Worcestershire Voices - Sharing Our Strength

Sharing our Strength 2016


Voluntary and Community Sector one-day conference

Organised by the county’s Voluntary and Community Sector for the sector - a vital opportunity for volunteers, trustees and key officers to come together and think about how we can work effectively in rapidly changing times

Our conference was entitled Sharing Our Strength and drew on the national, county-wide and local voluntary sector itself, including, of course all who participated in the day.

We were challenged by the rate of change of the world around us, but, rather than being daunted by the traditional complaints of funding cuts, we set out to look at ourselves, our values, traditions and agendas to ask if we are “fit for purpose”. Despite some assertions at the conference to the contrary the picture of Britain is one of a nation committed to mutual care and to volunteering, so if we have lost the plot there will be waste and inefficiencies in our organisations, reducing our effectiveness for those we aim to serve.

In the course of the day there was much frankness and heart searching, but also the encouragement and hard work of the type on which our nation’s culture is built. We needed to take stock; this was not a conference to provide answers as some would have liked; it was a time for resetting and recommitting and we were much encouraged by people’s obvious enthusiasm albeit alongside their trepidation at the task.

If you were not able to be there I hope you will find this material gives you something of the flavour – enough at least for you to talk to others who were or to reflect and continue to "watch this space" attentively as we try to take forward the strands of work proposed at the end of this report. But please do not just sit on the side lines … we are all involved in leadership, in our organisations and communities, that lead is needed, yet none of us can do it alone, and very rarely in the way the last generation has done. We need to be engaged with the most vibrant and effective parts of our sector, alert to change and ready to learn...