Agenda item

Agenda item


To receive a presentation from the Chief Executive of Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC) outlining:

(i)         his vision for the organisation

(ii)        the working relationship between Denbighshire County Council and DVSC, how both organisations worked together during the COVID-19 pandemic and proposals for future working arrangements; and

(iii)       how DVSC’s works with voluntary organisations across the county, prioritises the allocation of funding to voluntary groups and evaluates the effectiveness of the use of the funding allocated.

1010: - 11:00


The Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets, Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill introduced the recently appointed Chief Officer for Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC), Tom Barham to the Committee.


The Chief Officer DVSC gave a presentation to the Committee outlining the DVSC’s role, how it had worked with Denbighshire County Council (DCC) over the years and its vision to strengthen the Third Sector and impact it had on residents of Denbighshire.


Key points of the presentation were the DVSC’s aims to support, catalyse, amplify and challenge the third sector in Denbighshire:

·         Support – the DVSC worked in partnership with Third Sector Support Wales (TSSW) to provide advice, guidance, training and funding.

·         Catalyse – bringing Third Sector organisations together to build partnerships, spread good practice and provide new services.

·         Amplify – Helping the Third Sector have a voice in Denbighshire with public services, funders and commissioners.

·         Challenge – Being an independent voice to support independent organisations if they are not being listened to and promote Third Sector excellence in standards of service and professionalism.


An important aspect for the Third Sector was promoting involvement in improving well-being in communities. Traditionally the Third Sector provided services in areas of food poverty and mental health. A new Well-being Team had recently been recruited by the DVSC to work in conjunction with the Third Sector, DCC, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), Public Services Board and the community.


DVSC had a senior officer looking to work with social enterprise and entrepreneurs across the County to create community hubs to promote local food producers, well-being cafes and social supermarkets.


The partnership between DVSC and DCC throughout the Covid-19 pandemic had been positive. DVSC had placed volunteers with:

·         DCC

·         Dial a Ride

·         Forget Me Nots

·         Prestatyn Town Council and

·         4x4 Community Responders amongst others.


Going forward a report had been commissioned to identify need and resilience within the Third Sector in Denbighshire. The report was due for completion in January 2022. A Third Sector Forum was to be established to engage with DCC and BCUHB to improve communication and work together on service delivery and development.



Responding to the Committee’s questions the Chief Officer advised that:

·         Talking Points, I CAN and Community Navigators were all useful signposts in the community. Engagement had been affected by Covid-19 but it was important for communication to be re-established with the community.

·         It was anticipated that the re-opening of Ruthin Market Hall would be some time in October.

·         A volunteer portal was in use and managed by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).

·         The next DVSC annual general meeting would he held in November 2021 and would include the approval of the annual accounts.

·         Additional funding to help support COVID-19 related support work had been received through the Welsh Government’s (WG) Voluntary Sector Emergency Grants and from Comic Relief.

·         The Morfa Hall building on Church Street in Rhyl was owned by the WCVA, not DVSC. The Chief Officer would discuss the proposals for the building and potential for a wellbeing centre with their Chief Executive, Ruth Marks.

·         The DVSC’s new website was under construction and due to be released in October.

·         DVSC had an officer whose role was to help new groups to grow, get constituted, establish governance arrangements, and attract sustainable funding.

·         The newsletter would be revised and rebooted later in the year, possibly with the introduction of Blogs etc.

·         Consideration would be given to revising the Best Kept Village competition.


The Chair thanked the DVSC Chief Officer and asked him to return with an update in the new year.


At the conclusion of the discussion the Committee:


Resolved:  subject to the above observations, to –


(i)           receive the Chief Officer’s presentation on his future vision for Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC) and his ambitions to work with the Council and other groups and organisations throughout the county with a view to enhancing the lives of residents and communities; and

(ii)          request that the Chief Officer attend a future meeting of the Committee, in approximately six months’ time, to update members on the progress made to date in delivering his vision, outlining any challenges encountered and how they had been overcome,