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National recognition for Somerset VCSE alliance
3rd Feb 2021

National recognition for Somerset VCSE alliance – Open Mental Health

We’re delighted to announce that Open Mental Health - a Somerset alliance of VCSE organisations, working with statutory partners and chaired by Spark Somerset - has been featured in a new national report, ‘Rebalancing the Relationship’.

Published by ACEVO, NCVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, the ‘Rebalancing the Relationship’ project began two years ago with an aim of contributing to the improvement, frequency, effectiveness and spirit of partnership between larger and smaller charities

Open Mental Health – an alliance of Somerset VCSE organisations– came together in 2019 to co-produce a local community mental health model, working in partnership with the Somerset NHS Somerset Foundation Trust, Somerset County Council and the NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. Despite the challenges, we were determined from the outset to create a partnership that comprised VCSE organisations,

large and small, so that we could provide the best possible support for communities in Somerset.

As identified clearly in the report, we were also aware of the challenges presented by a more traditional commissioning and procurement environment and were keen to break down some of these barriers to collaboration that had existed for many years.

Although still at the beginning of our journey, we’re really proud to have been asked to contribute to this report and share what we have learned along the way.

“We came together to develop this work because we believe in it and the difference it can make for our beneficiaries. We all had to be okay with not always getting it right.” Rethink Mental Illness

"All of this is about relationships. It’s not about size, it’s about commitment and culture within organisations. We kept coming back to why we were here, it’s not about any individual organisation.” Spark Somerset

Read the full report here.