Alliance Development Group

The SpeakUp Forum organises a formal sub-group named the Voluntary and Community Sector Alliance Development Group (ADG). The ADG brings together fourteen leading local voluntary organisations to focus on developing collaborative practice in the design and delivery of services. Recognising the imperative to ‘do things differently’ within the voluntary sector, in the context of changing health and care systems in East Sussex and beyond, the ADG commits to building collaborative capacity for the benefit of the wider sector and our local communities.


ADG members have signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding which outlines a principled framework for developing collaborative practice with one another. The core of our work is to discuss openly and honestly the challenges we encounter as we try to behave differently, at a time when our organisations find themselves in competition for funding and often struggling to survive. 


The ADG intends for the lessons and models that emerge from our work to benefit the whole voluntary sector. We will be actively exploring different ways to co-create and share opportunities with non-member organisations.


The ADG will also be actively seeking to engage with appropriate people and structures in the public sector to share experiences and learning. Along with the main SpeakUp Forum, the ADG will be a valuable resource for designing new systems for commissioning and providing services for the benefit of local communities.

Alliance Development Group Principles for Collaborative Working

1. We believe that the VCS is a natural home of co-operation and partnership and we will develop our collaborations in a way that is consistent with the values of our sector.

2. We work to empower people and communities to have control of their own lives. We particularly value approaches that are bottom-up, user led, and seek to draw on the strengths and assets of local communities.

3. We aim to ensure equality of access for all members of all communities.

4. Our approach is to seek benefits for the wider voluntary sector, especially small, local community organisations that are such a crucial part of social capital in the county.

5. As far as we can, we will share funding opportunities with other members of this collaboration, and seek a shared approach to achieving resources on offer.

6. We work to build the resilience of the sector as a whole, and commit to pro-actively seek ways to also achieve other shared benefits.

7. We are developing a number of collaborative programmes of work between some of our members. Learning from these will inform how our collaboration develops.

Aims of the Alliance Development Group 

  1. To address the ADG’s identified, iterative, priorities

  2. To consolidate collaborative responses to new commissioning opportunities from the statutory sector

  3. To identify community needs not currently being met

  4. To influence procurement processes and systems

  5. To seek inward investment

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