Tender support for VCSEs
From October 2015 to March 2016 Solihull Council commissioned Development in Social Enterprise to develop and run a bespoke programme of support for voluntary and community organisations in the health and social care market. The programme was developed to ensure that smaller VCSE organisations were able to operate effectively in the new market and enable them to compete effectively in tenders for future work.
Karen Murphy, Assistant Director, Public Health and Commissioning at Solihull Council thanked the group for engaging with the six month business development programme at a special event which saw the presentation of certificates and the launch a networking directory profiling the organisations that have take part in the process.
Karen said: “We know that the process of commissioning and procurement can cause anxiety for smaller local organisations, and not be a pleasant experience if ill prepared. Procurement practices have traditionally tended to favour big organisations and we hope programmes like this will go some way towards levelling the playing field. We are committed to investing in our local providers and this piece of work has flagged up learning for us too, things we can do better. Above all, we see you as our partners and thank you for the work you do.”
David Lane, Chief Executive at Development in Social Enterprise said: “Since last October we have worked closely with organisations delivering a wide range of services including advice and guidance, advocacy, mental health, recovery support, and therapeutic indoor and outdoor activities. There was a genuine desire amongst the group to identify and address development areas, explore business opportunities and build relationships with one another for the benefit of service users.”
The package of support included one to one diagnostics, action planning and consultancy alongside a series of workshops and networking events open to any VCSE organisation in Solihull covering Effective Boards, Safeguarding, Social Media Marketing, Equalities & Diversity, Financial Management, Measuring Outcomes and Procurement & Commissioning.