Hundreds of people attended the Forth Valley Third Sector Conference, which took place online as a result of Covid-19
Hundreds of representatives from the voluntary sector converged online this month to discuss the issues that matter to the sector.
The third Forth Valley Third Sector Conference, which was hosted in partnership by Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise (SVE), Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface (CTSI) and CVS Falkirk & District was an online event attended by over 200 people.
The conference was an opportunity for third sector organisations, across the Forth Valley, to come together to learn, share experiences over the last challenging year and connect to the current, changing national agendas – both in response to Covid-19 and beyond to the recovery period. Throughout the event there was opportunities to reflect and learn new ways that third sector organisations can continue to play a critical and valued role in new and different ways.
This year’s theme was Investing in Place: People, Place & Participation, and attended by a wide variety of community activists, third sector organisation representatives, statutory partners and volunteer leaders from across the Forth Valley.
The first keynote speaker was Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government who was delighted to attend. She said: “I welcome the opportunity to thank the third sector and volunteers in Forth Valley for their extraordinary response during this last incredibly challenging year. I have heard many stories of individual and collective acts of kindness and generosity”.
“Organisations have had to increase services or change their delivery model at a remarkable pace and scale. New ways of working were found and new partnerships formed which I am confident will continue to benefit Forth Valley into recovery and beyond.”
The second keynote speaker was Jim McCormick, the new chief executive of The Robertson Trust, who gave a national perspective to their changing funding strategy in light of the pandemic, and both showed recognition and appreciation of the third sector.
The event was also an opportunity for attendees to participate in workshops that covered a wide variety of subjects, such as governance and digital strategy. Partnership groups set up as a result of Covid-19 from across the region gave insightful and inspiring presentations on the work they have been involved in to support vulnerable people and communities during the twelve months. Presentations are available to download on the SVE website.
The event was also a chance for attendees to find out about the TSI Scotland Network Manifesto for Change and to attend informal networking sessions that covered subjects such as Lessons Learned for Covid, Health and Social Care, Children and Families and Volunteering.
Natalie Masterson, chief executive of SVE, said: “Local community groups, charities and social enterprises have been at the frontline supporting people across the Forth Valley throughout the pandemic. The Forth Valley Third Sector Conference has been an opportunity to recognise all they have achieved, share good practice and build a fairer, more equal, community in the future. On behalf of our partners, SVE would like to thank everyone who attended on the day and took such an active part in the event.”