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Relationships between the voluntary and statutory sectors

Published : 21/06/24 | Categories: Influencing | Information & support | Volunteering |

Our Helpforce Cymru project and the Bevan Commission have published a new paper looking at how the voluntary and statutory sectors can better collaborate.


The values and value of the third sector, drafted by Richard Newton Consulting on behalf of WCVA and the Bevan Commission, examines the touch points between the statutory and voluntary sectors, and the potential for more effective collaboration in achieving health and care outcomes across Wales.

The findings of this paper follow focus groups and one to one interviews with 121 people across Wales, looking at the challenges for voluntary/statutory sector relationships, building cross-sector relationships, determining and communicating value, and delivering transformational change. Case studies were developed with 11 organisations to capture the variety of context, benefits and challenges experienced.


The paper identifies seven ways in which voluntary sector organisations can contribute most to enriching and supporting mainstream services. These are hospital to home support, social prescribing, integrated delivery, co-production, innovation, addressing inequalities and early intervention. It does this across six sections:

  • Strategic context
  • The voluntary sector within a cross-sector ecology of health and care
  • The values and benefits of the voluntary sector
  • Enhancing and supporting ‘the system’
  • Opportunities for cross-sector collaboration
  • Themes for change: issues and solutions


The paper makes a number of overarching recommendations to help realise a health service that is fit for the future, including the necessity for early and continuous dialogue and making use of existing voluntary sector infrastructure.

The full paper and executive summary are both available online to read.

This new paper is a companion piece to the paper, The value and values of volunteering – our hidden asset, exploring the role of volunteers within the health and care system. You can read some of the case studies referenced above, along with others, on our page The sector’s work in health and social care: case studies.

An additional paper, using some of the material not included in this paper, will be published in the coming weeks. It will be titled ‘Why the third sector matters for health and wellbeing in Wales’.


For further information, please visit the Helpforce Cymru page.

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