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A series of policy and practice workshops were held in 2013 to promote knowledge exchange between local community organisations and the University.

Each workshop will focus on an emerging policy area, identifying the practical implications of these policies for the community organisations and jointly producing a briefing paper with implications and recommendations for the key sectors.

One set of seminars will be delivered in cooperation with Involve Yorkshire and Humber starting in May 2013. The first event will bring together representatives from Yorkshire's new Health Watches and their local authority commissioners to discuss the opportunities and challenges involved in setting up local health and social care consumer organisations.

ESRC Festival of Social Science: Valuing Volunteers in Health and Social Care. What does research tell us?

As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, on 7th November 2013 Leeds Beckett University held a seminar presenting recent research about the scope of volunteering in health and social care. The well attended event considered the preconditions for building a thriving volunteer base and what current research shows about volunteering trends. The discussion also focused on what organisations can do to get citizens involved in the delivery of services and the role of national policies to support volunteering. The event featured presentations from recent research on volunteering carried out by Leeds Beckett University, The King’s Fund and the Institute of Volunteering Research. Presentation slides can be accessed via the links in the downloadable event briefing below.

Valuing volunteers event briefing

Networking Seminar with Involve Yorkshire and Humber for Health Watches in the region and their commissioners - 16 May 2013

The event was an opportunity for representatives from the recently created local Health Watches in the Yorkshire and Humber region to meet with their commissioners. Attendees shared their experiences regarding the challenges of setting up these new organisations, which act as the local consumer champions for health and social care. The seminar enabled Health Watch staff and commissioners to identify development needs and a programme for future seminars to address them.

Workshop with Locality: Strengthening the voice of neighbourhoods - 17 July 2013

The workshop considered the implications of NHS reforms in England, in particular the setting up of CCGs and local Health and Wellbeing Boards, for neighbourhood organisations and the communities that they serve through capturing the experience of Locality members who are working in health and social care. Given that a central objective of the reforms is to foster greater responsiveness to local needs, working with the community and voluntary sector (CVS) should be a top priority for CCGs, HWBs and local authority public health professionals. Attendees were asked to comment on and improve a draft briefing paper that researchers from Leeds Beckett have been writing in conjunction with Locality

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