The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE) plays a crucial role in the health, wellbeing and social care agenda, influencing policy and delivering services.

VONNE works to ensure that North East VCSEs influence service design and delivery and supports sector engagement in implementing and commenting on national policy, programmes and guidance.


Social Prescribing Network

Recognising that health is influenced by a variety of social, economic and environmental factors, social prescribing seeks to meet people's health needs in a holistic way by enabling health care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.  

Social prescribing often includes activities which are provided by the VCSE sector, including volunteering, sporting activities, befriending services, cookery and healthy eating advice, for example.

VONNE is a strategic partner of Public Health England North East and we are working to establish a North East Social Prescribing Network which brings together the VCSE, commissioners and stakeholders. 


Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships

Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) are local, place based plans that aim to improve health and care in partnership with local councils and communities. 

Due to our extensive reach, VONNE is ideally placed to facilitate the engagement of the VCSE sector in STPs.  We are working with partners on the STP agenda to:

  • Provide knowledge and information on the sector and those it represents to inform the planning and development of services and facilitate co-production.  
  • Ensure the VCSE sector's voice is heard within the STP footprints within the North East through our position as a member of the STP Prevention Work Stream Board. 
  • Work with VCSE partners to ensure the sector is represented within the Cumbria and North East Local Workforce Action Board.

Read our VONNE Briefing on STPs in the resources section of the website.


Building Health Partnerships

Building Health Partnerships (BHP) support STP leads to engage with the VCSE sector and citizens on wellbeing and self-care priorities, with a focus on social prescribing. 

The programme provides support from Institute of Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) and Social Enterprise UK to bring NHS and local authority health and social care leads together with VCSE and citizen representatives to support co-production in self-care and prevention planning and the commissioning of services.

After supporting a successful bid to NHS England, VONNE is the lead VCSE partner within the North East Building Health Partnership Working Group.  The Group aims to embed self-care through social prescribing as part of the routine health offer in the North East and ensure it's viewed as a valuable and effective pathway alongside more traditional treatment and support.

The programme aims to:

  • Galvanise existing work in this area.
  • Identify opportunities where local good practice can be shared and become routine and scalable; addressing barriers to financing and commissioning.

Read our VONNE Briefing on BHPs in the resources section of the website.

To join the BHP network in the North East please email

Find out what Social Enterprise UK are doing in the North East on their website.