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Stamford Court

Manor Road



United Kingdom

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Future Focus - Strengthening Our Sector

Our annual conference for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE) in Leicester and Leicestershire is taking place on 9 September 2019.

Future Focus brings together the local VCSE sector to engage in a range of workshops on the current key topics affecting the sector, share ideas and innovation, be inspired by stories and network with one another.

The conference opens at 9:30am for registration and refreshments and officially begins at 10:00am with an opening address by VAL CEO Kevan Liles followed by our Keynote Speaker, Dr Nik Kotecha. Lunch will take place at 12:30pm and the conference closes at 4:00pm.

Delegates will have the choice of one morning workshop and one afternoon workshop. There are limited places available for the workshops and due to the room restrictions at Stamford Court we are unable to offer more places once they have been fully booked.

Workshops during the day are as follows:

Morning workshops - 11:30am

  • AM1: NCVO - Rebalancing the Relationship
    Facilitated by: Rebecca Young, Policy Officer
    Due to commissioning and bidding practices, as well as a move towards fewer, larger contracts, larger voluntary organisations are more likely to receive government funding. NCVO, ACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation are working together to explore how to rebalance the relationship between large and small voluntary organisations. We want a system that allows a range of voluntary organisations to deliver high quality services, enabling the distinctiveness of large and small voluntary organisations to flourish and play their part. In this workshop you will:

  • Understand collaborative and competitive practices across the sector, and what drives and motivates these practices

  • Share your own experiences of working with other organisations, and identify barriers and enablers

  • Generate ideas for how organisations can take different approaches

  • AM2: Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council - Business or Charity?
    Facilitated by: Neil Hodgkin, CEO
    Voluntary Sector Organisations are constantly being told that they need to be more sustainable and not to be reliant on grant funding as their main source of income. Is this even possible? In this workshop you will have the opportunity to look at a couple of Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council's enterprises and look at what has worked and more importantly, what hasn’t.

  • AM3: Fraser Urquhart Media - What is PR? How it can support your charity, best practice & whether there really is no such thing as ‘bad PR’!
    Facilitated by:
    Rebecca Rhodes
    , Senior PR Manager
    This session will be covering the basics, from what PR is and how it’s different to marketing and advertising; to the ways it can work to support your charity. It’ll be an interactive session, with a task and the opportunity to ask any questions at the end.

  • AM4: Association of Chairs - Working well with your trustees
    Facilitated by: Victoria Mirfin, Deputy Chief Executive

    Are you bringing out the best in your trustees or hoping for the best? Taking an active approach in this can make a big difference and doesn’t have to be too time-consuming. Led by Association of Chairs, this workshop will share practical ideas and suggestions, including a ‘Trustee Cycle’ to help those chairing a charity to think about how to work with their trustees from recruitment to departure.

Afternoon workshops - 2:00pm

  • PM1: Big Issue Invest - Social Investment & the Outcomes Investment Fund
    Facilitated by: Ana Swirski, Investment Manager & Jonathan Page, Investment Manager
    Accessing social investment can be confusing. How do you get in contact with investors, what do they want, are they all the same? These are the questions Ana and Jonny will answer, providing clarity over the social investment space and laying out a roadmap for social enterprises that are looking to grow and scale with the help of repayable finance.

  • PM2: UK Parliament - Are you influential? Get your voice heard in the UK Parliament
    Facilitated by: Malcolm Smith, Senior Education and Engagement Officer & Clare Mullin, Senior Education and Engagement Officer

    How can you begin to influence the UK Parliament and get your voice heard? What happens in the House of Commons and how do you contact your MP? What does the House of Lords do, and how can you contact them? What are the different ways in which MPs and Lords can raise issues on your behalf?

    Find out in this workshop how you can take action and make an impact on decisions made in the UK Parliament.

  • PM3: Hope Against Cancer - What makes an effective charity partnership with corporate and business sectors?
    Facilitated by: Tracey Hallam, Corporate & Events Fundraiser
    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a focus and business priority for any company that values its reputation and brand, but how do charities begin considering how to harness this potential opportunity effectively?

  • PM4: Reaching People - Leadership and the Local Access programme – the next 10 years
    Facilitated by: Jenny Hand, CEO

    The workshop will examine the local work to date on the impact that £6million in a mix of grants and loans might have on the sector over the next 10 years.

VAL's Annual General Meeting

All delegates will be involved in the VAL AGM, taking place after the Keynote Speech.

Lunch and refreshments

The day will include a hot fork buffet in Stamford Court's hospitality lounge, plus 'grazing stations' and refreshments for networking.

Where and when?

Where: Stamford Court, Manor Road, Oadby, Leicester, LE2 2LH

When: 9 September 2019, 9:30am to 4:00pm

Cost: Free for VCS and Statutory Sector organisations

Contact Us

If you have any issues or questions around booking, please contact James Smalley:
0116 257 5025

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Manor Road



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