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Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) Partnership for better health

The Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) Partnership Programme is a new programme being initiated by the AHSN in 2021. It aims to support and facilitate new collaborations between our members in the health and care system and Voluntary Sector Organisations to improve health and wellbeing outcomes in the West of England.


We have worked with our member NHS Providers and Commissioners and wider VCFSE stakeholders across the West of England to understand the local and care health service priorities that would benefit from VCFSE support. We have also identified some of the current barriers to engagement and are holding two engagement workshops in July to further shape the programme.

In response, we are bringing together our local health and social care commissioners and providers, and VCFSE organisations to explore opportunities for partnerships. Once we have better understood the barriers, we plan to co-design a package of practical support including training, facilitation and resources.

The programme will also recognise the unique role the VCFSE sector can play in COVID-19 recovery planning; supporting population health and reducing health inequalities. Funding to many VCFSE organisations has been adversely hit during COVID, reducing the capacity of many to engage with the health and social care sector and we anticipate that this programme may offer some organisations access to additional funding routes.

The delivery of the tailored support package will draw on our experience in supporting innovators and the adoption and spread of good ideas, and it is also likely to include input and guidance from knowledge partners the specialise in supporting the VCFSE sector.

Aims of the programme

  • To bring together Care and Health providers and VCFSE’s to discover new opportunities to work together
  • To provide a supportive environment that will enable community organisations to develop new relationships; maximising the input from the lead VCFSE locality partners
  • Access to advice, training and mentoring to VCFSE’s to nurture and support partnership working
  • Facilitate the development of new approaches to contracting between VCFSEs and Care and Health providers
  • Assist with developing an evaluation framework to monitor effectiveness of any new VCFSE & provider partnerships

Programme outline

The programme is currently in its early stages of scoping and discovering. The initial Scoping engagement events that took place in July gave participants the opportunity to both shape the programme and understand what support may be on offer, as well as discover some useful insights and resources. The Discovery events will have geographical focus. The nature of the support and mentoring on offer later on in the programme will be shaped in response to the outcome of these early workshops.

The flow chart below outlines the phases of the programme:

Upcoming events

Scoping phase  – July 2021.

The Discovery phase Workshops will be happening in Autumn 2021 – more details to follow.

There will be more workshops coming up in the future under Define and possibly Develop phases.

If you’d like to find out more about our programme or sign-up to our distribution list to receive programme updates, contact Urszula Kapoulas, Senior Project Manager at

Past events

Engagement event for VCFSE organisations – 8 July 2021 (scoping phase).

Post event information for attendees available here.


Engagement event for health and care providers – 14 July 2021 (scoping phase).

Post event information for attendees available here.




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