Involve Yorkshire & Humber closure announcement



A message from Involve’s Chair, Jan Thornton

As Chair, it is with great regret that I have to announce that, by the end of this year, Involve Yorkshire & Humber will cease to exist.  You may already have seen this news in two pieces in today’s Yorkshire Post:

Loss of ‘unique’ services will hit hard, charities say

‘Vital lifeline’ to Yorkshire charities forced to close

Trustees took the decision to close last week, following some months of uncertainty.   Although a recent independent review had emphasised how much Involve is respected and needed, particularly in an increasingly harsh economic climate, the combination of cash flow difficulties with shrinking reserves means a sustainable future is impossible.

Involve was set up in the 1990s as a member based organisation for the voluntary and community sector, providing ideas, information, challenge and support to policy and decision makers – within Yorkshire and Humber, as well as nationally. Based on local accountability, strong place-based roots and a commitment to social justice, Involve has been speaking up for the sector for over fifteen years, using the experience and expertise located in around 15,000 voluntary and community organisations from tiny charities to regional branches of big national charities.

Our work and approach has always been practical, based on evidence and sound intelligence. We understand the sector: we make sure we are up to date with trends and developments; we know how reduced funding pressurises the sector; and we understand and articulate the implications of this for the people and communities that we support. We offer policy, research findings, briefings and training to the sector, and we make sure we know what’s coming up on the agenda of national and local government, looking for threats and potential opportunities for those we support.

All of this has been appreciated: our role as a unique link in the sector’s infrastructure is understood and utilised. Our policy work and political thinking was nationally recognised.   However, since the 2010 election and the subsequent loss of many regional structures and policy, our national role has been reduced.  Our likely funders have moved on; local authorities became more insular; the sector at regional level has faded from view. However the need for our services and the demand has not decreased.  

Given this steady decline of resource, if not demand, Trustees were keen to ensure we recognised the reality of our situation, so we took the hard decision, when the time was right. This means that Involve will cease trading at the end of November 2015.

However, we are adamant that current work will not be lost, particularly regarding the role of the sector within devolution developments, however these play out in our region, and within health. As the pioneering work that we have been leading on the relationships between the sector and partners in health and social care takes root, we are keen to make sure nothing is lost. The two new national health workers, Carol Candler and Jonathan Appleton, although not based at Involve in the future, will continue to develop innovative national work and oversee its delivery at regional level, including in Yorkshire and Humber by Emma Baylin. Watch out for news as these plans evolve.

We are now working hard to ensure we depart well, with our resources properly distributed and our legacy and learning secured. 

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