st of July 2022.

NAVCA (The National Association for Voluntary and Community Associations) has been working with Lev Pedro Consultants to distil information about the ICS and what this might mean in the future for both individuals and the VCSE sector. Their latest guidance is provided below:

Shall we start with a jargon check… Do we know our ICBs from ICPs and ICSs? 

  • Integrated care system (ICS) is the new arrangement that will underpin the planning and delivery of health and social care. The ICS brings together partners from across the NHS, local government and independent (voluntary and private)  sectors. The ICS is about all of us, not just the NHS!
  • There will be a new NHS integrated care board (ICB) a statutory organisation operating across the system area which will replace clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). This will have a core team at system level and work at place level (together with local stakeholders including districts and borough councils, the VCSE sector and NHS providers).
  • The integrated care partnership (ICP) is a statutory committee that connects all stakeholders in the ICS as equal partners. This is jointly convened by both the NHS ICB and the upper tier local authorities and will involve a wide range of stakeholders. It will set the strategy for the ICS and needs to work in a way that is aligned to local health and wellbeing boards.

What’s Changing in July?

Service providers should not worry that suddenly all their commissioned contracts will be aggregated to system level, and all their local relationships will be lost. This is not the case. There is a big emphasis on ‘place’ in the ICS design guidance. One of the main bits of advice that we’re hearing is that the first year at least will be transitional. For some services, there may indeed be moves to build clinical pathways across the system area, over time, but most day-to-day commissioning will continue at place level for the time being. Transitional arrangements for at least a year will give everyone permission to acknowledge and fix when something isn’t working.

And what do we all need to do to embrace the change? What behaviours are needed to make this a truly equitable partnership between NHS and the VCSE?

Suffolk and Northeast Essex was one of the first systems in the country to become an ICS. At its heart, it is an equal partnership across the NHS, local government and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, increasingly characterised by:

  • Positive relationships between local health and care leaders
  • Courageous joint action to address problems, and
  • A genuine ‘Can Do’ attitude that enables meaningful partnership and integrated thinking and working at every level.

At its heart lie 7 principles:

Equal means equal:

The NHS England guidance talks a lot about equal relationships. But saying it is easy. How will this be achieved in reality? What are the systemic barriers to achieving this? How can we remove those? It’s not just about seats at tables – it’s real sharing of power. Equal really means:

  • Equal voice and representation
  • Equal influence
  • Equal opportunity
  • Equal access to information
  • Equal support
  • Equal investment
  • Equal expectations.

Tear up the rule book:

Integrated care is a new way of working for the NHS. ICSs are intended to be true partnerships of the NHS, local government, communities and the VCSE sector, focusing on local issues, local needs, and local determinants of health.

“They’re not like anything that’s gone before – they’re a novel construct in a novel world where things are really changing. 

“Take away all of your perspectives, all of the patterns’ people will want to put on to things so we understand them. This isn’t the way this is going to work.” 

Rob Webster, West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, May 2022 

True, the NHS has been focused on the new structure lately, but to think that integrated care is just about NHS staff having a new name badge is completely missing the point. Integrated care is about system thinking and working and bringing all stakeholders together in a less competitive and more collaborative way of working.

Relationships matter:

The basis of good partnerships is relationships, and this is even more the case when moving a to a more system based and less transactional model. This is about people FEELING like they are part of a team with shared values, mission and goals, and the tools to make that teamwork translate into successful work. Relationships need investment and nurturing.

Walk the talk:

Who sets the narrative in an ICS? What opportunities are there for VCSE sector leaders not just to listen in to conversations led by the NHS or local government? VCSE sector leaders must be able to bring their issues to the table.

Equal relationships also require ‘adult to adult’ transactions which are open, honest and direct. Working these out together as a partnership is an important aspect of building sustainable relationships. In brief:

  • Keep it simple
  • Respect my time
  • Match my effort
  • Keep your word
  • Always be honest
  • Stay consistent.

Lead and cede:

It’s important to start with the ‘why’, then go on to the ‘how’, and only then the ‘what’. When time is short it’s far too tempting to start with the ‘what’ – in other words a plan or a strategy, before working out why we’re in the room, and what the problem is that we are seeking to fix. Then who should be in that conversation?

Strength lies in diversity:

The VCSE is complex, it’s messy, it’s poorly coordinated. But this is for very good reason. VCSE organisations have grown to meet a need in the community, or to campaign on an issue, or to prevent a tragedy from recurring, or whatever. There’s no master plan. That diversity is what makes it great, makes it agile, and responsive, as we saw during the Covid pandemic. The task is for that diversity to be celebrated and harnessed. The VCSE sector has been challenged to make this happen by forming VCSE alliances, and these are at varying levels of maturity across England. One of the biggest challenges these alliances face is representing the full diversity of community interests and health and care needs. Local infrastructure organisations could be the conduit for this to happen.

The future is in our hands: 

With integrated care there really is an opportunity for us all to do things differently, not for the sake of it, but because it has the potential to really deliver better for our communities. Covid gave us the chance to remove barriers and get things done. Now let’s build on that, let’s “feel the fear and do it anyway”. Let’s be the change.


In West Northamptonshire 9 Local Area Partnerships are being formed around the concept of Place. In North Northamptonshire there will be 8. The VCSE now has an opportunity to sit at these tables, but only where the Health Data and the Priorities dictate. Some VCSE organisations are coming to our Network Event on the 30th of June 2022, which is now booked to capacity. If as a VCSE organisation you are not booked to come but want to say something about what you hear or read, then contact VIN at and put ICS in the header line. We will be collating responses from the VCSE (along with our partner Infrastructure Organisations) and placing these before both Directors of Place in the West and the North. Responses should be received by 31st July 2022.