In the last Voluntary Voice, I wrote about some new research about our sector, the recent publication in a useful series called Third Sector Trends in the North of England. Led by Professor Tony Chapman from the University of Durham, this is the only large scale longitudinal survey of the third sector running in the UK.  Unfortunately I forgot to include relevant links: here they are:

Third Sector Trends in the North of England
Third Sector Trends in Yorkshire and the Humber

As I said in the piece, I was struck by a one particular comment … “those who support third sector organisations could consider, where appropriate, making funding conditional on ongoing development and strategic management, informed by the needs of the local area”.

Here at York CVS, we are beginning a new project designed to address this in an exploratory way.  Called Time for Talent, it’s very simple. In York, we have several large organisations, ready and willing to offer guidance, support, advice, capacity and practical training on business development and growth, strategic and otherwise. These include York College with European funding to specifically support our sector develop, as well as the University of York offering volunteers, paid interns and placement students. Others involved include Coaching York, York St John University and City of York Council. Within these offers are many options, perfectly suited for the sector, some of which are free of charge.  However it’s clear these aren’t well known or taken up, despite their relevance.

So, during this autumn, we’ll be discussing, explaining and promoting these with enthusiasm  – through Voluntary Voices and elsewhere. If you’d like to know more now, do get in touch. Contact me at

Finally, here’s an important “save the date” for your diary.  On Thursday 2 November, at lunchtime, there’ll be an opportunity to explore some of these offers properly – with the people who deliver them.

Making Time for Talent is SO important for our sector, to ensure it survives and thrives. I believe there’s lots of help, challenge and learning to be shared here in York: let’s make the most of it together. I look forward to meeting you in November.