Despite the current uncertainty we are all facing, here at York CVS we are pressing ahead with developing our Strategic Plan. We have been in York for over 80 years and have our sights set on 100! We are organising a series of Focus Groups to inform our future direction and would love you to join us and tell us what you think.

The Focus Groups will explore ways in which the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector can tackle pressing social challenges, working closely with partners in the public and private sectors. We know the sector is good at responding to needs as they arise and the pandemic has demonstrated this more than ever. The question is, can we have an even bigger impact by tackling issues before they arise?

Each Focus Group will include themed discussion groups, led by facilitators who will encourage you to share your views and experiences and help us to understand more about the role of York CVS in helping and supporting you and us to achieve our collective goals.

Focus Group 1: Tackling the Causes of Poverty in York

On 27 January we welcomed guest speakers Katie Schmuecker, Deputy Director of Policy and Partnerships and Paul Kissack, Group Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to kick-start discussions.

Focus Group 2: Harnessing Voluntary Action

On 9 February we welcomed guest speaker Ian Jones, Chief Executive at Volunteer Cornwall who shared his experiences and insights with us. During the session we explored what we have learned from our experiences of volunteering in the pandemic, and we discussed what is needed in order to develop an effective volunteering strategy for the next 5-10 years.

Focus Group 3: Our Communities

Thursday 25 February (14:00 – 15:30) – Book online

We are delighted to welcome guest speaker Laura Thomas from Community First Yorkshire. Laura will outline what they learned from developing their Loneliness Campaign and ‘Stay Social, Stay Well’ strategy in North Yorkshire in 2019-20. During the session we will discuss what it means to have a ‘sense of belonging in our communities’. We’ll explore how we can address loneliness and social isolation and enable people to develop their community connections.

Focus Group 4: Health Challenges Post COVID-19

Tuesday 9 March (10:00 – 11:30) – Book online

We are delighted to be joined by Peter Roderick, Public Health Consultant from City of York Council and Vale of York CCG, to provide an overview of the current public health challenges in York, including those brought about or exacerbated by the pandemic. This will be followed by break-out rooms where we will explore the role of the voluntary and community sector in meeting these challenges, as well as the role of York CVS in supporting the sector.

Focus Group 5: Strategic Plan – bringing it all together

Thursday 11 March (10:00 – 11:30) – Book online

This is our final session from our Focus Group series. We will be providing feedback on what we have heard across the series and we will be asking you for your views on the final shape of our plans.