Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy


Kingston Voluntary Sector Forum meeting 5 October 2022 

The VCSE Sector Forum provides a space for VCSE organisations in the borough who offer activities or services to people in Kingston to raise and discuss issues that impact on the sector together with statutory partners. 

The next Kingston VCSE Forum will be held on 5 October 2022 from 10 – 12 noon. 

The agenda will include:  

An update on Kingston Council’s commissioning intentions for the VCSE sector, outlining a phased approach from October 2022. 

An overview of what is happening in the borough to combat the Cost of Living crisis. 

An update on the South West London Integrated Care System, changes to the Kingston Health & Wellbeing Board and the development of a VCSE Alliance to represent the sector at ‘system’ level. 

For more information and to book your place at the Forum, please click here 


RBK published its Commissioning Framework in July 2022 and since then has run a procurement for VCSE organisations to apply to be part of the Framework for Day Opportunities and Meaningful Occupations.  The Council has now published its intentions for the next stage of commissioning with the report ‘Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector Commissioning 2023’ going to the People Committee meeting on 27 September (postponed from 15 September).   

Sarah Ireland, Executive Director of Corporate and Communities, Sam Morrison, Assistant Director Adult Social Care, Commissioning and Transformation, Charlotte Rohan, Assistant Director Contracts and Commercial and Louise Footner, Assistant Director Culture, Communities and Engagement will be at the Forum to tell us more about the Council’s immediate and future plans and answer any questions. 

Cost of living crisis 

As everyone becomes more and more concerned about what lies ahead during the autumn and winter, come and hear more about what is happening in the borough to support vulnerable people facing the cost-of- living crisis, from help with bills to food provision The Council, central government, funders and the local VCSE sector are all playing their part.  How can we ensure that resources are best used to avoid duplication and maximise impact?  

Martha Earley, Corporate Head of Service, Public Health, Kingston Stronger Together Partnership and COVID-19 Response Hub, Adult Social Care and Health, RBK, will give us an overview of what is happening in Kingston. 

Integrated Care Systems  

The South West London Integrated Care System went live on 1 July 2022, along with the Kingston Place Committee.  There have also been changes to the role and membership of the Health & Wellbeing Board which has now merged with the Kingston Strategic Partnership to become the Kingston Partnership Board.  In addition, there are plans for a VCSE Alliance at SW London level to represent the voice of the sector across the six boroughs of the ICS.  

Come and hear more about these changes and what they mean for the local VCSE sector.  

Iona Lidington, Director of Public Health, Kingston, will tell us more about the new Kingston Partnership Board and how the VCSE sector is represented on it. 

Speaker on the VCSE Alliance to be confirmed. 

To book your place at the Forum, please click here 

The Forum aims to: 

  • Build relationships, co-operation and support within the sector and between the sector and statutory and other partners 

  • Provide an opportunity for statutory partners to raise issues of concern relating to the VCSE sector 

  • Showcase, highlight and increase understanding about the role and contribution of the VCSE sector 

  • Keep the sector up to date by sharing information 


Co-designing the approach to the commissioning of VCSE services after April 2023 

VCSE organisations working in Kingston have been involved in a number of themed ‘co-design’ events over June, July and August to prepare for the commissioning of VCSE services to improve outcomes for residents from April 2023. 

Following the last event in early August, Charlotte Rohan, Assistant Director Contracts and Commercial and Louise Footner, Assistant Director for Culture, Communities and Engagement, shared their emerging thoughts:  

Dear colleagues, 

Thank you to all of you who took part in the recent VCSE design events, as part of our work to prepare for the commissioning of VCSE services to improve outcomes for residents. 
Throughout the course of the events we have heard from 53 individuals, from more than 30 organisations. During the workshops, we have talked about the current services, about the support available for Kingston residents, the existing and emerging needs and about how we can work together to make things even better. 
You have told us: 

  • You have an ambition that all organisations and the council are working together to offer a variety of ways to access services. You recognise that working with people who are digitally excluded is very important.  
  • The council monitoring and contract management process should be consistent across projects, while still proportionate to the size of project. This will help reduce the reporting burden on providers 
  • We should be focussing on preventative support and early intervention by working together to coordinate support for residents 
  • The council, through working with organisations and offering support, guidance and potentially buildings can help the sector grow and become more resilient. We can be working more effectively together to improve outcomes for residents by maximising our resources. This would include the council offering more access to community assets such as office and delivery space, skills development and training 

The information and feedback you have shared through conversations over the past weeks and months has created a detailed picture about services and support provided by the VCSE in Kingston, the changing needs of residents, and your vision for the future. We have heard your comments and listened to your concerns and have a richer understanding of the challenges faced by individual organisations and the sector as a whole. We will continue working together to shape and develop the commissioning intentions for 2023 and beyond based on the needs of residents. Further information regarding the commissioning approach will be shared in early September. 

 Thank you again for helping us shape our commissioning approach, in the meantime please do feel free to let us know if you have any further comments or thoughts by emailing strategy@kingston.gov.uk  

Please also let us at KVA know if you want to share any experiences on this topic – if so, please email communitydevelopment@kva.org.uk 

The 'Building a Voluntary Sector Alliance report - an analysis of existing networks and structures, their influence and potential' by Lev Pedro & Associates is out now. (May 2022)

Download report here

The Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy sets out how voluntary and community organisations will work with statutory partners in Kingston upon Thames in order to make a real difference to our local community. By working closely together, we can make best use of our resources ... saving time, money and energy, as well as providing the best possible services to local people.

The strategy was co-produced by the Sector and its Strategic Partners in 2014. It outlined two core areas of focus:

  • How the voluntary sector could engage and empower the community
  • How the voluntary sector could engage in the commissioning process

The Strategy belongs to the whole of the Borough and has been jointly developed with partners in the Kingston Strategic Partnership. It demonstrates a commitment to moving local voluntary and community sector organisations from the margins to the mainstream - in terms of this contribution to shaping and delivering services and building stronger and more resilient communities.

The strategy is delivered by all partners, but led by the Voluntary Sector Partnership Board, which is a VCS Board representing all parts of the voluntary sector.

In 2016, the strategy and action plan was refreshed.

Download the reports below along with a list of RBK Commissioners.


Front cover image of strategy 2014
VCSS Strategy 2016