Voluntary Sector Conference


Voluntary and Community Sector Conference

We were delighted to welcome over 60 representatives from local charity and community groups to our first-ever Voluntary and Community Sector Conference on 18th July.


The free event, at the Trestle Arts Base in St Albans, was an opportunity to share ideas and expertise on how best to support local people and build vibrant communities in Hertsmere and St Albans.


Our keynote speaker Karl Wilding, CEO Elect at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and a trustee of Communities 1st, inspired everyone with his passionate belief and pride in the voluntary sector.


He said: “What we do matters because we help people to support the causes they care about and to get their voices heard. And we take the pressure off the State by delivering vital services for individuals and fostering community cohesion.”


He summed it up with a simple but powerful equation:  Small Actions x Lots of People = Big Change.  (You can read more from Karl - link to blog).


Stuart Nagler MBE, our Chair of Trustees, said: “Communities 1st is dedicated to supporting local community and voluntary groups in the fantastic work they do. We offer a wide range of advice and training, and we’d love more voluntary groups, social enterprises and small-to-medium sized businesses to join us. We also have lots of volunteering opportunities for people who want to give some of their time to make a difference, gain new skills and make new friends.”


Sally Bartlett, Trustee of Redbourn Care Group said “This event exceeded my expectations; the wide range of excellent workshops and variety of networking opportunities provided a relaxed but very useful forum at which I gathered lots of information and ideas to take back to my charity. I am looking forward to next year already!”


The Conference included a packed programme with mini-masterclasses by the Arts Council and Hertfordshire Community Foundation on how to make successful grant applications and from Social Value UK on how to measure the social value and impact of your activities. 


Colleagues from the National Lottery Community Fund, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Volunteering Herts were on hand for one-to-one advice surgeries and we also had presentations from Emmaus Hertfordshire on their work empowering homeless people to get their lives back on track and from Credit Unions and Citizens Advice on financial literacy.


The delegates also enjoyed networking, and there were collections for donations to Foodbanks of St Albans District & Borehamwood and The Red Box Project to end period poverty.


We are very grateful to everyone who contributed to make the Conference such a stimulating, useful and successful event.


Below are the slides from the conference

Social Value UK - The Value of Volunteering

Mini Masterclass - Funding HCF

Timebank Launch

Emmaus Hertfordshire

Financial Literacy - CASTAD