Lifetimes works to connect local organisations to the policy agenda at the local, regional and national level. We do this by providing policy information, responding to consultations, organising seminars and network meetings and running campaigns.
On these pages, you will find a Policy Update section with news, consultations and events that is updated monthly. There is also a section with Policy Topics in the right hand menu that explore key issues in more depth and provides links to resources.
Developing and Improving Service Frameworks for Patient Care
Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group (WCCG) came into being on 1 April 2013, taking
over from Wandsworth Primary Care Trust as the local commissioner of health services for
the residents of Wandsworth. Reporting to the CCG Board and as part of its governance
structure, the CCG set up a number of Clinical Reference Groups tasked with developing and
improving service frameworks to improve patient care. A key duty for these groups is to
ensure that the public voice is included within the decision-making process and so, in order
to support this, the CCG commissioned Lifetimes to provide a series of community
engagement events during 2013/14.
The engagement programme consisted of a series of 6 highly successful and different events
(with a 7th arranged for early 2014/15), covering a range of health-related topics. Led by
individual Clinical Reference Groups, each event provided an important opportunity to
engage with the community about their work and inform service development and
commissioning decisions through a range of activities.
Lifetimes provided valuable support to organise each event, both in the run-up and on the
day. Most importantly, they facilitated access to a broad range of individuals and groups
from across Wandsworth, enabling a wide range of opinions and needs to be voiced.
To read more please click here
Lifetimes works in partnership with small emerging organisations in the Borough on a pro bono basis, who we believe are delivering important services directly to the community but have little or no funding.
Here is the latest report from one such organisation.
YOUth Legal & Resource Centre QUARTERLY NEWS REPORT
Just to up date you with what we have been doing recently. In addition to working in partnership with yourselves, Lifetime, we continue to attend and contribute to Wandsworth Advice Forum.
We have met with WOWMums, Merton and Wandsworth Asylum Welcome, Migrant Children's project and carried out training. We are setting up a meeting with another organisation called Positive Parent Action, it is for parents of disabled children.
We went to talk to young people at the Asylum Welcome Young Adult’s Group meeting where 3 referral were made, and have been asked by RYP who run youth groups with young asylum seekers and refugees in Croydon to also do a talk. I went to a staff meeting at the Leaving Care Team in Wandsworth as well who are arranging evening group session with their care leavers and have asked me to attend.
Finally, I have spoken about setting up working in partnership with the Migrant Children's Project, which is part of Coram Children's Legal Centre including referrals and carrying out training sessions. I contacted Wandsworth Youth Council with regard to getting volunteers and young people on the M/C and YOUth panel and they are very positive about the opportunities.
Good news story – “Staying Put”
“Staying Put” is a government policy, legislated for, to allow Care Leavers upon reaching 18, to remain with their Foster Carers until they have finished their schooling or reach 21. This is to ensure that they are not forced into independent living before they are ready. It came about because vulnerable young 16/17 year olds in care were being made to live on their own when they were not ready. Further, it is usual, and in most cases better, for those young people with parents to remain with them up to and past 18 and at least to 21, in particular when they are attending college. The young people although no longer “looked after” because they were 18, could remain with the foster carer in a Supported Lodging arrangement called “Staying Put”.
Case study: A Care leaver who was living with foster parents was told by the Council’s Leaving Care Team, that as he was now 18, he could no longer live with them. He was just sitting his first year of A level exams and the authority policy was that they will continue fostering placement funding to a supported lodging arrangement, if the young person has become 18 years of age in the academic year in which they are completing A level examinations.
This young person would not be finishing his A levels until he is 19 so did not fit into the Council policy. However, he had support from the Independent Review Officer, his college, his support and Health worker and foster carer to “Stay Put” until he finished his A levels. It was apparent that he was not ready to live independently and the decision caused him extreme anxiety and distress during a most important exam period as he was told he had to leave just after the exams finished.
As he had been placed with foster carers outside of the Council borough, this would mean a big change - leaving an area he was used to and friends he had made entailing longer travel to and from college. This Care leaver felt that his wishes were not being listened to as the Council, as Corporate Parent are duty bound to do, and that decisions were being made without anything in writing. He also made a complaint, but the response made it obvious that his wishes were not taken into account
The Care leaver approached YOUth Legal and with representations made by YOUth Legal and supplying them with the evidence of support for him to Stay Put, the Council reversed their decision and are allowing him to Stay Put until he finishes his A levels in 2015 and is ready to move on to independent living.
YOUth Legal & Resource Centre June 2014
Better off without them?’ report into the role of faith groups in the voluntary and community sector in Wandsworth
Published in May 2013, this is a report of a pilot study into the proportion of voluntary sector welfare projects organised by churches and other faiths and focuses on the London Borough of Wandsworth. Lifetimes worked with the authors of the report to identify faith groups in the borough.
With a response rate of 48% (‘secular’ voluntary sector) and 47% (faith), the research found that faith organisations were running 40% of all voluntary sector welfare projects in the borough (35% by Christians and 5% by other faiths). This is at least two or three times the number that might be expected based on, for example, regular church attendance / membership in the borough .Click here to download the full report.
Meet the Funders
Julie Hunt presenting a workshop "Robust Funding Applications - Tools and Tips"
This was the last event of our five year Big Lottery funded Policy and Advocacy project and we decided to try and pack as much as possible into the day. The event was fully booked, with over 65 people from voluntary sector groups in Wandsworth taking part.
We kicked off with a two hour workshop on ‘Robust Funding Applications – tools and tips’, delivered by Julie Hunt of Hunt4Funding. Julie has many years experience of writing successful funding applications and used the session to share with us some practical ways of making sure the valuable time dedicated to fundraising is well spent. Julie also provided one to one sessions for four groups attending the event to discuss their project fundraising.
During the afternoon, 10 funders delivered presentations and there were opportunities for delegates to meet the funders one-to-one afterwards.
We hope that those of you who came left with some new funding leads for your projects, and for those of you who couldn’t make it, we’ve loaded up the presentations from the day below.
Fundraising Tools & Tips Workshop
Fundraising Presentation by Julie Hunt from Hunt4Funding
Sir Walter St. John's Educational Charity
15 representatives from Wandsworth voluntary and community organisations came together at the end of February to learn from Jonathan Cox and Ben Pollard of London Citizens how to develop an effective strategy that develops community leaders and makes the change we want to see in our communities.
We spent the afternoon working on how to build relational power, run a listening campaign and take action, with practical tips to take away with us.
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Following our AGM, we will break into groups where local organisations will have the opportunity to have thematic, focused discussions on key areas of collaboration between the local public sector and voluntary and community groups. Read more here
Many thanks to everyone who attended our networking event in Roehampton at the end of November. We were pleased to see Roehampton's voluntary and community sector coming out in such impressive numbers to talk about the local agenda and the many changes that are happening around health and physical regeneration.
We organised a half day masterclass in collaboration with campaigning specialists from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation in September 2012. 20 organisations attended a fully booked event to pick up and practice tools, resources, play out scenarios and to engage in dialogue with local Councillors around influencing the Local Authority. Take a look at some of our influencing tools on the right, and please feel free to download some of the resources from the day here:
Following the August 2011 riots in Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Council launched an independent review that resulted in a report into the motivations and reasons behind the disturbances. Read the report here. See pages 78 - 80 for Key Findings.
Following up on this work, the Council has published its Aspirations Agenda, with plans for regeneration and increased social mobility. The Council is placing a strong emphasis on promoting community resilience. As an example of what this might mean locally, please take a look at the plans for regeneration in Roehampton here.
If you are curious to find out what has been going on outside of Wandsworth, here is a summary of a few things that have been happening over the last year:
Arrests and sentencing
Statistics and illustrations showing the breakdown of how the justice system has dealt with those arrested in connection with the riots.
Causes and ways forward
Final report by the Riots Communities and Victims Panel (set up by the PM and the Leader of the opposition)
Counter reactions to the riots
The ‘Reverse Riots’ campaign, initiated by vinspired, brought young people together in order to prove that the rioters were the minority and there are plenty of inspired young people who work hard for their communities.
The Mayor announced that £70 million would be available to local Councils to undertake projects to rebuild areas and prevent future riots.
A High Street Fund was set up and provided over £3 million of financial relief to the victims of the riots, particularly local businesses.
Volunteering to mentor young people
Communities bouncing back
You may vaguely remember that we have a document called the Wandsworth Compact that is intended to lay down the ground rules for interaction between the public sector and voluntary and community organisations. That document was created in 2003 and we made an attempt at updating it in 2010. The elections and general political changes to many areas of work impacting on cross sector relationships meant that the update process was put on hold. A new national Compact has been agreed and Wandsworth Council has indicated that it wishes to update the Wandsworth Compact as well as its own Voluntary Sector Charter.
We are currently looking over all the feedback that so many of you contributed during the 2010 refresh process, to see what the key points were back then and if any of the feedback can be used as a starting point for looking at the project anew. In the coming weeks, I will be posting updates on this and you will all be invited to review, influence and ultimately decide how you want the ground rules for collaboration and partnership between the sectors to look in the future. Get in touch if you want to get involved.
During the second half of 2011, we hosted two community events focusing on the changing health and wellbeing agenda in the borough. A wide range of different voluntary and community organisations attended, along with public sector officials and decision makers. The reports and follow up information from those events are published here, along with supporting documentation. Get in touch with Jo 020 8875 2843 if you are interested in this work.
September 2011 meeting report - the proceedings, questions and suggestions from 45 members of voluntary and community organisations and Wandsworth LINk that met at the Anchor Centre on Garratt Lane to discuss health and wellbeing decision making structures in Wandsworth. Watch a short video from the event below here.
December 2011 meeting report - following up on VCS recommendations and putting forward proposals for how the sector wants to work with LINk to feed into the Health & Wellbeing Board, as well as how closer links between the public sector and the voluntary sector can be created to enable community intelligence to feature in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.
Download JSNA profile pages here for a useful overview of health and care priorities as identified by the NHS and Council and please note that the profiles are in draft format.