Over 45 smaller voluntary sector organisations across West Northamptonshire came together at the first Roundtable on the Power of Small, held at St Crispin’s Community Centre on the 19th of October 2023. You can view the charter here.
The Power of Small was delivered in partnership between Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire and Community Spaces Northampton, with support from both Daventry Volunteers and South Northants Volunteer Bureau, making this a truly cross cutting sector event.
Many thanks to our guest speakers (Rachel Bott of the Dodderidge Centre and Rachel Mallows MBE) and to all those organisations that attended, listened, and took part.
What is the Power of Small?
It’s a known fact that 94% of the Voluntary and Community Sector across West Northamptonshire (some 1600 groups or organisations) are classed as small or even micro. By default, only 6% are seen as moderately large or large, yet it is this 6% which exerts most influence and finds itself at the right negotiating table. Infrastructure is about levelling the playing field for the sector so important and crucial grass roots organisations can support their communities, co-produce services and apply for funding. We all know that if these small organisations did not exist or supply their services our communities would suffer. So, in this sense Small is Powerful but it is lacking a voice and influence. The Power of Small is therefore a new movement for smaller or micro-organisations: A place to network, learn, work in partnership and influence Commissioners and Policy Makers. Make no mistake, without smaller organisations our Voluntary Sector would crumble, and crucial services would be lost.
How can Infrastructure Organisations help?
The three Infrastructure Organisations (Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire, South Northants Volunteer Bureau, and Daventry Volunteers) are targeting small or micro-organisations in an attempt to help them most.
The first Roundtable looked at the challenges and opportunities facing small and micro – organisations, and what training and mentoring they need most to play an active role at the negotiating table. The notes from these breakout sessions can be viewed here
The Presentation from Rachel Bott can be viewed here
The Presentation from Rachel Mallows can be viewed here
This evidence will be used in discussions with West Northamptonshire Council in deciding what should be included in a truly collegiate West Northamptonshire Infrastructure Bid in 2024/2025.
What does your organisation need to do?
If you want to join the Micro Voices movement for West Northamptonshire then contact the following people.
Contact Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire at firstname.lastname@example.org if your organisation works or invests in Northampton.
Contact Daventry Volunteers at email@example.com if your organisation works or invests in Daventry.
Contact South Northants Volunteer Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org if your organisation works or invests in Towcester or Brackley.
When you join (which costs nothing) you can use the Micro Voices Logo by emailing email@example.com
Encourage other smaller or micro-organisations to contact Russell, Carella or Helen. We will be forming a collective charter with your name and organisation – In this way you can truly feel part of a wider movement of support and advocacy.
Attend the training that’s offered – its based upon the needs and aspirations of smaller organisations.
Use this release on your website and social media to affirm your organisation as part of the movement – it can be viewed here
Watch out for updates on the Power of Small in Voluntary Impacts Friday Bulletin, or newsletters sent by Daventry Volunteers and South Northants Volunteer Bureau. Contact Russell, Carella or Helen (depending on what are you work in) if you wish to join our mailing lists.
And above all stay connected – it’s important. From humble beginnings, we can grow Micro Voices into a wider movement and programme for West Northamptonshire.