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Fully BOOKed networking event in Ipswich gets the VCSE sector talking

A room of 21 passionate people from the VCSE and statutory sectors joined our VCSE Locality Officer Kirsty Wilmot in Ipswich on 2 March 2017, to share ideas and get funding advice for their organisations.

The event coincided with World Book Day, with a few keen bookworms revealing inspiring books from their bags, and many more browsing the resources table, which was stuffed with toolkits and useful guides to help organisations grow and develop.

Suffolk Community Foundation presented their available grants and top tips for submitting good applications, the lesson being that contrary to popular belief, some funders like the Foundation can and do fund core costs.

It was heartening to be amongst successful grant recipients in the room who could share their successes, including Tracy Sharpe from a local singing therapy group, Music in Our Bones. Tracy presented an uplifting account of how her charity has been founded and funded, including the challenges they face as they continue to grow.

Kirsty was joined by CAS colleague Yvonne Edge who introduced the EU and Lottery funded Building Better Opportunities and Minding the Gap Project, which will see CAS coordinate a consortium of local VCSE sector partners delivering services for the hardest to reach young people in Suffolk.

Finally the group heard from Claire and Claudia from Suffolk County Council’s Localities and Partnership Team, who gave an excellent introduction to their work supporting communities across the town. From struggling individuals to community groups, Claire’s team is keen to support the growth of a resilient Ipswich community, responding to needs and reducing inequalities.

The take-home message? To quote one of the speakers, “start small and keep in touch with what inspires you. The rest will follow.”

The next Ipswich Locality Networking event will take place at Brightspace on Friday 16 June 2017, where Small Charities Week and Cooperatives Fortnight will feature. More details will be announced soon. Please join us!

Thank you to all our speakers and attendees who gave some wonderful feedback:

  • “Good to hear about the amount of support available – heartwarming”.
  • “All talks were very informative, and raised my personal awareness of other groups in the community that share a similar goal”
  • “Really helpful and interesting. Good networking”
  • “Really good information about funding and good to meet with other organisations”
  • “Inspirational case studies. Music group was fantastic!”