About the Suffolk Congress

What is the Suffolk Congress?
What do we want the Suffolk Congress to achieve?
What are its key Principles?
What are the benefits to your organisation?
How can you and/or your organisation get involved?
What is the Suffolk Congress and where has it come from?
What the Suffolk Congress has done already
Who and what is Suffolk Congress Steering Group?
The Suffolk Congress Offer

What is the Suffolk Congress?

The Suffolk Congress is a dynamic and innovative response by the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in Suffolk to the demands that the Big Society, and the challenge that cuts in Suffolk County Council’s funding will make on every person in Suffolk.

What do we want the Suffolk Congress to achieve?

The Suffolk Congress is open to all Voluntary Sector and Community Groups in Suffolk. We are committed to working alongside statutory agencies and other Suffolk stakeholders, in a partnership of equals, working together to provide practical solutions to enhance the lives of the people of Suffolk.

What are its key Principles?

To deliver the changes and developments that Suffolk requires we will need to harness the talents and energy of a wide range of individuals, organisations, groups and agencies. To be effective the Suffolk Congress has identified that solutions will need to focus on four key principles:

What are the benefits to your organisation?

By working together and speaking with a common voice we can help shape a positive future for the people of Suffolk. By signing up to the Congress we will be able to provide you with opportunities for your voice to be heard by Suffolk County Council through our engagement with them in regular dialogue. We will be advocating and campaigning on your behalf, consulting you on your views and experiences, and providing a resource for managing change. Above all, your involvement will provide the Congress with a strong network to influence all our futures.

How can you and/or your organisation get involved?

You can help make a difference by signing up.
By doing so you will ensure that the Congress continues to be made up of people and organisations from across Suffolk, across client groups and across communities. Become a part of a way forward that will benefit all the people of Suffolk.

What is the Suffolk Congress and where has it come from?

The Suffolk Congress has been formed to provide a means of giving voice to the Voluntary and Community Sector. Already we have held 2 consultative events with over 200 attendees which identified 4 key principles around which to sustain Suffolk’s communities. View full text of those meetings (over 100 pages of transcripts from 10 hours of in-depth discussions) and details of the 4 key principles.

What the Suffolk Congress has done already

The first stage has already taken place, but if we are to continue to be taken seriously and to become part of the solution, we need to maintain our momentum.
We have already met with the Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council and the Corporate Management Board, including the Head of Procurement. As a result of these meetings we have started the process of engagement by establishing a key agreement with SCC that only co-creation and co-production will produce the solutions that Suffolk needs. This means working together on a solution from the start of the process, enabling us to contribute our knowledge and experience of the needs of the people of Suffolk.

Who and what is the Congress Steering Group

The Congress Steering Group  is a group of organisations who have committed themselves to facilitating the activities of The Suffolk Congress. The Steering Group meets on a regular basis and further information about becoming involved with the group can be found here.

The Suffolk Congress Offer

We believe that the Voluntary and Community Sector has the dynamism, the skills, the experience, the knowledge and the commitment to:

  • deliver a set of values and principles that places the community and local people at the heart of its activities
  • ensure a diversity of activities and provision in order that individuals have choice and opportunity to succeed
  • provide a depth of resourcefulness and innovation acquired through many years of living hand to mouth
  • enable equality of opportunity for all the citizens of Suffolk

This is our offer and we need you to sign up to show that it is something we can deliver.