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About our news

This section features the latest news from VSSN, in reverse date order (most recent item first). You can subscribe to updates using the orange RSS feed button.

For more news and related updates elsewhere on this site, see also:-

Forthcoming and recent events (Events section) – come along and keep in touchLatest discussion postings (Discussion section) – anyone can join and postLatest membership directory activity (Members section) – all members can contributeLatest sector news (Networks section) – news feeds from the sectorLatest issue of our journal (Journal section) – Voluntary Sector Review contents

Day Conference in May to focus on new forms of social action

The next VSSN Day Seminar will be hosted by The Open University Business School and will take place at The Open University, Milton Keynes on Thursday 19 May 2011 from 10.30 to 4.00. It will focus on new forms of social action including, for example, new forms of participation, the use of social media, virtual volunteering, social investment and enterprise activity. More information here.

The third issue of Voluntary Sector Review has been released

The contents of Volume 1 Number 3 can be viewed here.

We received very positive feedback on the first two issues, which suggests that we are being successful in establishing the journal as the premier outlet for high-quality peer-reviewed papers on third sector research, policy and practice.

If you are not already a VSSN member (or have not yet renewed your subscription for 2010-11), why not join (or renew) so that you receive your own print copy of VSR as a membership benefit, at a considerable discount compared with the cost of the journal to non-members? Information about joining can be found here.

Your institution”s library might be one of the many that have taken up TPP”s offer of a free online subscription to Volume 1 – see: www.policypress.co.uk/journals_vsr_trial.asp. If so, please encourage the library up to maintain its subscription for future volumes. Note that VSR will continue to be free as part of a package of TPP journal subscriptions.

If you would like to submit your own work for consideration by the editorial team, Notes for Contributors can be found here: www.policypress.co.uk/journals_vsr_nfc.asp. The journal includes academic articles (8,000 words), practice pieces and policy reviews (both 2,000 to 3,500 words). All are, of course, subject to rigorous peer-review.

IVAR announces programme for Day Conference on 2 December 2010

Mike Aiken (IVAR) writes:

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to be able to give you details of the VSSN Day Seminar on Wed 1 December 2010 in London which will take place 5 minutes walk from Kings Cross Station. The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) is pleased to be hosting this event. To avoid disappointment please book early as there will be limited space available. Bookings are now open but when we are full we are full.

There are an exciting range of contributions bringing together top name international researchers such as Janet Newman who will offer her analysis of the new policy agenda by asking: The Big Society: The return of the repressed or business as usual?She will be complemented by a panel including Pete Alcock who has been developing his own take on what the Big Society may mean to the voluntary sector and Karl Wilding who will add to the discussion from his insights into what he sees happening in the sector so far. Your questions and reflections are an important part of this session and for this reason we will be ably chaired by Margaret Harris who will also act as an informal discussant to the conversation.

In our first session Bryan Collis from WCVA will add to this theme with his analysis of the effects of the credit crunch on third sector organisations in Wales. Our morning will end with a 30 minute VSSN slot which will offer a chance to learn about some of the business of, and developments in, VSSN including the AGM. It also provides an opportunity to share your own news of books, new research or events you are engaged in. Our VSSN chair, Chris Cornforth will kick us off. Lunch and networking is included in your registration fee.

After lunch, in our second session, Rob MacMillan will ask if transforming the voluntary sector is a perpetual work-in- progress machine? We are delighted to gain an international perspective in our third session, on the career paths of volunteer managers, from Karen Smith a visiting scholar from New Zealand.

Our final session for the day represents a mild innovation on our usual format by offering three researchers a chance to present their work in brief with questions at the end. So we are delighted that Ceri Davies will be examining neighbourly relations between campus and community with Mariana Bogdanova considering the nature of partnerships for a developing third sector in Bulgaria while Eddy Hogg will sketch his research into the Demographic Opportunity: volunteering in older age. We will conclude with a tea break.

The fee for the day covers entry to the event, lunch and all refreshments. We do ask all participants, including presenters and chairs, to register and pay for the day as VSSN is a network whose main funds come from members’ subscriptions. See the weblink for full details of the programme, abstracts, and how to register and pay. The registration fee is £30 for members, £60 for non-members. Concessionary rate: £20 for VSSN members without financial support. We warmly welcome you to join VSSN if you are not already a member. Details of membership benefits (including a subscription to the journal Voluntary Sector Review) are here.

If you wish to attend, please register online. The VSSN executive officer will then contact you about payment. If you have any difficulties registering please contact us at: bookings@vssn.org.uk

We will provide details of the venue, which is a 5 minute walk from Kings Cross Station in central London, and a link to a map to all registered participants.

Book soon to avoid disappointment! We look forward to seeing you shortly.

Call for nominations: Steering Group and VSR Editorial Management Board elections

Andri Soteri-Procter writes:-

Due to the successful launch of Voluntary Sector Review (VSR) earlier this year and the on-going work of the VSSN Steering Group there are plenty of opportunities for you to engage in supporting our work. This year we will be running separate elections (by single transferable vote) for the VSSN Steering Group (trustees) and for the VSR Editorial Management Board. We are now inviting self-nominations for both.

So if you are:

Interested in supporting the work of VSSNAre able to contribute a few hours a month of your timeHave views on how VSSN and VSR should developHave editorial, chairing, website, secretarial, marketing or membership skills and experience

Then please consider nominating yourself for one of the positions and help continue VSSN”s success. Please note: For your nomination to be accepted you must have paid your VSSN membership fee for 2010-11.

VSSN Steering Group

There are currently three vacancies for the VSSN Steering Group. The roles that elected members take are decided between them consensually after the election. These include: chair, secretary, online services, membership and marketing, external relations, treasurer, research directory, and the annual conference. We are particularly looking for people who can contribute to the vision and technical development of the new VSSN website, though we encourage self-nominations whatever your expertise. Terms of office may vary but will normally be for three years in the first instance (and six years in total). Details of existing Steering Group members and our roles can be found here.

VSR Editorial Management Board

There are currently two vacancies for VSR Editorial Management Board (EMB). As with the SG, we are looking for self nomination. Terms of office may vary but will normally be for three years in the first instance (and six years in total). Once elected, the EMB will select the Editorial Team; who may be drawn from within the EMB or from VSSN members outside it. Our agreement with the publishers, The Policy Press, is that Peter Halfpenny will continue to serve as the principal Editor throughout the first volume of the Journal (i.e. until end 2010), after which a new Editor may be appointed by the Board. Additional details about the roles and responsibilities of the EMB can be found at the end of the attached nominations form.

Only VSSN members who have paid for the year 2010-11 may nominate themselves for either group, and you are reminded that standing for a VSSN SG role means becoming a trustee of the organisation. You may stand for both groups, but will need to complete separate nomination forms for each. These can be downloaded for completion from the links below:

VSSN SG elections nomination form 2010VSR EMB elections nomination form 2011

All nominations must be received by 22nd October 2010 as an email attachment sent to execofficer@vssn.org.uk with a signed copy sent to VSSN Office, PO Box 7917, Swadlincote DE11 1ET, UK (to be received by 27th October).

All members will be notified of the nominations received and, if elections are necessary, details of an online ballot will be notified to all members at the beginning of November. Results of the election will then be announced at the VSSN Annual General Meeting which will be held on 1 December 2010 at the Birkbeck College, London, at which point the new members will formally become active.

In addition to these roles within the formal governance structures of VSSN and VSR we are also keen to draw more of you into other areas of work – to make use of your skills and expertise in developing the network. We already involve several volunteers in this way – Jill Mordaunt, for example, has been supporting VSSN through moderating the email discussion list for many years now, and Nick Plant continues his commitment in supporting the development of the VSSN website. All provide a valuable and much appreciated service to the Network. We now need more of you to volunteer for similar activities in order to develop the Network to its full potential. We will get back to you about this after the elections; so this is really a forewarning of our intentions to ask again for your help.

If you have any questions about this process please do not hesitate in contacting me by emailing: secretary@vssn.org.uk, otherwise we shall look forward to receiving your nomination forms as soon as possible!

Best wishes

Andri Soteri-Procter, VSSN Secretary