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Somerset VCFSE Assembly

Facilitated by Spark Somerset, the Somerset VCFSE (voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise) Assembly aims to strengthen the voice and influence of the sector.

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What is the Somerset VCFSE Assembly?

The Assembly enables VCFSE groups to have a say on the issues that affect the health and wellbeing of the people and communities they support.

Developed by and for the sector, it provides a space for challenges to be shared, successes celebrated and solutions found.

The Assembly is part of a formal engagement framework that is being developed in collaboration with NHS SomersetSomerset Council, and the Somerset Group of Charities, and is an important part of our work to engage with the statutory sector. Visit our Partnerships and Networks page to learn more.

Who is it for?

The Assembly is open to all VCSFE organisations in Somerset, regardless of their size and interests, and meets regularly to discuss the key challenges and opportunities affecting the sector and explore opportunities to work together.

We also appreciate the contribution of our public sector colleagues, who are welcome by invitation only. Their participation enabled them to hear our views and work with us to address the issues that matter to our communities.


Some really great themes and shared issues and a healthy appetite to be a part of something that could make a difference.

- Nigel, Ark at Egwood CIC

Future meeting dates

We’re busy planning the next Somerset VCFSE Assembly and will share the details here as soon as they are available. In the meantime, please sign up to our newsletter for regular updates.

The story so far...

The Somerset VCFSE assembly emerged as a result of our collaborative efforts. Here are the key events and milestones that have shaped partnership working between the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector and the statutory sector in Somerset.

January 2019

NHS England announces plans for Integrated Care Systems to replace Clinical Commissioning Groups.

December 2019

The Somerset Group of Charities is formed

July 2021

The Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announces there will be unitary council for Somerset from April 2023

October 2021

The Somerset Group of Charities begin to develop a mechanism to enable partnership working with the Somerset Integrated Care System (ICS)

February 2022

Reflect, Recover, Renew report, exploring the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the voluntary Sector in Somerset, is published

April 2022

NAVCA facilitates workshop sessions between the Somerset Group of Charities and Somerset Integrated Care Board (ICB), resulting in a proposal framework for how health and the voluntary and community sector will work together

July 2022

July 2022: Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group becomes NHS Somerset, the Somerset Integrated Care Board (ICB)

September 2022

Spark Somerset appoints a VCFSE-Public Sector Partnerships Lead and Coordinator

November 2022

First Somerset VCFSE Assembly held, launching the new engagement framework and marking the start of a new way of working

March 2023

Somerset Group of Charities, Somerset County Council and Somerset ICB attend a workshop facilitated by NAVCA to identify shared values

April 2023

Somerset County Council becomes Somerset Council, a unitary authority

July 2023

Spark Somerset attend a Children & Young People’s Mental Health recommissioning event, the first trial of the new Engagement Framework

July 2023

Second Somerset VCFSE Assembly held online.

July 2023

Memorandum of Understanding between the statutory and voluntary sectors in Somerset signed off at Somerset ICB meeting

September 2023

Memorandum of Understanding formally signed by the ICB, Somerset Council and Spark Somerset on behalf of the VCFSE Sector in Somerset.

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