Join Our Network

“Communicate. Collaborate. Celebrate.” A conference to help transform your organisation

Communicate. Collaborate. Celebrate.

How we can realise the value and potential of our organisations.

Friday 4 March 2016, 9:15am to 3:35pm
at Kesgrave Community Centre

Community Action Suffolk has a great way to boost your start to the New Year! This conference is an exciting opportunity to build new skills and knowledge that could transform your organisation this year. We will discover how to make our organisations sustainable, prove their impact, value and resilience.

CAS is bringing together locally and nationally recognised speakers and workshop leads to explore how the voluntary and community sector and statutory sector communicate, collaborate and celebrate. This interactive, creative, conference will offer you the practical tools and strategies to take back to your organisation to help it grow and be sustainable. Delegates will:

Communicate: Discover solutions and ideas to demonstrate the impact of your work. Hear what funders are looking for in a successful application. Learn how to be ready to successfully respond to grants, quotes and tenders.

Collaborate: Find out how to work successfully in partnership and form consortia. Learn about social investment and how to maximise your income generation. Discover how creative digital solutions can improve your work with clients. Discover creative, practical ways to solve ‘wicked and complex’ problems together.

Celebrate: The importance of celebrating our strengths and achievements. How to effectively demonstrate the value of our work. How to use digital solutions to communicate your successes. Realise how valuable we all are and tell everyone about it!

Our speakers will offer examples of how all these elements have worked in practice, to inspire you to do the same.

This event is for:

  • Staff, trustees and volunteers of voluntary and community organisations
  • Parish and Town Councils
  • Community Activists
  • Community Development Workers
  • Anyone in the statutory sector who is working directly with communities

Book your place now

We encourage you to book online, but places can be booked offline, please contact [email protected]

Conference programme

  • 9:15am Registration and coffee
  • 9:45am Welcome and introduction to the day
    Jacqui Wilkinson, Community Action Suffolk
  • 9:50am Key Note: Absorbing reality and valuing our currency
    Kathy will explore some of the national trends and challenges facing the voluntary and community sector, and will offer ideas for positive ways forward based on re-evaluating and taking pride in the sector’s unique strengths.
    Kathy Evans, Chief Executive, Children England
  • 10:10am Workshops: Session 1
  • 11:15am Coffee and networking
  • 11:45am Social value and investment: Not just a one way street
    Sue will provide an overview of social investment, what it means and how partners and commissioners can work together to make this effective.
    Sue Lowe, Policy Manager, Local Intelligence Team, Office for Civil Society, Cabinet Office
  • Midday Creative Collaboration for Solving Big Challenges
    Our ambitions to create strong, empowered communities present us with big challenges – problems that are messy, hard to define and complex to solve. This workshop will guide you through a process for helping to unpick new ways to work together and find new approaches for tackling these wicked issues. You’ll be encouraged to dream; to think practically; and even to embrace the temptation to point out problems as we work together to develop solutions for these challenges
    Will Thomas, Deputy Head, University Campus Suffolk, Suffolk Business School
  • 1pm Lunch
  • 1:45pm KEY TOPIC: Thinking differently!
    How thinking differently can maximise opportunities for working together and realising the value of our services.
    Richard Selwyn, Assistant Director Commissioning, Children, young people’s services, Suffolk County Council
  • 2:05pm Do commissioners dream of electric sheep?
    Using simple IT solutions, such as blogging, to capture the impacts of your work can make the difference between getting commissioned or not. Noise Solution has been using blogging as part of its toolkit since 2009 in its work with people `on the margins. This short demonstration highlights our award-winning practice in this area.
    Simon Glenister, Noise Solution
  • 2:20pm Workshop session 2
  • 3:20pm What funders want; really, really want… from a successful application
    An opportunity to hear about funding updates and what has been achieved in Suffolk and an insight into what funders look for.
    Andrea Pittock, Grants Manager, Suffolk Community Foundation
  • 3:35pm Summary and close
    ‘Gift of time’ award presented by Jacqui Wilkinson, CAS

Conference workshops

Workshop A:
Inspiring Social Impact
Fran Bedding, Suffolk County Council; Rural Coffee Caravan Project; Realise Futures

  • The Rural Coffee Caravan Project and Realise Futures will be sharing their experiences of identifying social value.  Attendees will hopefully leave the conference inspired and with the confidence to approach things in a different way. We want to inspire organisations to start thinking about how they deliver outcomes and how they can demonstrate the value of these effectively – through working with commercial and public sector. Often in ways that they have not tried before.

Workshop B:
Consorting with the Enemy – Competition or Collaboration?

Hannah Reid, Community Action Suffolk; Rachel Jennings, Enable East

  • This workshop will give you a ‘how to’ approach to working in partnership and forming consortia. Taking you through best practise processes and key responsibilities of partners; you will leave feeling ready to analyse your organisation’s reasons for collaboration and with a clear approach to getting started.
  • Rachel Jennings will provide a case study on how Enable East have become successful in leading consortia and attracting funding promote sustainability and embed partnership working across their organisation.

Workshop C:
Slaying Trolls and dispelling myths

Matt Woor, Social Media Channel Manager, Suffolk County Council; Liz Moss, Suffolk County Council

  • Social media creates its own myths and barriers in people’s minds about reasons why they and their organisations can’t engage with it – in this workshop we will discuss problems you may have and hopefully show, with real life examples, how even small changes can dispel those myths and break those barriers.
  • Key features of this workshop:
    • Open discussion around your problems with social media
    • Crowd sourcing solutions to issues from others in the workshop
    • Discussion around the most common social media barriers and some potential solutions
    • Some real life examples of how Social Media has worked for the Voluntary, Public and Private sector.

Workshop D:
How to maximise your income generation world

Sue Lowe, Cabinet Office

  • An interactive workshop with a practical application for groups to drill down into how they can maximise their income. Topics to be covered:
    • Social investment
    • Trading activities
    • Grant Making Trusts
    • Community fundraising

Workshop E:
Be Ready – How to successfully respond to competitive grants, quotes and tenders

Katrina Browning, Procurement Manager, Suffolk County Council
Tina Hines, Head of Commissioning and Partnership

  • How to be ready to compete with other organisations for funding to deliver services, the workshop will include:
    • Being ready to bid – what can you do in advance to prepare
    • Delivering the outcomes – you know you can do it but how do you evidence that you can deliver the outcomes
    • Recognising your value – where your adding value and may not recognise it, the social value benefits you can bring to your bid

Workshop F: Please note this workshop is only available in the morning
A surgery with Councillor Sarah Stamp, Suffolk County Council, Member for Communities and lead for the VCS

Cllr Sarah Stamp, Cabinet Member for Communities
Stephen Watt, Business Development Specialist, Public Health and Protection, Suffolk County Council

Please note this workshop is only available in the morning

  • An opportunity to discuss concerns and opportunities, anything you want to raise, in this surgery with Cllr Sarah Stamp who is the County Council’s cabinet lead for the VCS.


For any enquiries regarding this event, including any questions about bookings or refunds following the postponement, please contact Jane Bignell at Community Action Suffolk:
[email protected]


Refunds for cancellations by delegates will only be made if at least 10 days’ notice prior to the event date has been given. Refunds will be issued if Community Action Suffolk has to cancel this event due to insufficient bookings. Failure to cancel your place no more than 10 days in advance of the event will result in an invoice being issued (if you haven’t paid online), whether or not you attend the event.