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Charity: the New Welfare State?

Voluntary Action South West Surrey

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 9:15 AM to 4:30 PM (BST)

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Full Price: Paid staff Mar 30, 2018 £20.00 £0.00
Discounted price for volunteers Mar 30, 2018 £15.00 £0.00
Free ticket
Free ticket for small groups, income under £5,000
Apr 9, 2018 Free £0.00

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Event Details


Voluntary Action South West Surrey Annual Conference 2018 with the University of Surrey Student Union

10th April 2018

09.15 – 16.30

Charity: the new Welfare State?


£20 full price

£15 for Volunteers

Free for small groups with annual incomes under £5,000, email us to book a free place

As austerity continues and public spending tightens both the statutory and the voluntary sector face tough challenges in delivering services. We also have major changes to the Welfare Benefits system being introduced this autumn, nationally homelessness and child poverty is increasing and of course we have Brexit looming on the horizon.

Against this back drop Voluntary Sector Organisations are increasingly being asked to fill the gaps left by contracting public services, charities report that the demand for services is rising, and people’s problems are becoming more complex and harder to solve.

What are the implications of this for the sector when we are also facing reductions in funding, and fundraising is becoming ever more difficult? Can and should charities be replacing vital public services and what are the consequences for vulnerable people living in Surrey?

Join us for our 2018 conference where we will be discussing these issues, looking at the problems, discussing ways forward, new ways of working and how the sector should be responding.

We have the following speakers confirmed:

Debra Allcock Tyler: Chief Executive, Directory of Social Change

Joanna Killian: Chief Executive, Surrey County Council

Jo Cookes: Communities Engagement Director, Diocese of Guildford

Joanne Tester: Chief Executive, Guildford Action

More speakers to be announced soon.

Following on from our speakers and what we are sure will be a lively Q & A session we will be running a number of workshops all designed to follow through on our conference theme:

If you are looking to try and influence policy and improve things for your beneficiaries choose Building a Better Society; which is all about campaigning and lobbying or sign up forA Happier Healthier Guildford – Have your Say, with Guildford Borough Council. If you want to get attention for your cause go to local journalist David Rose’s workshop on Engaging with the Media. If you need more money for your group then  Helen Linnell's  workshop Perfect Pitch on writing better funding proposals should help. Involving volunteers is vital to running most voluntary sector services so we have two workshops on different aspects of volunteering plus one on Measuring the Impact you are making through your volunteering programme.

Maria Zealey from the Surrey Welfare Rights Unit will be outlining the changes to the Welfare Benefits System, a vital workshop if you want to understand the challenges faced by anyone on a low income.

Everyone is talking about GDPR at the moment – are you ready, should you be worrying? Alex Tolley from the University of Surrey will give you the lowdown and hopefully put your mind at rest.

Strong and successful organisations need good governance and so we have a workshop specifically for Trustees run by Helen Harvie, an expert in Charity Law.

Full details of the workshops can be found below.

Programme for the day:

09:15 Arrival and registration

9.45 Welcome & Opening Address from Max Lu Vice Chancellor from the University of Surrey

10:00 Speakers

11.10 Q & A

11.30 Break; refreshments & visit The Marketplace

12.00 Choice of workshops

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Choice of workshops

15.00 Speakers

15.30 Unconference: a chance for open discussions on issues important to you

16.30 Close



A: Code of Governance for Trustees

Details to come

Helen Harvie 

B: A Happier Healthier Society – Have your say

Helen Barnsley Guildford Borough Council Health and Well Being Board 

In this workshop Helen will be inviting discussion on how the Voluntary Sector and Guildford Borough Council can work together to support residents especially the more vulnerable and disadvantaged who are hardest hit hardest hit by austerity and changes to the Welfare State. Voluntary Sector organisations have a huge role in ensuring the health and wellbeing in our community so it makes sense that we are all involved in setting out what local priorities should be and that we work together to deliver them. Come to this workshop for your say on how to make a happier and healthier Guildford.

Helen Barnsley

Helen began her career in Environmental Health in 1991. She has worked at Rushmoor and Guildford Borough Council.

In 2005 she was one of seven environmental health staff seconded to the HSE partnership team. Since her return to Guildford her role has expanded to include corporate safety and emergency planning. This has led to significant involvement in the Olympic Road Cycle Race, hosting the Olympic evening torch celebration and the Tour of Britain.

In 2013 she became the public health coordinator for the Borough, coordinating across all Council services. She is a member of the Surrey Smokefree Alliance which won an award for its work prior to the implementation of the smokefree legislation.

Helen co-chairs the Guildford Health and Wellbeing Board with John Martin, Head of Health and Community Care. The Guildford Health and Wellbeing Board is a partnership with representatives from Guildford Borough Council, Guildford and Waverley and Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group, Surrey County Council and local voluntary groups. The Board’s strategy sets the principles and priorities for health and wellbeing in the Borough.

 C: Building a better society – how campaigning and lobbying can support your beneficiaries

Chris Walker, NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations)

Charities understand many of the problems faced by their beneficiaries as a result of ineffective government policies – but how can they effectively advocate for change? This session will provide an introduction to some of the key principles of campaigning and lobbying and some practical tips to help you influence local and national decision-makers.

Chris Walker

Chris Walker leads NCVO’s parliamentary and public affairs work. After starting his career working for a number of MPs in parliament, he also worked in policy and public affairs roles for the Federation of Small Businesses before joining NCVO in June 2015. A specialist in parliamentary and political influencing, he is responsible for NCVO’s campaigning and influencing training. 

D: Data Protection – what’s new with GDPR?

Alex Tolley, University of Surrey

Alex will give a brief overview of the new GDPR legislation, how it differs from the current Data Protection Act and a bit of practical advice on how to comply. There’s no need to be as scared as all the consultants make out!

Alex Tolley

Alex is Operations Manager and has responsibility for Data Protection at the University of Surrey Student’s Union where he has worked for 10 years. He strives to apply a common sense attitude and pragmatism to a world where it is common to make mountains out of molehills! 

E: Engaging with Student Volunteers

Maddie Thomas, University of Surrey Students Union

Maddie will be talking about how best to work with students from the university and engage them in your volunteering activities.

F: Measuring Volunteer Impact? What can it tell us and does it really matter?

Jess Hogan-Smith

Do you count volunteer hours or the output of their work? Does it really tell you anything? Can you truly capture the impact a volunteer programme has? In this workshop we will look at some of the tried and tested approaches to evaluating volunteer impact as well as thrashing out a few conflicting ideas. 

A good workshop for anyone thinking about evaluating their volunteer programme or wanting to review their existing evaluation measures. We will provide templates of some existing models. 

Jess Hogan-Smith

Jess Hogan-Smith has worked alongside volunteers for over 16 years. A volunteering professional with a real interest in sharing best practice and getting conversations started you can you usually find Jess by the kettle. She has worked with Voluntary Action South West Surrey, National Trust, Historic Royal Palaces and the RSPCA and draws on her experience running the Guildford Volunteer Centre and the organisations she worked alongside there, in her work. 

G: Getting your message across via local and social media

David Rose, VASWS 

David Rose from Voluntary Action South West Surrey has worked in local journalism for many years. He knows what it takes to write a good press release that will get published in the local press and local media. Importantly, social media is fast becoming an extremely effective way for groups and organisations to tell the public what they have to offer. David’s workshop will give details of getting the message across to local media, plus details of useful contacts within it, as well outlining the success he has found using social media and other internet platforms in his role as VASWS’s Joining In! Co-ordinator.

H: Promoting Equality and Diversity in Volunteering:

Lorraine Yates and Claire Lane, VASWS

This workshop looks at why equality and diversity in volunteering is important, at how ensuring diversity in your volunteer workforce can benefit your organisation, clients and volunteers, and most importantly gives you some practical steps you can put in place to help achieve diversity and promote a fair and harmonious environment for volunteering.

Volunteers aren’t covered by employment legislation in the same way that paid employees are and so do not have the same legal framework to protect themwhen it comes to discrimination. This then puts the onus on the organisation to ensure their policies and practices promote diversity.

Lorraine and Claire will talk you through eight simple steps with measurable actions you can put in place to help achieve equality and diversity in your volunteering programme. They will draw on the experiences of working with the VASWS Welcome to Volunteering Project which helps people with mental ill-health take up and sustain volunteering roles.

I: “What happened to the security in social security?” 

Maria Zealey, Surrey Welfare Rights Unit

Is the benefits system now just a residual poverty scheme or can it still achieve the ambitions of redistribution and support people through times of change?  This workshop looks at the recent welfare reforms and the challenges that lie ahead for Surrey households who receive benefits. 

Maria Zealey

Maria runs Surrey Welfare Rights Unit, a specialist Citizens Advice service for Surrey that helps the charity and statutory sector support benefit claimants.  

J: Perfect Pitch

Helen Linnell, Fundraiser

With austerity cuts taking hold in the charitable sector, competition for funds has increased and yet an unstable financial market has meant that may funders have less to give away. So how do you write a great funding application or proposal to a trust or major donor? This workshop will take you through the essential elements required to produce ‘The Perfect Pitch’ to potential funders. Together we will explore terminology such as Mission, Aims, Objectives and the difference between Output and an Outcome, understand the importance of  ‘Need’ and ‘Demand’ and look at the best ways to present your application and your project to achieve success. We will also examine what you need to be ‘proposal ready’ and how to present a sound and compelling case for support.

Helen Linnell

Helen has spent the last 14 years working as a Fundraiser for local and national charities, as well as developing and project managing several successful community and volunteering projects. As a trust fundraiser, she has successfully secured funds for projects from a wide range of sources ranging from The BIG Lottery (Reaching Communities, The HLF and Awards for All) to SITA Trust and Local Government.

Until recently a Development Officer at VASWS, she has now joined the fundraising team at The Farnham Malting’s focussing on individual giving.



Have questions about Charity: the New Welfare State?? Contact Voluntary Action South West Surrey

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When & Where

University Of Surrey
Alexander Fleming Road
GU2 7JL Guildford
United Kingdom

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 9:15 AM to 4:30 PM (BST)

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