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We established the voluntary sector forum for leaders of voluntary sector groups within Erewash as a means of connecting the local community. It is common for different agencies to introduce new roles working in the community, all with the same aims. It seemed obvious there was a need to connect these people and groups. Simply through individuals being in the same room and sharing information about their roles we have increased understanding of and awareness of the services currently on offer and improved signposting for local people. The forum provides an opportunity to discuss issues of common concern, gain mutual support and take collective action. It campaigns and raises the profile of the community and voluntary sector’s work and helps facilitate cross-sector partnership working.

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