The Office for Civil Society recently ran an open consultation on a new £40m fund to support the sustainability of voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations.  The consultation, which closed on 24 July 2014, sought the views on the design and delivery of the proposed new fund, with responses forming the basis of the final design.

The OCS particularly wanted to hear from front-line VCSE organisations working with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, VCSE sector umbrella bodies, organisations supporting VCSE organisations, and public sector bodies working with charities.

As an umbrella body for the women's sector, the Women's Resource Centre submitted a response to the consultation.

"The focus of this consultation assumes that VCSE sector organisations are not effectively planning for the future and that if planning was improved they would be able to maintain their services.  At WRC we believe that the focus should be on asking why funding to services is being cut?  There is a lack of understanding of the services that are being delivered by the sector, the needs of service users, and the ways in which the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector works.
Often the voluntary sector is addressing the gaps in service delivery which are not being met by public bodies.  This consultation appears to assume that a private sector model of operating is the most efficient, but we would argue that it doesn’t work for everything."

Please read our response in full here.