BNSSG Healthier Together

Design-Thinking with the VCSE Alliance


Update from the Innovate Healthier Together Programme.

The Innovate Healthier Together team were invited to join representatives of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Alliance to support them think innovatively about a collaborative bid to the Volunteering for Health fund. Led by Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS) on behalf of the VCSE Alliance, a representative group from across the sector came together for a facilitated session. The objectives of the session were to:

  • Establish a shared understanding of the volunteering infrastructure challenges they would like to address if funding was secured from the Volunteering for Health programme.
  • To identify opportunities they would like to pursue to realise the potential of volunteering in improving the experience and outcomes of peoples using the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire health and care system. These opportunities will include those that build capacity and capability of volunteering organisations.

The Innovate Healthier Together team guided the group through a series of design-thinking techniques, structured around the Design Councils Double-Diamond design and innovation process to support them realise these objectives. They used these techniques to generate problem statements, brainstorm and prioritise solutions and start to work these up into specific areas of focus for the bid.

“I thought that the tools that you used to get us to frame the problem and tease out some new solutions were great and really got the discussion flowing… I would feel 9/10 confident at discussing the problem with the colleague and we relied heavily on the session to craft the bid.”

Mandy Gardner, Chief Executive, VANS

Decisions will be communicated to bidders in May 2024 – fingers cross BNSSG VCSE Alliance are successful.