August 20, 2021. News

Call for Independent Chair to lead new VRU Community & Voluntary Sector Board

The Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit is seeking a volunteer Independent Chairperson to lead a newly-established Community & Voluntary Sector Board.

The ideal candidate will bring an understanding of the diverse communities represented across the Thames Valley region, together with knowledge of the work of community groups, the voluntary and faith-based organisations.  They will have a passion for supporting local communities in problem-solving approaches.

Meeting every six weeks, the board has been established by the VRU to better reflect the voice of those it serves, to build capacity and strengthen partnership working.  By establishing a dialogue and capturing feedback, it will help to give communities opportunities to influence both the VRU’s core programme and also the local work of those wider partners across the region.

For the VRU’s core programme, this includes the five workstreams of activity it leads and within them, the many individual projects and areas of work. The new board will also report into the VRU’s Strategy Board – which has senior representatives from across the whole region.

At the local level, across the Thames Valley, there are nine local authority-led partnerships working to reduce crime and promote safety in their local communities.  The VRU works with these partners to coordinate activity associated with reducing serious violence and tackle its root causes.   The new VRU Community & Voluntary Sector Board will help support and influence this work too.

The Community & Voluntary Sector Board has a small select membership which includes VRU core programme staff, nine representatives from each of the local place-based partnerships, the four major youth organisations and officers from Thames Valley Police’s own community and local policing teams.

Beneath the board itself, a wider network is being established – identifying the many individual organisations, groups and individuals working to support their communities and with a shared interest in tackling violence and its root causes.  The Board will draw upon that network, keeping them informed and involved via regular communication.

The Chair will be supported by a team from within the VRU’s core programme.  They will be required to chair the meeting (every six weeks) and to ensure the Board develops and implements a robust work-plan. They would be asked to attend the quarterly Strategy Board wherever available. All reasonable expenses will be covered.

Download the Terms of Reference to the VRU Community & Voluntary Sector Board here

Learn more about our operating model and where the VRU Community & Voluntary Sector Board fits on our governance page here.

Stan Gilmour, Director of the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit, said:

“The formation of the VRU Community & Voluntary Sector Board is an important part of our operating model. It will give us a forum to work with the diverse communities across the Thames Valley and give them the opportunity to have a voice, to influence our work.

“Importantly, by creating a wider network across all those individuals, groups and organisations which share our aims to create safe and strong communities, we can create a significant resource and build capacity.

“Whether it is a local community group, a voluntary sector organisation providing a particular service, or faith-based groups representing their own community – collectively they present a major opportunity for us to work together to problem-solve the issues that create the environment for violence.”

If you are interested in the role and would like to discuss, please contact PC Kirstin Harding in the Partnerships & Communities team of the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit.

The meetings will be held virtually, with dates set as  follows: