Improving Lives: Have your say on our County’s health and wellbeing priorities

Somerset County Council are inviting residents, organisations and communities to have their say on health and wellbeing priorities in the County. This consultation will inform a joint ‘Improving Lives’ strategy which sets out how all members of the Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board will work together over the next ten years to improve the lives of residents.

The Health and Wellbeing Board includes representatives from Somerset County Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group, District Councils, NHS England and Healthwatch.

The Board have identified four priorities where they think partnership working could make the biggest difference.

  • A county infrastructure that drives productivity, supports economic prosperity and sustainable public services
  • Safe, vibrant and well-balanced communities, able to enjoy and benefit from the natural environment
  • Fairer life chances and opportunity for all
  • Improved health and wellbeing, and more people living healthy and independent lives for longer

These priorities have been developed taking into account the many different factors that influence the health and wellbeing of our residents and communities, for example; health and care services, housing, education, and community safety.  The priorities also consider the current health and care needs of people in Somerset.

You can read the Draft Strategy, as well as the Joint Strategic Needs Assesment, which sets out the evidence used to develop the Stategy, and complete the online survey here. The survey closes on Friday 17th August 2018.

Charity Commission Consultation: guidance on the risks and challenges of having close relationships with non-charities

The Charity Commission is holding an open consultation on its draft guidance on the risks and challenges of having close relationships with non-charities.

Setting up or maintaining a close relationship with a connected non-charitable organisation can provide benefits to charities by furthering their purposes and making a real difference to beneficiaries, but it can also expose charities to additional, and sometimes significant risks.

The guidance is for charity trustees and covers issues that may arise when charities and non charitable organisations share aims, staff, branding, and funding.

The aim of the consultation is to find out how well the draft guidance covers all the relevant areas, clearly describes the relevant laws, and outlines the issues and risks in a way that trustees find easy to understand and helpful.

The consultation closes on 15th May, and you can take part here.

A Guide to Cyber Security for Small Charities

As the VCSE sector becomes increasingly reliant on IT and technology, so to, does the risk of them falling victim to a range of malicious cyber activity. As illustrated in the National Cyber Security Centre’s Charity Sector Threat Assessment, losing access to this technology, having funds stolen or suffering a data breach through a cyber attack can be devastating for small charities, both financially and reputatinally.

The National Cyber Security Centre has published Cyber Security: Small Charity Guide, a free guide for small charities on how to improve their cyber security. By following this guidance, small charities can significantly increase their protection from the most common types of cyber crime, and the guidance is broken down into five key topics that are easy to understand, and either free or low-cost to to implement.