Jess Sumner

CEO, Community Works Brighton

Jess Summer, during 12 years as a VCSE CEO with several organisations and over 20 years working in the VCSE sector, has worked with stakeholders and navigated between her own organisation’s strategic vision and agendas/requirements set by; unitary and two tier local authorities (including Adult Social Care, Public Health, Housing), health structures, national bodies and regulatory requirements (Financial Conduct Authority, Advice Quality Standards). She has also worked within organisations that are part of a federated structure, and created working relationships at a national and local level to bring together those agendas which did not always easily connect.

Jess has worked to increase the strategic impact of the VCSE in Brighton and Hove and Adur and Worthing. As well as being a founding member and the Chair of an Alliance of support organisations working across West Sussex, she is also involved in the development of the West Sussex Voluntary and Community Infrastructure Alliance and redesigned the collaborative delivery of VCSE infrastructure across West Sussex.

Jess acted as VCSE lead for Sussex ICS, driving the design of a new model with the ICS lead, securing funding from NHS England and from the ICS to integrate VCSE leaders with Health systems. She is currently working with others on a design that accommodates systems leadership with health leads, but also strengthens the need for funded representation from small and large VCSE organisations, utilising existing partnership structures rather than overlaying new structures. Throughout this work, she has been building relationships across Sussex with peers to ensure collaborative work.

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