Squaring the Circle

The Challenges for Civil Society in London in 2015

LVSC and GLV hosted their first joint conference on 29th September 2015 at Ort House, Camden. The event was attened by over 70 guests who were there to discuss the challenges for civil society in London in 2015.

Many thanks to Cameron Fitzwillian-Grey, chair of GLV who opened the event.


Key Note  speaker  - Rosei Ferguson, London Youth

Rosie's barn storming key note speech examined the challenges for London, the impact on civil society organisations and what this means for voluntary sector leadership in London.

London's population is projected to break the 10 million mark within the next 15 years. Currently 48% of households live in rented accommodation in a city where private rentals are twice the national average and where households have been hit harder than the rest of the country by changes to tax and benefits. How can civil society support more need for our services in the next five years on less money to deliver?



Masterclass workshops - Theory and Practice

From Commissioning to CoProduction

Sara Lyall from New Economics Foundation explored the definitions and underlying principles involved in co production and what differentiates 'transformative' co production from the tokenistic. She will also look at the barriers to co production and consider the practical implications for Civil Society organisations when working in this way.

Cracking Campaigning

This masterclass looked at both the theory and practice of effective campaigning in the current climate. John Knights from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation offered tips on how to run an effective campaign and Helen Wildbore from the British Institute of Human Rights discussed their experience of the Human Rights NGO Alliance, its aims and mobilisation and the impact it has had so far.


Governance Getting -  it right

As recent events with Kids Company highlight good governance is fundamental to the success of an organisation and with organisations working in ever more challenging economic and political environment we need to ensure we get it right. Kevin Nunan from Voluntary Action Camden explored what the skills and qualities that trustees need in this current environment to be able to lead a successful and sustainable organisation. Ian Beever (former interim CEO of Merton CVS) focused on the recent experience of Merton CVS and Merton Volunteer Centre merger and the role of trustees.


Valuing Volunteering

With an increasing interest in measuring the impact of volunteers, this session will explore a range of models available for impact measurement in volunteering, and look at tools that have been used in practice by organisations in London to measure their impact.  The session was led by James Banks from Greater London Volunteering, with colleagues from other volunteering organisations.  Delegates were able to discuss how they could apply such models to their own work, and what support they would need to enable them to better measure the impact of volunteers and volunteering in their own contexts.


Panel Discussion   - The Challenges for Civil Society Organisations in London

A unique event - where the voluntary sector were invited by LVSC and Greater London Volunteering to question a selection of London's funders on their view of what the upcoming challenges are for the sector and the possible solutions to these issues.

Panel members  Kathy Evans, Children England, David Farnsworth, City Bridge Trust, Caroline Masundire, Rocket Science, Dan Paskins, Big Lottery Fund. The question and answer session was chaired by Paul Butler (LVSC Chair).



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