United Kingdom – VAC London

Overview of our organisation 

Voluntary Action Camden (VAC) is an independent, voluntary organisation that exists to support, develop and promote voluntary activity. We are a Council for Voluntary Service.

Our mission is to support, develop and promote voluntary and community activity that enhances the quality of life. Our vision is of an inclusive, vibrant and sustainable voluntary and community sector (VSC) that enhances quality of life by contributing to:

  • more effective, responsive services for people;
  • empowered and active communities;
  • increased social inclusion and community cohesion;
  • an increase in social capital; and
  • a strengthening of civil society

Our goals are to:

  • empower local communities: providing people wiht skills and opportunities to participate in community life
  • support organisations: offering help, advice and training to support groups to deliver high quality service
  • promote joint working: encouraging and facilitating joint working and networking, developing partnership projects.
  • enable participation: enabling the involvement of communities and VCS organisations in planning and decision making processes
  • celebrate and champion VCS activity: raising awareness of the sector’s contribution to quality of life

For more information, please check our website www.vac.org.uk or you can check the presentation we used to inform all stakehoders of this project.

VAC offers information, practical support, training and skills sharing opportunities on issues such as governance, management, employment, finance, fundraising, and ICT. VAC focuses on the needs of new and unfunded voluntary and community sector organisations. VAC provides accredited training such as Contract & Commissioning, Project Management, Operational Management, Strategic Management, Financial Management, Project Management, Peer Mentoring, etc, and also non-accredited training in Finance & Fundraising; Leadership & Management areas such as Communications, Presentation Skills, Chairing Meetings, etc.; HR management, Consortia & Partnership Working, Roles & Responsibilities of Trustees, etc.

VAC provides services to adult learners who are either from marginalised, hard to reach, black, minority ethnic , refugee and migrant communities or supporting these communities in their role as staff or volunteer in the voluntary and community sector. Camden has a population of just over 200,000 and 47.4% of which are from other ethnic backgrounds (White Irish, White other, Black, Asian, Chinese, Mixed and others). Camden is among the 43 most deprived boroughs in England and in the current economic climate with personal budgets starting in care initiatives, Financial Literacy is imperative as a key subject area for disaffected communities.

For more information about our training, please check our training page on http://www.vac.org.uk/training/

VAC also has various projects to support VCS sector such as Mental Health Community Development Work, Community Partnership Advice, Parenting Support Trial, and others.

For more information please check our projects page on http://www.vac.org.uk/projects/

Overview of our subtheme: Peer Mentoring in Financial Literacy

Check our activities photo album!

The peer mentoring project has its inception from the Grundtvig Conference in Norway in November 2010.

VAC provides services to adult learners who are either from marginalised, hard to reach, black, minority ethnic , refugee and migrant communities or supporting these communities in their role as staff or volunteer in the voluntary and community sector. Camden has a population of just over 220,000 and 47.4% of which are from other ethnic backgrounds (White Irish, White other, Black, Asian, Chinese, Mixed and others).

Camden is among the 43 most deprived boroughs in England and in the current economic climate with personal budgets starting in care initiatives, Financial Literacy is imperative as a key subject area for disaffected communities.

Some learners who attended the Better Governance Training Programme and completed the Introduction to Teaching & Learning Course were given opportunities to co-train on Financial Management courses delivered at VAC. Some  of these learners were then given the opportunity to attend the Introduction to Coaching & Mentoring Course including Peer Mentoring course at VAC. There are now several mentors mentoring trustee and community learners on governance and financial literacy.

VAC is one of the partners in the project and is contributing on the Peer Mentoring in Financial Literacy side of the project. VAC has expertise in both Peer Mentoring and Financial Literacy and therefore shares its learning and best practice with all the partners in this project. As part of this project, VAC is developing workshops for the partners to familiarise them in how Peer Mentoring is working locally with our adult learners. VAC is also developing materials and teaching programme on Financial Literacy which the partners can then use for their teachers/trainers who are currently working with adult learners who are socially excluded, migrants and refugees.

Activities on the project:

  • Peer Mentoring in-house training in community organisation in August 2014.
  • Financial Management in-house training in community organisation in July 2014.
  • Introduction to Coaching & Mentoring including Peer Mentoring Training in June 2014.
  • Introduction to Social Enterprise & Business Planning Training in June 2014.
  • EU Partners Meeting in Ireland in May 2014.
  • Financial Management in-house training for community organisation in March 2014.
  • EU Partners Meeting in London, UK in February 2014
  • Financial Management Training for learners on 28th November 2013.
  • EU Partners Meeting in Spain in November 2013.
  • Introduction to Coaching & Mentoring including Peer Mentoring for learners on 11th October 2013.
  • EU Partners Meeting in Germany in July 2013
  • Introduction to Coaching & Mentoring including Peer Mentoring training planned with learners on Friday 11th October 2013
  • Introduction to Coaching & Mentoring including Peer Mentoring training delivered on 17th May 2013 with attendance of 15 learners.
  • Budgeting For Your Projects training delivered on 2nd May 2013 with attendance 15 learners
  • EU Partners Meeting in Greece with all partners in April 2013 with attendance of one staff member and three learners. Presentation can be downloaded below.
  • Meeting in France with all partners  in October 2012 with attendance of one staff member from VAC
  • Introduction to Coaching & Peer Mentoring Workshop including Peer Mentoring on 28th November 2012
  • Financial Management training for Trustees (board members of community groups/organisations) on 11th December 2012
  • Peer Mentoring interventions started in January 2013 and on going
  • Over 120 Peer Mentoring inventions recorded in Reflective Journals.

Contact Person for this Project in London, UK:

Mr Somanah Achadoo

Operations Director

Tel: +44(0)2072846556
Email: sachadoo@vac.org.uk