Mental Health Concern is one of the founding members of Blue Stone Consortium (BSC); Brendan Hill, our Chief Executive, is also one of its Board members.
BSC is a company and registered charity set up and run by voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations that work to improve the lives of people in Newcastle and Gateshead. The members are a diverse range of organisations, working at all levels from neighbouhood to nationwide. As a group, BSC harnesses the diversity, expertise, and reach of its partner organisations, bringing them together to develop and implement solutions to problems identified by local people.
BSC was set up as a solution to the problems facing VCSE orgnisations, due to changes to the commissioning and procurement of services by public bodies. The move away from grant funding and towards competitive tendering for contracts can save money, but does put some not-for-profits organisations at a disadvantage, either due to their size or their lack of experience of tendering. This can result in commissioners and local communities losing out on:
- the reach and credibility that VCSE organisations, of all sizes, have due to their well established relationships have with communities and individuals in Gateshead and Newcastle
- the innovation and expertise that many specialist VCSE providers have
- the diversity of provision that comes about through different providers working together to a common purpose.
BSC is now a vehicle through which small, medium, and large VCSE organisation can work together to win and deliver a range of services commissioned by the public sector, grant-making bodies, and social investors.
Visit the BSC website to find out more about the group, its work, and its values: bluestoneconsortium.org.uk