Meet the Grantees - VOYPIC
In the third of our series profiling our Collaboration Enabling Fund grantees, we caught up with Alicia Toal, Acting CEO, Voice Of Young People In Care (VOYPIC).
What is VOYPIC?
VOYPIC is a charity working across Northern Ireland promoting the rights and improving the lives of children and young people cared for away from home.
They may be living at home in care; with foster or kinship carers; in children’s homes; in secure settings; or in supported accommodation.
They may be preparing to leave care or be care leavers. Core services include advocacy, mentoring, group work, policy and research.
What is your core mission?
Our mission is to improve the lives of children and young people cared for away from home.
Our vision is that all children and young people who are cared for away from home will have:
- A voice at the heart of all decision making
- A meaningful say in their lives
- Their rights fully respected
- The opportunity to realise their full potential in whatever they choose to do.
Do you have plans to work in collaboration with another organisation?
VI-able (formerly known as VIM) is a collaboration of two voluntary sector organisations; VOYPIC and Include Youth. VI-able has three key tasks:
- It will provide additional professional services support to each organisation in the management of its business, finance and personnel.
- It will act as a shared services centre providing (from a central hub) commonly needed business transaction processing services. An initial focus will be on processing financial transactions.
- It will provide business support to the wider voluntary/community and small business sector on human resources, financial management and business development.
How much money did you receive from the Collaboration Enabling Fund?
We were awarded a grant of up to £34,000 after we submitted an application in late 2012.
What action have you been able to take with this grant?
We have been able to commission specialist services (Community Places and CIPFA) to support and document the development of a social enterprise. Community Places have allowed us to explore shared premises for the partner organisations and the trading company.
CIPHA is currently assisting us to develop a toolkit. This will map the complex public finance regulation and provide guidance to the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) on cost saving opportunities presented by new Value Added Tax (VAT) exemptions for collaborative projects.
It will provide guidance to others wishing to establish a cost saving group and information on how such projects can demonstrate best value within public sector procurement regulations.
Who are you working with on this project?
How have you found working in collaboration with another organisation?
Strong working and personal relationships have developed between the CEO’s.
Working relationships were also enhanced between the staff teams which bring added value to the youth sector. Both organisations share a common ethos in their work.
Good communication, working well together and common goals and aspirations are the key to any successful partnership.