Frequently Asked Questions

Becoming a Member
Membership Criteria
Help and Support
About the Programme
Services
Data Protection


Becoming a Member

How can I become a member of Voice4Change England?
It’s really simple! If you are not an existing Subscriber, you will need to complete our membership form.

Join Online
www.voice4change-england.co.uk/content/membership

Email us for a printed form
info@voice4change-england.co.uk

Phone us for a printed form
020 3405 5210

Write to us for a printed form or to return your completed forms
Membership Services
Voice4Change England

30 Binney Street

London

W1K 5BW

I am a Subscriber, how can I become a member?
You do need to take any action if you would like to continue being a part of Voice4Change England.

The old V4CE Subscriber Scheme is now closed and has been replaced by the enhanced new membership programme and your information will be transferred to the new records. You will receive an email from the V4CE membership team telling you about this change and offering you the option to opt-out.

I do no wish to be upgraded from the Subscriber scheme to the Membership Programme, what do I do?
As an existing Subscriber and do not wish to continue being a part of Voice4Change England and receiving the enhanced benefits, you can opt-out by responding to the introductory launch email, or by emailing membership@voice4change-england.co.uk with the word ‘opt-out’ in the subject line.

I have filled in the membership form? What happens next?
Once you have sent us your details we will need up to 28 days to process your application. Within that time, you will hear from the membership team acknowledging receipt of your details.

Once your details have been processed, we will get in touch to welcome you to our membership programme and you will get your welcome pack in the post. The pack will contain everything you need to know about your new membership, including your membership number.

When will I get my membership number?
V4CE will send you your unique membership number in the welcome pack, which you can expect within 28 days of our receipt of your application.

If I sign-up to V4CE will I automatically become a member of NCVO and Community Matters?
The V4CE membership programme is a collaborative venture not a joint scheme. We will offer you better services but not a joint one – each organisation will continue to have its independent membership programmes. This means each organisation will continue to have an independent sign-up process. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

All you need to do is click on the links to the NCVO and Community Matters membership pages from our website and emails.

How can I use my 20% discount on NCVO and Community Matters membership?
To use the 20% discount you will need to write your V4CE membership number on the membership form.
For NCVO, you will find a ‘reference’ box at the top of the form, please fill in your V4CE membership number there.
For Community Matters, please quote your V4CE membership number when completing your application form.


Membership Criteria

What are the V4CE membership criteria?
To qualify to become a member of Voice4Change England you need to be -

  1. A voluntary or community organisation or social enterprise
  2. Your organisation is based in England

Our organisation does not meet the membership criteria, can we still join V4CE?
If you are not a voluntary community or social enterprise organisation, V4CE invite you to join as a Friend. Friends can stay in touch with V4CE, sign-up to our information services and events and learn more about the organisations we are working to support. To find out more, please email info@voice4change-england.co.uk

We are not a charity, can we join?
We welcome members from organisations not formally registered as a charity.

If you are a business or a public sector organisation you can join us as a Friend.

Our organisation is not based in England, can we join?
Only organisations serving England can be full members of V4CE. Your services needn’t exclusively be for England (you could be working in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as well). 

We are a public sector (statutory) body, can we join Voice4Change England?
Only voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSE) can become full members of V4CE. We are really keen to build stronger relationships and work with the public sector and welcome you to join us as a Friend.

We are a business, can we join Voice4Change England?
Only voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSE) can become full members of V4CE. We are really keen to build stronger relationships and work with businesses and welcome you to join us as a Friend.

 

Help & Support

Who is the Voice4Change England Membership Team?
The Voice4Change England membership team comprise staff and volunteers drawn from various projects and functions within the organisation to support you, the member, better.

Rushena Miah
Administrative Officer
020 7697 4240
rushena@voice4change-england.co.uk

I have a question about the programme, who do I contact?
If you have a question about the design and delivery of the programme, the collaboration, the programme partners or the services, please contact the Membership Programme Manager - Kunle Olulode on 020 7697 4240  or Kunle@voice4change-england.co.uk.

I cannot sign-up using the online form, what are my options?
If you do not have access to the internet or are unable to fill out our online membership form, please call the membership team on 020 7697 4240  or write to us at Voice4Change England, Unit 4.3, Fourth Floor, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA  and we will send you a printed form.

Alternatively if you have access to the internet but prefer a printed form, you can email members@voice4change-england.co.uk or download and print a form from www.voice4change-england.co.uk/membership.

I would like to become a member and need help with the V4CE registration process, who can I contact?
If you need help signing up please contact our membership team on 020 3405 5210 or info@voice4change-england.co.uk

Who can help me sign-up for the NCVO and Community Matters membership programme?
To become a member of NCVO or Community Matters and use your exclusive 20% discount, you will need to complete a separate registration process.

If you need any help with registration or have a question about membership to our partner organisations please contact – NCVO on 020 7520 2414 or email membership@ncvo-vol.org.uk or Community Matters on 020 7837 7887 or email flori.libreros@communitymatters.org.uk.


Programme

Why a collaborative programme? What’s the story behind this programme?
When Voice4Change England were thinking about introducing a new membership programme, we wanted to do more than create a sign-up system, we wanted to create something that embodied and represented our values and aims to the sector, something that would inspire a new way of working.

We found that the biggest challenge in the sector was the gap that lay between the generic support providers and BME organisations of all sorts. The sector as a whole seemed caught up in the debate around generic or specialist – who ought to be serving the sector and the organisations providing vital services to our communities?  We thought why not prove to the sector that it did not have to be one or the other? Let us show that generic and specialist support providers did in reality provide complementary services not competing or duplicate ones, as most people believed.

When the programme partners met to discuss the collaboration, it became evident that each partner was bringing special skills and expertise to the table. It was also obvious that while it seemed that partners were providing similar services like consultancy or information the core content and aims were very different. So, email bulletins produced by each organisation carried distinct content tailored to community/local organisations, BME issues or wider sector concerns.

V4CE hopes that this collaboration will work at two levels. First, that it will provide easier access for BME voluntary and community organisations to generic (and specialist) support and better reach for support providers into the chronically under-resourced BME VCS. Secondly, this programme will create a platform for more joint working between the programme partners, to possibly enable joint services, events and resources in the future as well as more interaction between the members of each partner organisation encouraging more engagement, participation, cross-fertilisation of networks and ultimately stronger relationships between different parts of the sector.

Why did V4CE choose to work with NCVO?
NCVO are the largest umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector and wider civil society with an extensive range of services, advice and resources to offer. As the key generic national support organisation for the sector, V4CE felt it important to improve the diversity of the members they served and help provide easier access for BME organisations to a range of generic services. This programme has also allowed V4CE and NCVO to showcase their distinct yet complementary services and support offers.

Why did V4CE choose to work with Community Matters?
Voice4Change England value their relationship with Community Matters who champion voluntary and community action at a neighbourhood level. Community Matters bring specialist expertise on organisational development, community assets, range of advice services and quality standards for small community organisations, local groups and activists, which would be of great value to our small and local BME members. V4CE and Community Matters hope to also work together behind the scenes to offer joint services, host joint events and produce joint resources for members of both organisations in the future.

Why did V4CE choose to partner with Charity Builder UK?
Charity Builder UK is a unique service funded by Tennyson Insurance that provides practical solutions to managing HR, complying with health and safety regulation, and buying cheap insurance. This service is only available for free to voluntary and community organisations through a national partner like V4CE. Voice4Change England felt it would a valuable benefit to their often cash-strapped BME members to avail of hands-on support to organisational essentials for free.

What happens to the old Subscriber Scheme?
The old Subscriber Scheme no longer exists and will be replaced by the much enhanced new collaborative membership programme. All V4CE Subscribers and their data will be transferred to the new programme, unless they chose to opt-out.

How is the new V4CE Collaborative Membership Programme different from the Subscriber Scheme?
The Collaborative Membership Programme is different from the Subscriber Scheme in three ways. First, the new programme is a membership structure that feeds into the governance of the organisation, so members will attend AGMs to vote for the V4CE board.

Second, the collaboration with NCVO, Community Matters and Charity Builder UK enables the programme to offer a wider range of complementary services to meet generic or specialist needs. From time to time, we will also ask you in more detail about your needs and views to help us design better and more targeted support and services for you.

Thirdly, we will be reviewing the success of the programme and introduce new partners to our membership programme to further widen the choice we offer V4CE members so that they can benefit from an even broader range of support and services.

Who funds this programme?
This programme is core to Voice4Change England’s activities. This is part of the Strengthening Voices project funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s BASIS Round 2. Find out more about what we do as part of the Strengthening Voices project.


Services

I have now received my membership number, how can I access Charity Builder UK’s online service?
You will need to register on to the Charity Builder service at www.charitybuilder.co.uk, quoting your affiliation to V4CE. You will then receive your login information and be ready to access their unique support service.

Through this collaboration will you be offering joint services to members?
This collaboration will ensure you have a wider choice of services. We have been working behind the scenes to ensure that we and our partner organisations do not offer duplicate services, but instead have a range of services that play to our strengths and specialisms. All partners will refer to the right provider depending on your needs – so if you are looking for advice on managing a community asset we will ask you to contact the Community Matters team and if you are after training on managing finances we will signpost you to NCVO, and if you need support on lobbying locally or want your needs on the agenda of policymakers, we will be here to help.

We also aim to work together to host events and create resources that we feel will benefit you.

I want to be able to influence the policy agenda in my area, but need better information and more support?
We are here to represent your needs and your issues to national policy-makers and want to help you make your case for change in your area. Our policy team will provide you with briefings on the big topics that will affect you and your users, invite you to our lobbying events and help you connect with the people that matter most.

How can we use all the information from our funding reports to demonstrate our impact to public bodies, policy-makers and other funders?
Our Working Better programme, in partnership with CES has supported BME organisations and networks to implement quality assurance and impact tools, as well as develop bespoke training programmes with its BME users. We will ensure you choose the right tools and skills and have access to a range of resources that work for you.

We work to help our local community but feel that we need to work more with other organisations like ourselves, and link to the wider sector?
V4CE are committed to helping BME organisations collaborate and work better together. You can chat to our Collaboration Officer to assess your needs or just ask a question. We will ensure you are able to find the right resources and skills – and to top it all, we will connect you to others doing similar work, and invite to our networking events, as well as sign you up to our virtual networks, so you can continue your conversations anytime you want!

I need training on financial management systems, can you help me?
V4CE are here to provide you with specialist support and advice on meeting the needs of BME organisations and do not offer help with generic organisational development. You needn’t worry, because our partnership with NCVO and Community Matters ensures that we are able to signpost you to cost-effective services. We are offering a special 20% discount on your membership fees to both organisations, to make it a little bit easier for you to access their services.

 


Data Protection

The ‘data protection’ section of the membership form asks me to ‘opt-in’ and ‘opt-out’ of certain communications. What does this mean?
V4CE like all other organisations have to adhere to the Data Protection Act 1998. This act gives individuals or organisations receiving any sort of communications material, the right to choose what and how often they are sent emails, mail-shots or letters.

By law, you need to ‘opt-in’ or choose to receive any electronic communications like emails, e-newsletters. You will need to tick a box on your membership form saying ‘yes’ you’d like to receive e-communications.

For all printed communication that comes through the post, you will need to ‘opt-out’ or say no, if you do not wish to receive any printed material.

You are welcome to contact the V4CE membership team to change your preferences at any point.

Once I fill out the V4CE membership form, who will have access to my data?
Once you fill in the membership form, your data is stored in a secure database that only authorised members of staff can access. Your paper forms are filed in a secure area on the organisation’s premises. This information is for our use only. We will not share your data with any interested external parties.

How will V4CE use the information on the form?
The information from the membership form is essential for us to better understand you, our member, communicate effectively and provide you with the right sort of support and services. It also allows us to ensure we are able to identify opportunities that might be interest to you and only send you information that is relevant.

Since this is a collaborative programme, will the partner organisations use V4CE’s data on my organisation to send me promotional material?
V4CE and the programme partners have a clear understanding on the protocol around sharing data. No data on members will be shared between organisations. So V4CE will not pass information on your organisation to their partners. Any communications you receive about services and offers from the programme partners will come from V4CE, in keeping with the boxes you ticked in the ‘data protection declaration’ part of the membership form. V4CE pledges not to send you any unsolicited communications.