Looking back at the Voice4Change AGM

The Voice4Change AGM took place on the 19th of May, and we had a good turnout from members around the country. Held at Resource for London on Holloway Road, we had presentations from external speakers, followed by question and answer sessions, before breaking off into smaller seminars for further discussions.

 

Our three external speakers were:

1)      Sarah Benioff – Deputy Director of the Big Lottery Fund

2)      Nick Temple – Deputy CEO of Social Enterprise UK

3)      Mike Garrick: Secretary of Lewisham Sports Consortium

All of these speakers brought unique and interesting insights, and proved popular with the audience.

 

Mike Garrick led off, and spoke about his experience regenerating the site which is now the flourishing Lewisham Sports Consortium. It was an inspiring story of a team of volunteers literally rebuilding a site with their own bare hands, and eventually signing a lease for this asset worth tens of millions of pounds.

 

 

Nick Temple spoke next, talking about the role of social enterprise in society. Social enterprises trade like any private company, but then reinvest their profits in a way that benefits their community in some way. It is an attractive model for those who want to sell goods and services with a philanthropic motive.

 

And we finished with Sarah Benioff, who spoke about the changing face of Big Lottery Fund. They are in the process of restructuring the ways in which they allocate funding, and Sarah emphasized that they are eager to listen to feedback about Big Lottery funding in the past, and how they could adapt their strategy in the future.

 

Many people asked a range of questions to the speakers afterwards, which showed just how many different concerns and opinions there were in the room. This discussion continued in the seminars afterwards where attendees continued to pass on their opinions to Sarah, Nick and Mike.

And after all of these discussions had finished, lots of us headed down to Molina Tapas down the road to enjoy food and drink and continue chatting more casually.

It was an excellent day – and one which emphasized the importance of communication between organisations around the country who are invested in the third sector.