Sobus

Service description

Sobus 

Funded until

31 March 2021           

Annual funding level

£110,000

In the past year

Sobus provided one-to-one support to 261 VCS organsiations last year.

At the end of March, the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the first national lock-down.  Sobus immediately moved to remote working, with all staff working from home.  Our initial work included providing a range of resources and information for the VCS on:

  • Remote working
  • Safeguarding
  • Weekly Covid-19 bulletins and updates

Number of residents supported

Residents are not supported directly but indirectly through the work of the VCS organisations that Sobus help to develop their services.  

Use of volunteers

Sobus doesn’t use volunteers in their service offer, but work closely with the volunteer centre to delvier volunteering opportunities.

Outcomes being achieved

Sobus achieved:

  • 1:2:1 support to 261 VCS organisations.  
  • Secured funding for and established Comoodle – an online platform for sharing Stuff, Space and Skills.  117 organisations registered.

Training and events:

  • 4 training events, including Business Skills, Building Teams, Local Giving and Crowd Funding.
  • Developed and delivered a “Women In Business” course in partnership with a local community organisation.  12 participants completed the 6 day course.  3 participants have gone on to establish sole trader businesses.
  • Funders Fair held in partnership with counterpart organisations in RBKC and WCC.  247 organisations attended, 37% based or operating in H&F

Communication

  • 12 newsletters and 12 funding alerts distributed to 1,117 local contacts 

 Affordable space

  • Of the 82 desk spaces, 65% are occupied by VCS organisations
  • 82% of room hire at Dawes Road Hub was to VCS organisations

Forums and networks

  • 9 POPS forum meetings (average of 24 organisations attending). 
  • BME Mental Health group established – 12 BAME VCS organisations brought together to discuss impact of mental health on their communities, and to work with statutory services to raise awareness and improve access to these services for excluded communities.
  • 6 meetings of the Somali Network, supported and facilitated by Sobus.  16 Somali organisations. Network became self-supporting during this year
  • 3 CEO Forums, average attendance of 29 VCS organisations
  • Supported 3 Advice Forum meetings
  • 2 meetings with Somali women led organisations keen to be supported by Sobus to develop local projects that address issues their community is facing.  Crime and Domestic Violence being the largest areas of concern.

Engagement with Health

  • Continue to work with health colleagues on Integrated Care Partnership, Patient Reference Group, and developing social prescribing project with Macmillan Cancer Care.
  • Supported consultation on changes to local health services, including out of hours GP services, Urgent Care Centres and Hydrotherapy services.
  • Supported the planning of a Live Well community health event in September

Other:

  • Meet with 6 funders to explore how H&F orgs could better secure grants. Resulted in targeted promotion of funding sources to local VCS organisations.  32 organisations known to have submitted funding applications as a result.

Funding raised

£148,000 plus over £250,000 trading income.

Future plans

  • Fundraising for and development of an online learning/training system
  • Update of our CRM system to allow better interrogation of individual organisation’s needs, support and outcomes
  • Targeted fundraising to increase overall capacity
  • Support organisations through Covid-19 crisis and beyond
  • Revise and update our website – more online support, resources and information
  • Review and update our strategic plan
  • Prioritise collaboration, cooperation and coordination of services with, on behalf of and within the VCS

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