Charity: the new welfare state? is the theme of this year’s annual conference hosted by Voluntary Action South West Surrey, in conjunction with the University of Surrey’s Students’ Union. It takes place at the university’s Stag Hill campus on Tuesday, April 10, from 9.15am to 4.30pm.
Voluntary Action’s chief officer, Carol Dunnett, said: “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.”
A variety of speakers have already been confirmed, and include Debra Allcock Tyler, the chief executive of the Directory of Social Change; Joanna Killian, the chief executive of Surrey County Council; Jo Cookes, the director of communities engagement at the Diocese of Guildford; and Joanne Tester, the chief executive of Guildford Action.
There will also be a number of workshops all designed to follow through on the conference theme, as Carol Dunnett describes:
“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 for A 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 titled Measuring the Impact, to see how 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 (General Data Protection Regulation) 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.”
Places must be booked in advance (see link below) and cost £20 full price, £15 for volunteers, free for small groups with annual incomes under £5,000. Email email@example.com to book a free place.
A light lunch and refreshments will be included.
For more details call Voluntary Action South West Surrey on 01483 504626.
Volunteer with St John Ambulance
Our volunteers are the face of our charitable work. If you’re over 18, and want to help us save lives in your community, we’d love you to join our team. A range of opportunities are available.
Whatever your skills, there’s a volunteer role for you:
- First aider – Imagine how it would feel to be part of a team that saves lives. As a first aider, you’ll deliver care to people in need at public events in your community.
- Healthcare professionals – nurses, doctors and paramedics play a vital role for us at larger events. Clinical leaders support professional development help us keep our standards high.
- Working with young people – as a youth leader, you could teach life saving skills to the next generation, and offer them life changing opportunities.
- Management positions – whether it’s looking after your local unit, or supporting a number of units in your area, as a volunteer manager you’ll gain in experience and develop your skills, and help us deliver our life saving work.
- Specialist roles – we’re also looking for volunteers who can lend their expertise to roles such as safeguarding, human resources, quality assurance and health and safety.
What you’ll get in return:
Volunteer with us, and we’ll teach you first aid (whatever role you’ve signed up to), and provide you with equipment and uniform.
We’ll also make sure that you get all the training and support you need to excel in your role. All we ask in return is that you’re professional in your approach and committed to our life saving work.
Who can get involved? Adult volunteers need to be over 18 years old. Cadets for 10- to 18-year-olds
Young people can participate in more than 70 different subjects and help shape the future of the organisation and their local communities.
08700 104950 (ask for the regional volunteer HR team)