B&NES 3rd Sector Group

A member of the Bath community

About B&NES 3rd Sector Group

3SG creates an environment in which representatives from the voluntary, faith and community sector can influence local strategic decision making in Bath and North East Somerset. We aim to do this by being a focal point for receiving and disseminating strategic information and seeking and championing the views of the local 3rd sector with the public sector and other relevant forums.

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Visit our website at http://www.3sg.org.uk/

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Free workshop for the third sector in B&NES! Get your ideas heard tomorrow

3SG & Bathnes Council are giving the local third sector an opportunity to discuss new ways of working together on Thursday 15th March at 2.30pm - 4.30 pm. Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from third sector organisations are being invited for project ideas that could help deliver the 'Changing Together' priorities. The aim of this workshop is to draft up some EOIs so please come to the meeting having thought of a particular challenge / theme / idea you would like to discuss.

One of 3SG's core priorities is to encourage the sharing and creation of new ideas in our sector and this meeting is a follow on from our workshop in November 2017 at Bath City FC. You can complete EOIs individually, in your own time, but this workshop will be a chance to discuss your ideas with other organisations and to facilitate collaboration and reduce duplication. Ideas do not have to be costed or thought out in detail, but you do need to consider what needs to happen in order for you to develop your ideas further.

3SG will set up four tables and devise a number of overarching themes for discussion. These will based on previous discussions with our members and Bathnes Council. Each will deal with a broad subject and we will ask you to go to the table which is most relevant to your idea. Each table will have a facilitator and the idea is, by discussion, to come up with concrete ideas and to complete a draft EOI.

The aim is to create 3 x EOIs from each table and these will be the ones which lend themselves to collaboration between organisations. These drafts will be submitted to Bathnes Council - but that's just to get the process started. 3SG plan to hold further events / meetings to go into detail on some of the EOIs and bring together the relevant data, people and resources necessary in order to help develop these ideas into reality.

EOIs will need to capture:

  • What is your idea
  • Who would you like to work with?
  • Who else do you need to speak to?
  • What questions do you need to be answered?
  • What data do you need?
  • Who else do you need to work with?
  • What resources do you need?
Please RSVP via Eventbrite and arrive at St Michaels Church (opposite Waitrose in Bath) at 2.15 pm for a 2.30 pm start. We will be finished by 4.30 pm.

Changing Together: Free workshop for 3rd sector organisations in B&NES

The B&NES Third Sector Group (3SG) and B&NES Council invite you to the second Changing Together workshop which is taking place at St Michaels Without Church, Bath on the afternoon of March 15th.

Following our successful launch event in November 2017 (at Bath City FC), we encourage you to attend this follow up workshop which will focus on themed conversations between the Council and 3SG members. These conversations will focus on solutions to the challenges we face as third sector organisations and those faced by the people we represent.

This is a brand new dialogue to explore innovative ways that we can meet increasing need against the backdrop of cuts to local authority funding. We will be generating ideas which we will then be encouraging people to develop into Expressions of Interest for the 'Changing Together' funding which the Council are making available to pilot new approaches.

3SG members and the B&NES Community Engagement team will facilitate small group discussions on a number of themes and details of these will be shared prior the event.

Book now to make sure your 3rd sector organisation is part of the conversation
15 Mar 2018 at 2:30pm
until 15 Mar 2018 at 4:30pm
St Michaels Without
Broad Street

Last chance to complete the State of the Survey Sector and put B&NES on the map!

3 reasons to complete the State of the Sector Survey:

  • The more we know about our members, the better we can support you.
  • The more others know about our sector, the better for everyone.
  • We're competitive and we want to beat all the other areas of the West of England!
Please complete the State of the Sector Survey by the end of February and help put us all on the map.


All voluntary and community organisations in the West of England Area have been invited to complete this survey which gives you the opportunity to tell us about your organisation and your situation. The results will be gathered together to help inform decision makers, funders and the general public about our work, our strengths and our challenges.

Our colleagues across North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol have been gathering data and we would like B&NES to be well represented too. So far we have had 36 organisations complete the survey and given that we have a membership of 100, we think we can do better!

Free community meeting space in Bath

Bath City Football Club are offering up to 4 hours a week of free space at Twerton Park for community groups/charities operating in Bath and North East Somerset. This offer is for daytime use of T.R.Hayes or J. Reynolds lounge and includes free parking on site. Interested charities/community organisations should get in contact with Carole (carole.banwell@bathcityfootballclub.co.uk) and let her know what they need the space for and when.

Presentations from Make An Impact event

Many thanks to the 40 people who attended 3SG's event last Monday at Combe Grove Manor. We hope everyone found the session useful and possibly even inspiring! You can find the presentations from Simon and Sally on our website here:


We're trying to grow 3SG's member list so please give us a like on our new Facebook page and help us spread the word about 3SG! Thanks for your support.

Find out what happened at our event in November

The 3SG would like to thank Cllr Myers, Cllr Gerrish and Ashley Ayre for participating in a special engagement session we organised. Cllr Myers emphasised his wish to further improve the links between our communities and the Council and commitments were made by all to build on these discussions. It's clear that the budget challenges go beyond the next financial year and we need to work together over 2018 to identify opportunities and explore new ways of working. The full notes from this session are here:

1. Welcome and introduction

1. The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked Bath City Football Club for hosting the session.

2. Changing Together –The Council’s Budget Challenge and Pressures

2.1. The Chair introduced Cllr Myers, Cllr Gerrish and Ashley Ayre and welcomed them to the meeting. Cllr Myers began by emphasising his wish to further improve the links between our communities and the Council. This meeting,alongside the other Connecting Communities Forum meetings were an opportunity to build on discussions and working relationships. The budget challenges go beyond the next financial year and therefore this is an opportunity to work together over the next year to identify opportunities and explore new ways of working.

2.2 Cllr Myers introduced Councillor Gerrish who gave the presentation. Cllr Gerrish provided the background to the challenges facing the Council, as follows:

2.2.1 Last year the Council had to save a total £49m by 2020, but this has now risen to £58m by 2020. The changing role and funding of the local authority alongside increasing demands for adult social care and children’s services have placed greater pressure on the Council’s budget.

2. A lot of work has already been undertaken to identify savings and reduce the gap. £42m of savings have been identified but an additional £16million needs to be found by 2020. The Council is looking at proposals to:-

· Restructure the workforce and deliver staff savings

· Further reduce office accommodation

· Seek further efficiencies within social care while protecting the most vulnerable people.

· Explore opportunities for how discretionary services are delivered.

· Ensure statutory functions and front line services are maintained even if in a different form

· Explore more ideas around new income generation.

· Identify how the community can play an increasing role in delivering services.

3. Four key areas have been identified where communities can help to reduce demand and make our money go further. This included: Health &Wellbeing, Going Digital, Volunteering and the role of communities.

4. Cllr Gerrish explained that over the next 12 months further work would be undertaken to engage the community and explore further the four key areas.

5. A copy of the presentation can be found via the following link. http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/changing_together_presentation.pdf

6. The Chair asked the meeting to break into three groups to explore ideas around Health &Wellbeing, Going Digital, and the Role of Communities.

7. It was noted that whilst there wasn’t a specific group discussing volunteering, it should be noted that volunteering underpinned the third sector. Without volunteers the sector would not exist. It should also be recognised that volunteering is not free, volunteering plays a crucial role alongside the expertise and professionals within the sector. It was agreed that this topic required further debate and discussion in the future.

8. The Group split into three. A summary of the discussions can be found by emailing banes3sg@gmail.com

9. A questions and answer session then took place, summarised below:

Q: Is there transparency at looking at opportunities and future arrangements? A lot of people in attendance today are part of the Virgin contract: will the health and social care savings be required from the Virgin contract and then trickle down to the small organisations?

A: There is a series of efficiencies and planned savings within the life of the Virgin care contract. Part of the saving will be made through exploring new digital platforms. There are currently no concrete plans for exactly how these savings will be made.

Q: As the plans are not fully formulated,is there still an opportunity for us to work with you to develop them?

A: More detailed plans will be developed in January and we have an opportunity to look at specific areas. The relationship and discussion need to be on-going.

Comment: The local authority should take a view about the best way for communities to help with the demand. They should set out a vision and focus on the areas with greatest need.

Q: Not every organisation represented here today is part of the Virgin contract. The advice and information service had been part of the contract until recently was removed from the scope. Is it likely that it will be part of the contract in the future?

A: The majority of services have been now transferred. We have confidence in the model and we are in the process of TUPE-ing over some of our commissioning capacity to Virgin. We will be talking to all those affected in advance of any further changes that may take place.

Q: Practically,what can we offer you over the next three weeks? The third sector is good at identifying creative solutions but there isn’t a lot of time.

A: The budget pressures don’t go away. If we are making progress towards the savings then we could explore opportunities for these to take place in 2019. We have to start now and we would like to work with you. The local authority’s role is changing and we will, in the future, not be delivering all services ourselves. Councils can over-complicate things, so we need to have simple solutions to dealing with issues.

Q: The sector is good at delivering value for money. We recognise that the Council needs to save money and therefore we wouldn’t want the Council just to commission a service with a larger provider as it is cheaper. Everyone here today works at a micro level. “Grants” are not seen as helpful necessarily and the Council instead needs to see funding as “investment” into the local community. The sector is really hard working and delivers on the ground.

A: We need to look at doing things differently. To support this, we have identified a small grants programme this year. The take up has been slow but there have been some good ideas coming forward.

Comment: We need to recognise the hidden investment that the sector brings – eg the room offered by Bath Football Club for this meeting. Someone needs to absorb these costs as they are real and actual costs. There is an opportunity to explore ways to make things easier for us.

10. The Chair commented that there was an opportunity to continue this discussion with the 3SG group and the Council over the next few weeks. It was agreed to organise a further discussion.

Making an Impact

The B&NES 3rd Sector Group invites anyone working or volunteering in the local third sector to our next event on 22nd January 2018. Themed around 'Making An Impact' this two hour event will feature a masterclass on creating a great press release with Sally Land from Cause Communications plus an inspirational talk from Simon Bowkett the Chief Executive Officer of Exeter CVS.

There will be a chance to hear about our plans for 2018 and the findings from our recent State of The Sector survey will also be published at this event.

The Elmhurst Foundation have kindly offered us a free meeting room at Combe Grove Manor Hotel to hold this event. Coffee and tea will be available from 9.30 am and the talks will begin at 10 am and finish at 12 pm.

Book your free place click here
22 Jan 2018 at 9:30am
until 22 Jan 2018 at 12:00pm

BANES Council want your views on the budget prior to 3SG meeting on 21st November

3SG are pleased to announce that Councillor Gerrish will be joining Councillor Myers to present the budget to 3SG Organisation members on 21st November at Bath City FC. For more details on that event and to book click here.

The budget will not be finalised until December but if 3SG members wish to influence it they will need to do so in advance of the meeting on November 21st. We recommended you contact the relevant Councillor below to express your views as soon as possible:

Councillor Paul May - Children's Services

Councillor Vic Pritchard - Adult services

Councillor Paul Myers - Community issues

BANES Council are keen to hear views on ways to save money or alternative suggestions for improving the budget but you only have the next few days to do so!

Tech for Good Bath

Tech for Good Bath is building a supportive and collaborative community for those interested in technology for social impact. They have a very interesting looking community mapping event next week which you can sign up to here.

They have also launched a brief survey to find out more about what organisations and individuals have to offer in terms of technology skills and experience in Bath and surrounding areas. They would also like to assess the technology needs of organisations based in our area - particularly those working to solve social and community problems.

Please take a couple of minutes to fill in their survey here

Next 3SG event

A reminder that On 21st November Cllr Myers & Cllr Gerrish will take 3SG's members through B&NES Council's budget plans for the forthcoming financial year. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and for discussion.

Please book your free place here.

Many thanks to Bath City FC for supporting the local third sector by providing us with a venue for this event.
21 Nov 2017 at 3:30pm
until 21 Nov 2017 at 5:00pm
Twerton Park