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We've Got It!

Recognising, Understanding and Enhancing Third Sector Resilience

held on Wednesday 6th July, 9am - 4pm, International Lawn Tennis Centre, Eastbourne


Resilience can be broadly defined as the capacity to survive and adapt in the face of change, challenge and uncertainty.

Resilience is an outcome that emerges from a combination of internal characteristics, external resources, and relationships.

For any given individual, organisation, community, or sector, the resilience of that entity is intrinsically connected to and supported by the resilience of other entities.


Given the rate and scope of changes and uncertainties the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) is facing in 2016, a Big Event focused on recognising, understanding and enhancing our resilience seemed apt!

The Big Event 2016 was not a stand-alone event, but an opportunity to reflect on and contribute to broader processes in East Sussex.


At the SpeakUp Big Event 2016, we explored the resilience of the VCS in East Sussex in terms of: the resilience of the organisations, communities, and individuals that make up the sector; the internal and external resources that the sector (and its component organisations, communities, and individuals) can engage and develop; and relationships and connections within and beyond the sector.

As always, the day began with our popular advice fair: a great place to spark innovative ideas, learn from and with each other, and to build relationships, networks, and social capital (key ingredients for enhancing resilience, some might say!)

Two conference presentations then gave an overview of the latest thinking on resilience, the key components of resilience that already exist for the Voluntary and Community Sector in East Sussex, and the current challenges and uncertainties that the sector is facing.

Participants then chose from a selection of breakaway workshops, each of which explored particular practical strategies and tools for enhancing resilience.

The day finished with a plenary workshop where participants came back together to reflect on key lessons from the day and agree priority action areas for enhancing VCS resilience.


Outcomes from the plenary workshop, materials from the conference presentations and breakaway workshops, the Big Event brochure, and links to other useful resources are all available on this website.

For any other information or queries, contact Rebecca Luton, the SpeakUp Forum Project Officer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Big Event 2016 was sponsored by East Sussex-based