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A fond farewell

This week will be my final week working as manager of Compact Voice. To say a lot has changed over the last four years since I joined the team is an understatement.

What you tell us makes a difference

The annual local Compact survey - now in its third year - is one of the key ways that Compact Voice understands the health of local Compacts, what's working, what isn't, and what needs to be done to strengthen and support local partnership working.

Reviewing our impact, and asking for your input

This week Compact Voice published our annual Impact Report, outlining the various activities and achievements that took place during 2012.

This is the fourth impact report I’ve been involved with since starting at Compact Voice, and it’s reassuring to look over them and see how much progress has been made over the last few years.

A reminder won't go astray

Yesterday, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion about working with the coalition government, which had been organised by the Equality and Diversity Forum, one of Compact Voice’s board organisations. I spoke alongside representatives from Stonewall and End Violence Against Women, and we all offered different perspectives about working with the government.

Putting Partnerships in Perspective

2012’s Compact Week is drawing to a close, and I think we can all confidently say it’s been a success.

The team has been involved with addressing council members in Merton, promoting the Compact to new audiences in Stockton, speaking at an awards ceremony in Gloucestershire (brilliantly called the Gloscars) and contributing to activities in a number of different government departments, including the Department for Transport, Ministry of Justice, and Home Office.

These are just some of the activities we’ve been involved with, and there have been lots of others taking place across England. To say that we’ve been busy is somewhat of an understatement, and there is a sense of contented fatigue in the team as we all reflect on a job well done.

Making the most of Compact Week

For many organisations, Compact Week is a chance to celebrate the partnership activities they have been involved with over the course of the year.

For others, it’s a chance to reflect on how things have gone, perhaps announcing new initiatives to tackle barriers to stronger partnership working, launching new publications or even Compact agreements.

For Compact Voice, it’s the chance to do many of these things.

Informing and influencing the new local health landscape

Before joining the Compact Voice team, I worked for a number of different health charities - focussing on campaigns work, trying to tackle problems with access to treatment, rights for disabled people, and local differences in the provision of both health and social care.

Moving from such specific policy topics to the much broader subject areas that the Compact covers was a challenge, and one it took me a while to get used to.

A closer look at department business plans

Earlier in June, government published its long awaited business plans, setting out each department’s aims, activities and major projects for the next twelve months. As we reported earlier in the year, the announcement that Number 10 was making the Compact one of its cross-departmental business plan priorities was welcome news.

Left hand, right hand...

This week BIS has decided to tackle overly burdensome bureaucracy, which might be deterring people from getting involved in volunteering. They have launched a new engagement exercise designed to identify and ultimately remove needless restrictions to volunteer events.

Compact on the agenda at NCVO Annual Conference

Yesterday, Compact Voice's London-based team attended NCVO's Annual Conference. It isn't unusual at conferences to have to explain what the Compact is to delegates who aren't aware of it. They are usually familiar with its principles, though less so their origin. However, yesterday's conference was slightly different: most people I met were aware of the Compact, but many challenged me to convince them why it was still relevant.

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