Vision & Objectives

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Community Action Norfolk aim to:

Build a stronger and fairer Norfolk

Through support, empowerment and strategic partnership

With voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations 

How we got to this…

Talking to different people about what our role should be there was a tension between different key aspects:

  • The trade body role; supporting and advocating on behalf of voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations.
  • The noble cause, the reason behind why we are trying to do this that will make our communities better places.

We’ve tried to bridge these two aspects. The way we see it, our aim is to try and build a stronger and fairer Norfolk.* If we don’t keep sight of this we risk not staying true to the ethos of the charity. The way we do this, however, is through providing support, helping facilitate empowerment and building strategic partnerships. The main focus of that work is with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. This last bit helps emphasise the trade body role. The bit it misses is that we do work with the public and commercial sectors and we very much want to work with them (not simply tell them what the sector thinks about what they are doing). The final thing about the trade body role is simple: we can’t possibly represent the sector! It’s too big and too diverse. Our goal is to effectively promote and champion the sector's voice or perhaps more accurately, voices.

*Why a stronger and fairer Norfolk? As we talked to our staff teams, both sets off trustees, members and other stakeholders a number of things emerged. The first was the tension between the noble cause and the trade body role. We started talking about the noble cause being to make Norfolk a 'better' place. Some felt that this implied that Norfolk wasn’t a good place to start with, which is just false; Norfolk is an excellent place to live and work for the majority of people. Through a few iterations, 'stronger' seemed to be broad enough to encapsulate the ideas we wanted to convey whilst being sufficiently short and accessible.

Fairness was also seen as very important; it was about ensuring the core rural aspect of Norfolk RCC’s role was retained as well as the work WNVCA had undertaken around prejudice and equality. For many of the VCSE organisations we talked to the main concern was about getting a fair deal for a particular group within our community. 'Fairness,' whilst potentially seen as loaded was chosen over 'equity' or other phrases, as while all were hard to define in terms of the end result, fairness was more broadly accessible as a concept. No-one seemed to have any issue with 'Norfolk'!

We’ve not lost the rural! Norfolk RCC’s members were very keen to ensure this wasn’t lost. It will remain an important part of our work and we think we’ve captured it in the idea of fairness. In a county where 53% of the population lives in rural areas it clearly wouldn’t be fair if their needs weren’t being properly met.