EPNAVCO supports the sustainable development of voluntary and community organisations through the provision of advice, information and individual support for organisational development. EPNAVCO has a number of systems available to organisations to help them in their development. These are Grantfinder, grants on line, ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) full cost recovery system, Funderfinder system, including information leaflets and Community Matters information.

EPNAVCO has provided accessible services and resources to local organisations and supported the building of their capacity in order to enable them to operate more effectively. It has a resource centre which organisations can access which contains a variety of literature and information. Information to the sector has been provided through its quarterly newsletter and more recently an online monthly Funding Bulletin has been produced for both local and regional voluntary organisations. The bulletin has been produced with support from the Change-Up Consortium working group on funding. The bulletin will remain a fundamental element of the support provided to the sector, as funding is the main priority for all voluntary groups

EPNAVCO has good links with the voluntary and statutory sector and is looking to facilitate effective communication within the sector. It has played a significant role in the development of the local Compact and has been entrusted with the co-ordination of the responses to the draft Compact circulated to all relevant organisations as part of the consultation on the Compact. EPNAVCO is also a member of the Local Strategic Partnership and has attended the Officers meeting of this group which includes representatives of the statutory bodies. We are particularly involved in the delivery of the Local Strategic Partnership's Community Engagement Strategy.

Close links have been developed with all three of the main statutory bodies. Community Development workers from Cheshire West & Chester (CWaC) work closely with our own Community workers within the most deprived areas of Ellesmere Port and meet regularly to discuss progress. A close relationship exists between the other infrastructure support organisations operating across Cheshire West. The Third Sector Assembly is a network of voluntary,community and faith sector organisations operating across the borough and is supported by a consortium consisting of representatives from the infrastructure organisations including EPNAVCO.

One of the main aims of EPNAVCO is to establish clear leadership on behalf of the voluntary and community sector in Ellesmere Port and Neston and so that joint working between agencies in both the voluntary and community sectors can be conducted on a ‘partnership of equals’ basis with statutory organisations.

Strategic Partnerships
EPNAVCO is one of a number of voluntary and community organisations sitting on the Local Strategic Partnership, the Neston Market Town Partnership Board and also the local Compact Working group. EPNAVCO plays an active role in these partnerships.

Detailed services
In addition to the primary services provided to member organisations EPNAVCO provides the following services to its members and all voluntary and community sector organisations operating in Ellesmere Port and Neston.

Quarterly Newsletter;
Monthly Funding Bulletin;
Meeting rooms;
Voluntary and Community Sector Resource Centre with access to IT equipment and a Library Facility;
Letterheads and promotional material production support;
Funding advice;
Funding application support;
Volunteering advice;
Organisational development support and advice;
Business Plan development;
Volunteer Centre;
Training signposting.

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