Voluntary, community and social enterprise Partners

Voluntary, community and social enterprise Partners image

Home » Your Health and Care Partnership » Voluntary, community and social enterprise Partners

Voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations play an important role in improving the health and care of people in local communities.

They help the Integrated Care System to make decisions that reflect people’s needs. They also deliver services for people across our area, often for people who would otherwise not get the help they need. In doing so, they help to reduce health inequalities in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

Our Communities Together Programme

Central to BLMK ICB’s approach to delivering its strategic aim to enable all residents to live more years in good health – and support communities to thrive – is the recognition that its is the wider determinants of health that have the greatest influence on the health and well-being of our residents – 80% in fact. VCSE partners have a unique role in engaging, developing and delivering the community resources and networks that support each of us to tackle life’s challenges.

The partnership aims to understand the significant contribution VCSE organisations make in local communities, supporting people to keep well, developing community resilience, and designing services that improve outcomes in groups with the poorest health. It will help us to understand where the VCSE has the potential to do more, to work differently with system partners, and how we overcome barriers in terms of their capacity and the way we (as a system) enable this to happen. The strategic partnership will put the VCSE and the community at the heart of our work as an ICS.

At the centre of where we are now is our landmark Memorandum of Understanding, agreed by the Integrated Care Board in November 2022. This sets out how we work together, put our local communities and residents at the heart of everything we do and establish the values on which our strategic partnership is founded.

VCSE Role in COVID-19 response

The whole of the Integrated Care System has worked together during the Coronavirus pandemic.

VCSEs were critical in making sure that people had the right support during the crisis. Their volunteers offered practical support for isolated people, such as those with disabilities and the elderly.

Volunteers offered emotional support to those experiencing mental health issues. They worked with vulnerable communities to ensure they could access information, social connections and meet their basic food, shelter and their health and wellbeing needs.

VCSEs strengthen strategic decision making. They help to shape how we deliver services and reach those most at risk of poor health outcomes and reduced life expectancy.

View all news

Latest news and highlights


24 May 2024

National Walking Month and better weather prompt calls to get out and…

Senior local doctors have urged residents to walk more, as a new survey released as part of National Walking Month (May 2024) reveals that over…


23 May 2024

Children’s vaccination catch-ups to be offered at half-term clinics in Central Bedfordshire

Families in Central Bedfordshire with children under five years of age whose vaccinations are not up to date have been reminded that the borough will…


20 May 2024

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend – Travel disruption

We anticipate increased demand to our services at the L&D in light of BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend taking place in Stockwood Park from Friday 24 through to Sunday 26…


17 May 2024

GPs use new health data sources to identify patients at risk of…

GPs in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes are taking proactive steps to prevent disease, thanks to new ways of working which can help clinicians identify people who are at risk…

Case Study

16 May 2024

Case study: Oliver McGowan Training on Learning Disability and Autism

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism is named after Oliver McGowan, whose death shone a light on the need for health and social care staff to…


15 May 2024

“Move more for mental health” call in Mental Health Awareness Week

Senior local doctors are encouraging residents quite literally to take steps to improve their wellbeing during Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), to match the theme for this year’s campaign:…