Strategic Lead appointed to represent Worcestershire Voluntary & Community Sector

Voluntary and Community Sector Strategic Lead appointed to champion the sector across Worcestershire.

Esther Passingham has been appointed to the newly created role, aimed at bringing together VCS groups and organisations with Worcestershire County Council and NHS to make the county a better place to live and work.

Esther will be responsible for developing partnerships and collaborative working across the sector, including an important role in the development and implementation of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care System.

Esther commented:

“We know that Voluntary and Community organisations are key to reducing health inequalities and engaging communities. I want to support the development of partnerships and collaborative working, so that together we can achieve more.

“I also want to ensure that the essential work of Worcestershire’s Voluntary and Community Sector is recognised, and that the sector has a voice and is represented effectively across the county, with resources in place to enable this to happen.”

Esther has over 20 years working in the sector, including 14 years in Worcestershire as Chief Executive Officer of Worcester Community Trust and of The Sandycroft Wellbeing Centre in Redditch. Most recently, Esther has been leading the leading the Development Team at Voscur, the support and development agency for Bristol’s voluntary and community sector.

The Voluntary and Community Sector Strategic Lead position is being jointly funded by Worcestershire County Council and NHS organisations across the county with the aim of reducing the health and social inequalities and engaging communities.

Sue Harris, Executive Director of Strategy and Partnerships, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said:

“Harnessing and embedding the skills and expertise of our voluntary and community sector is key to the success of our integrated care system, especially as we work together to tackle health inequalities and the wider determinants of health.

“To have Esther as a dedicated lead for the VCS at this stage in our journey is really exciting and will enable us to build on what has worked so well through the pandemic and really strengthen the participation of the sector in all aspects of future planning and delivery.”

Louise West, Lead Commissioner, Communities & Partnerships, Worcestershire County Council, commented:

“The voluntary and community sector are valued partners in supporting the wellbeing of Worcestershire residents. Having Esther in post as our dedicated specialist lead to work alongside the voluntary and community sector is absolutely critical to the overall success of the Integrated Care System (ICS) developments and beyond.

“Worcestershire County Council will work proactively alongside the voluntary and community sector to build on its strengths, diversity and expertise to enable positive outcomes for all Worcestershire residents. Their involvement in the Worcestershire ICS journey is invaluable and as a key partner, Worcestershire County Council is pleased to support Esther in this exciting and challenging role.”

If you would like to learn more about the VCS in Worcestershire and how to engage with the sector, please contact Esther Passingham –