We currently have four senior leaders from the VCS who have been elected as Involvement Partners by our full members.

They aim to bring a loud voice to the VCS by introducing Involvement Partners to represent the sector at strategic level. Ensuring the sector has a place at the table where discussions are held, and decisions are made, it is vital to have VCS representation, as it informs and positively influences how local public services are developed and delivered. 

What does a VCS Involvement Partner do?

VCSIP play a key role in giving the voluntary and community sector a voice. Our Connect team work closely with them to ensure:

  • they are clear about their role
  • they recognise they are working on behalf of the VCS and not for self-interest
  • key information is being fed back effectively across the network
  • views of the VCS are discussed appropriately within the meetings.

All VCIPS are provided with a role description and training and are fully supported by both our Connect team and our senior adviser.

Who are they?

Our VCS Involvement Partners have breadth of knowledge, experience and passion in supporting communities, championing the VCS and ensuring they have a voice and a seat at the table.

Karen Loftus, CEO of Community Action Network - Health and Wellbeing Board (BCP), Local Resilience Forum (pan-Dorset), Vibrant Communities Partnership Board (BCP) & Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (South West)


 Karen has been CEO at CAN since May 2019 and has worked in both the VCS and public sector for over 20 years, holding senior positions in local and national charities including NHS Dorset HealthCare University Foundation Trust, NHS primary care, and what was The Borough of Poole in Children’s Centres. She is passionate in ensuring the voluntary and community sector has a seat at the table and their voices are heard.





Lynn Giles, Action for Children - Children and Young Peoples Partnership Board (BCP)


Lynn has been working at Action for Children for over 16 years and brings a wealth of experience and passion having been involved in developing and managing lots of different services for children and families in Dorset during this time. 




Natascha McAllister, CEO of SEDCAT – Dorset & BCP Joint Safeguarding Adult Board (BCP representative)


SEDCAT is a local transport charity working with many different types of vulnerable adults in addition to this Natascha has over 10 years of experience dealing with vulnerable people with a disability.  



Sam Everard, CEO of SAMEE – Programme Group for SEND Improvement Board

SAMEE is an organisation working closely with SEND schools, parents and young people in education. Sam also sits as chair on the South-West Regional Stakeholder Network for the Disability Unit in the Cabinet Office. Sam is excited to be able to further elevate the voice of SEND indivudals and ensure their voice is heard at the table.

Sara Armstrong, currently working with Bournemouth Food Bank and Maddie’s Miracles  – BCP Community Safety Partnership Board & the Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Strategy Group (BCP)

Sara is passionate in ensuring individuals have the opportunity to live in a safe and secure environment she brings a breadth of knowledge of the VCS and the challenges they face and hopes she will be able to raise awareness of better partnership working across all sectors.

If you would like to know more about our VCS Involvement Partners please contact our Partnerships Manager, Emma Lee, [email protected]