Stevenage Borough Council is a co-operative council and co-operative values are at the heart of our relationship with the voluntary sector. The Strategy for the Voluntary and Community Sector was written in 2011 in partnership with voluntary and community organisations who shaped its priorities. One of the strengths of Stevenage is its thriving voluntary and community sector and the Council is committed to working with the third sector creatively through these difficult economic times.
The strategy is broad and wide ranging. There are 13 objectives and from this an action plan has been developed. Projects that have come from this include; renewing the Compact, developing Stevenage Community Network, preserving infrastructure services and promoting volunteering.
In addition to the Strategy the Council provides an enormous amount of support to the voluntary sector, that enhances our partnership work. We provide grants, flexible premises and office space from our community hub at Swingate House, advice and guidance, and encourage voluntary and community groups to engage with us through our strategic partnership SoStevenage.
Stevenage Community Network was formed following the consultation with the voluntary sector in 2011 as an independent body for the voluntary sector. Here a group of charities and community groups got together with the aim to work collaboratively to share expertise and resources to create a more integrated voluntary sector. They have been supported by the Council to become established and have delivered networking events for the business and community sector.