Stepping Up for Cardiff
We are continuing to consult on our budget proposals for 2015/16 which will help inform the budget setting process in February 2015 and those in future years.
As a Co-Operative Council, this is a fundamental commitment. However, as well as consulting with people we want to meaningfully engage residents and communities with service delivery. We are therefore taking steps to get local people involved in providing services or running local facilities that meet their aspirations. That is why we have, with our partners, developed the “Stepping Up Toolkit”.
The “Stepping Up Toolkit” is structured so that each section builds up a picture of the process, from the very first step, which may include the formation of your organisation, through to the stage where you are given the green light to proceed.
Contained in the document is supportive information on:
- Exploring your idea and preparing for the issues that may follow
- Community Asset Transfer (CAT) – This is about taking over the management of a community service or asset that may have been run by a public body
- Exploring traditional and new ways to fund your idea
- Case studies and recent examples of projects already adopting these approaches
- Toolkits and templates that will help develop a Feasibility Study and Business Plan
This is all part of our commitment to working with people, empowering communities and helping to deliver a fairer Cardiff. If you would like to get involved you can do so by registering an interest at www.surveys.cardiff.gov.uk/steppingup.
Get involved in Volunteering
The Stepping Up Toolkit covers a variety of ways in which communities can play a greater role in delivering local public services. Perhaps the easiest way of making a difference is to volunteer.
The benefits of volunteering are huge. Estimates suggest that, if paid minimum wage, those volunteering in Cardiff would contribute around £190million to the city economy. However the value of the volunteer to the person living alone who has no other companion or to the young person who is disengaged from society goes beyond financial value.
I recently visited staff and volunteers at the Night Shelter, which is part of the Wallich, a charity that provides emergency accommodation and support to rough sleepers in the city. They work in partnership with the City of Cardiff Council Outreach team to provide the Rough Sleeper Intervention Team service, also known as ‘the Breakfast Run’.
The team give just a few hours of their morning to search and support those who are sleeping rough in and around the city centre. Their objective is to engage with rough sleepers, find out their circumstances and provide suitable intervention. They also provide warm food and a hot drink to make sure they can stay healthy while having to endure such difficult conditions. There are a range of volunteers involved with the service from paid staff already working in homelessness who volunteer additional hours, people working in other industries, the retired and even the unemployed.
Those I spoke with told me that before they worked/volunteered within the homeless sector, they were not aware of the extent of the difficulties experienced by rough sleepers. They recognise that their involvement has made a positive change not only in the lives of the people they meet but also in their own. Some volunteers do as little as a few hours every few months but still very important to the continuation of the service and makes a considerable difference to service users, particularly during cold winter months when the service is needed the most.
If you would like to get involved in volunteering across the city please contact Voluntary Community Services (VCS). It is the UK’s oldest volunteering bureau, which reflects the city’s strong tradition of social justice and community cooperation.