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The Big Event 2014

The voluntary sector contribution

and role in developing the local economy

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Want to know how your organisation could play a role in economic development?
What opportunities there are for the sector to deliver social inclusion, innovation and employment support?
What we can gain from the new EU and SE LEP (South East Local Enterprise Partenrship) funding? And how to prepare?

Full programme

An impressive number of 175 attendees were part of the Big Event on July 8 at the International Tennis Centre in Eastbourne, which made for a very successful event, learning and networking experience. With over 40 stalls the Advice Fair was the largest yet and brought together colleagues from the voluntary and community sector, statutory partners and businesses from all over East Sussex. 

From the feedback gathered, we know that 97% of delegates would like to attend the Big Event annually; 90% stated their expectations were met and 72% rated the event as very or extremely useful. Networking was considered as one of the main priorities for attending the Big Event and 79% rated the networking opportunities as very good or excellent. 

By letting the conference delegates vote on certain questions around the topic of the day, we have identified a number of priorities for SpeakUp Forum’s joint work with East Sussex County Council and South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP), which the Forum has started tackling straight away. Please follow us on Twitter or check our website regularly to keep informed about EU and SE LEP funding.

All material from the conference and master classes are available below.

Richard Dawson, Head of Economic Development, Skills & Infrastructure – Communities, Transport and Economy Department, ESCC
Big Event 2014 Powerpoint presentation on the county's and SE LEP priorities.

Russel Darbon, Big Lottery Fund Manager
Big Event 2014 Powerpoint presentation on Social Inclusion Funding

Questions to & Views of the VCS:
These are the questions the audience was asked around the role of the VCS in the local economy and their views on the matter.


Valuing volunteers – the truth! With Lee Shepherd, Volunteering Development Officer, Volunteer Centre East Sussex

Funding ready with Veronique Poutrel, External Funding Manager at East Sussex County Council 
Developing paid for services to generate independent income with Sue Shoesmith, Senior Development Officer at 3VA and Steve Hare, Chief Executive at Age UK East Sussex.

Delegate pack:

Programme - Big Event 2014
Speakers & Panel members
Delegate list
List of Advice Fair stalls
Social inclusion - Extract from SE LEP ESiF Strategy
Feedback form

Feedback from the delegates - Dashboard