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Voluntary Action South West Surrey

Tuesday, 4 April 2017 from 09:30 to 16:15 (BST)


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VASWS Conference Ended Free  

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We are delighted that our conference this year is being generously supported by the University of Surrey Students Union and the event will be taking place at the University of Surrey.  Thanks to their support we are able  once again to offer this event free of charge



09:30   Registration, coffee and visiting the Marketplace

10:00   Welcome & opening address

10:15   Speakers

 Inspiring a New Generation of Volunteers: Jessica Taplin CEO vinspired

Jessica is currently CEO at vInspired which she joined in spring 2016. Prior to her role at vInspired, Jessica was CEO at Get Connected, the UK telephone helpline for under 25s prior to merging it with Youth Net to create The Mix. At Get Connected she had a strong focus on developing innovative programmes, including the Nesta and Cabinet Office funded Digital Connectors project, which provides support to young people via web chats using remote volunteers and a Department for Education funded crisis counselling phone service. Jessica was previously Head of Partnerships and Public Engagement at Big Lottery, with responsibility for developing the strategic objectives and leading the implementation of the Partnerships and Public Engagement strand of its UK Portfolio funding such initiatives as The Big Lunch, Get Set & two multi-episode TV partnerships with both the BBC & Channel 4.  In 2014 she won an  ACEVO Judge’s Recognition Award for her people centred leadership. Prior to moving to the sector she worked for both News International & IPC Media leading on business development, multi-platform solutions and commercial partnership teams.

Sustainability and Transformation Plan Dominic Wright CEO Guildford & Waverley   CCG

Dominic will be presenting the five year plan to improve local health and care   services across Surrey Heartlands - the Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

 Helen Cammack, Using Social Media Inspire and Grow your Cause

 Helen Cammack is one of the founders of, an email newsletter tool specially designed for community groups. The tool was developed in Surrey with the help of many local groups, and came out of Helen's own frustrations in helping to run voluntary groups, residents' groups and the local Scouts. Before,   Helen worked for Virgin Media and other large telecoms companies for 15 years.

11:20   Break for refreshments and visiting The Marketplace

12:00   Choice of Workshops

 See below for a full list with descriptions

13:00   Lunch

A free sandwich lunch will be provided.

14:00   Choice of Workshops

See below for a full list with descriptions

15:00   Short break for a quick cup of tea

15:15   Be Inspired

Further speakers to help inspire: TBC

16:15   Close


A: Inspiring volunteers; maximising potential: Jess Hogan-Smith, Caroline Keith

 Do you involve volunteers in your organisation? Are your volunteers inspired by their  contribution? Is it time to pause and reflect on the role your volunteers play?

Not every organisation can afford a large workforce, but volunteers of all experience levels can contribute to your success. All they need is a little direction and a lot of   appreciation!

This workshop will look at the barriers that prevent us being open to ideas and opportunities for volunteer involvement and what we can do to empower our volunteer taskforce. We will also look at the role of volunteer statements and strategies and how they can help organisations to maximise potential.

 Jess Hogan-Smith

Jess has worked alongside volunteers for over 15 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 and Historic Royal Palaces and draws on her experience running the Guildford volunteer Centre and the organisations she worked alongside there, in her work.

Caroline Keith

Caroline runs the Guildford & Farnham Volunteer Centres.  She has worked alongside volunteers for the past 6.5 years in her role as Volunteer Development Officer at Voluntary Action SWS.  She also runs Community Networks in Cranleigh, Farnham & Haslemere. Previous to this, she worked for Hampshire Families, working alongside local communities identifying gaps in provision and setting up local projects in areas of deprivation.

When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family.

B:  A happier healthier society – Have your say: Helen Barnsley, Guildford Borough Council Health and Well Being Board

 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 our local priorities should be. This interactive workshop you give you the opportunity to take an active part in setting the health priorities for Guildford and for an opportunity to influence health and wellbeing in the borough of Guilford.

Helen Barnsley

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

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 Guildford Borough, coordinating across all Council services.

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: Governance as leadership: the role and responsibilities of charity                       trustees: Emma Herbert

 This interactive session will look at what is good governance and the importance of governance to achieving maximum impact for your beneficiaries. We will explore  the role of trustees in governing and leading the charity and the legal duties which apply to them.  We will look at some of the tools and guidance available to support  trustees in their governance role including guidance from the Charity Commission and the most recent version of Good Governance: A Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector

Emma Herbert

Emma is an experienced Consultant, specialising in charity governance. She currently runs her own consultancy through which she has worked with a range of charities to assist them to improve their governance. Her work includes governance reviews and health checks, facilitation and training. Clients have ranged from large, national charities to small, local charities. Emma is an Approved Consultant for the National Council for Voluntary Organisation’s (NCVO) and a regular trainer on its training programme for trustees.  

 Before setting up her own consultancy, Emma was the Senior Governance Consultant at NCVO, a position she held for nearly 7 years. As such, Emma led on NCVO’s governance-related practical support which included consultancy, training and conference speaking. Emma was also a member of the Steering Group which oversaw Good governance: A code for the voluntary and community sector.        

Emma qualified as a Solicitor in 2002 and worked in private practice before starting her career in the voluntary sector. Emma lives in Surrey.

D: Working with the media, Robert Dunnett

 Press and broadcast journalists - opportunity or threat? What they want, what you  can and should give them.

This workshop will cover the key principles for working with – rather than against –          the media, understanding your strengths, and coping with your weaknesses.

And a few golden rules…

Robert Dunnett

Robert likes to say he’s had three careers: first with BBC News and Current Affairs as      variously director, producer and editor on programmes ranging from the main TV news to Newsnight and Breakfast Time. Then the poacher turned gamekeeper to run broadcast media relations for BT Corporate Headquarters, plan and manage major PR campaigns and take a lead on media crisis management and firefighting. The role included identifying, training and briefing senior company spokesmen and women.   He then turned freelance as a media relations consultant, specialising in preparing spokespeople to handle press and broadcast interviews confidently and successfully.

E: Social Media - The Good, the bad and the ugly, Adam Lake, Surrey County Council Web Team

A look at how you can use social media (Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) in your day to day work including what you should be aware of and what you should avoid.

Adam Lake

Adam is a Senior Digital Content Officer for Surrey County Council with over 10 years’ experience in website management, social media and communications. Adam is also involved in acting and publicity/promotion for musical artists. You can follow Adam via Twitter @AdamsAdventures (

F: From Cupcakes to Crowdfunding: Top Tips for Successful Community     Fundraising , Helen Linnell, VASWS

This is an informal, interactive workshop that will explore inspiring techniques for raising funds for community projects. We will also look at a wide range of funding streams and opportunities and explore the innovative techniques that will make your fundraising activities a cut above the rest. Prepare to get creative!

Helen Linnell

Helen has spent the last 13 years working as a Project Fundraising Manager and Director for a variety of 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.

Currently a Development Officer at VASWS, her main role is to support organisations       grow and thrive. One of her focuses is to support smaller organisations access funds,         especially those who lack the resources or who are daunted by traditional funding methods. More recently, she has set up ‘Guildford SOUP’ in partnership with The Boiler Room, which has successfully funded several local projects and is part of a new wave of community fundraising initiatives that empower both local people and projects.

G: Demystifying Social Value,  Judith Cousins JB Eventus -  A Social Business and Creators of SOCIAL VALUE-MADE REAL

This introductory workshop seeks to demystify social value and introduce you to my methodology Social Value – Made Real (SV_MR) a step-by-step evidence based methodology that puts the voice of service participants at its heart. You will be introduced to SV-MRs 6 core measures of social, economic and environmental IMPACT; the benefits of measuring social value and consider what you already do and how you can build measuring social value into your day-to-day practice. Each participant will receive a copy of my up-dated booklet How to Measure Social Value.

 Judith Cousins

For the past 10 years Judith has been developing an accessible and flexible framework to support service providers, commissioners and funders better measure and demonstrate social, economic and environmental impact. Her interest developed during her various roles in the public sector as a commissioner/funder as well as a service provider in the not-for-profit sector. She has a background in regeneration, community development, and a range of health and social care services.



Do you have questions about Inspire? Contact Voluntary Action South West Surrey

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University of Surrey

Tuesday, 4 April 2017 from 09:30 to 16:15 (BST)

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