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Recognising, Understanding and Enhancing Third Sector Resilience

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


Big Event participants had the choice of nine different breakaway workshops.

Each workshop explored a particular component of resilience in detail. Focus was on practical tools and strategies for enhancing resilience at various levels (individual, organisational, community, sector, and through cross-sector working).

The workshops followed on from the plenary conference presentations, which had given participants a broad overview of resilience thinking, and the key challenges and assets that the voluntary and community sector in East Sussex currently has.

In addition to exploring particular components of resilience, each breakaway workshop provided a short answer to the question: “What can we do to enhance third sector resilience?”. These answers were fed into the final plenary workshop, and used to inform a discussion of priority steps to be taken by the third sector.     


The nine workshop choices were as follows.
All available resources, summaries and outcomes from each workshop can be found on the Big Event 2016: Useful Resources and Links page or by clicking on the workshop titles below.

Brenda Bruzon - Volunteering Advisor, Volunteer Centre East Sussex, holistic life coach and Spiritual Companion

We spend so much of our time caring for others don’t we? At work, at home and also in the community. We talk so much about the health and wellbeing of others…But we often forget or we feel unable to take care of ourselves. We take on too much, and then we experience feelings of exhaustion, frustration, powerlessness and overwhelm. The stress of our day-to-day lives is affecting our physical and mental health as well as our relationships.

So now it’s time for a change.  Time to take responsibility for your own health and happiness. Time for you to shine!

Brenda’s interactive and experiential workshop offers you an introduction to our tried and tested personal wellbeing strategies – unveiling some of our top tips to help you take care of yourself better, improve your resilience and enable you to really shine at work, at home and just everywhere you go!


II: Building Financial Resilience

Julie Eason – Julie Eason Consulting

Julie will whip through what fundraising encompasses, why it matters and what to do if you’re part of a charity that doesn’t believe in fundraising.

She will look at what great charities all have in common, how to get fundraising ready, and develop your fundraising with integrity.

After that Julie will invite participants to take part in a big conversation about fundraising.


III: Managing Risk for Resilience

Neil Franklin – Managing Director, UK Charity Insurance

The epic fall of the charity Kids Company focused the sector’s thinking on the impact of effective management on a charity’s resilience.

While charity law places a specific duty on trustees to protect their charity’s assets and resources, trustees can’t all be expected to possess the necessary knowledge or training required to fully understand the risks their activities expose them to or how best to manage them. That’s for a charity insurance specialist to unravel and why so many voluntary and community organisations turn to UK Charity Insurance for help.

As times change and new challenges come along, we understand that the activities you undertake (which are actually more crucial than what property and contents you have) will change, and that your insurance provider needs to regularly review your needs and adapt your cover to ensure continued suitability and value for money. 

Whether you’re a charity trustee, a director, or an employee, there are a broad range of risks you need to think about and manage. This interactive workshop from UK Charity Insurance will help you explore the risks that are pertinent to your own organisation and will cover such topics as:

•          Whether your existing cover is suitable for your current needs

•          What are the roles and responsibilities of trustees in managing risk?

•          How to protect your trustees as they carry out their duties

•          Things to consider when working with employees and volunteers

•          Ensuring your charity survives a catastrophe – reputation and continuity

•          Whether there are likely cost savings to be made for your charity

•          One extremely important check you need to perform when switching between insurers


IV: Fragile Assets: Practice that Strengthens and Supports

Jayne and Trevor Hopkins – Asset Based Consulting

Jayne and Trevor have been working with East Sussex County Council and East Sussex Council for Voluntary Service Partnership over the past few months supporting a project that aims to improve resilience and build stronger communities by using asset-based approaches to focus on the strengths and assets of communities and the energy of local people.

The first phase of the Community Resilience project was to undertake a rapid period of intense engagement and development and through this process ‘co-design’ a local approach to building community resilience. Participants were asked to define, discover and dream what was, is and could make communities in East Sussex more resilient.

Jayne will present the key findings from a variety of conversations and events over the last three months involving local individuals, communities and organisations.

This will be followed by a practical activity based on ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ where participants will be invited to imagine what would flourishing and resilient communities in East Sussex look like and how could we achieve this? Your responses will help to inform new approaches to working with communities across East Sussex in the future.


V: Community Resilience in Emergencies

Glenn Jones – East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

A workshop to give an insight to the question "what can a community do to assist itself in times of disruption/emergency?” Glenn will lead a discussion on: what it may be safe for a community to do to prepare for a disruptive event caused by flooding or other adverse weather; what the Emergency Services may expect; and risk against benefit.


VI: Building Connections with Local Businesses

Mebrak Ghebreweldi – Director, Diversity Resource International

Local businesses build community resilience by sustaining vibrant town centres, linking neighbours and contributing to local causes. They develop better links to local charities and give something back to the local community in which they operate. As we are living challenging times, we need to work together more than ever for the wellbeing and prosperity of our communities.


VII: Integrated Localities: Embedding prevention at the heart of integrated locality teams

Peter Lister – Commissioning Manager Locality Support Development

Changing models of care is essential to delivering improved health outcomes for people in East Sussex.  Integrated locality teams bring together the health and social care workforce to better meet the needs of clients and patients.  Integrated teams will adopt new ways of working to make sure that we take every opportunity to put prevention at the heart of everything we do. 

We want to design how these teams work with the communities they will be supporting, so they can understand how best to work together and make the most of existing local networks and resources.

This workshop will begin with a briefing on the work of integrated locality teams, and update on the findings of the Building Stronger Communities (community resilience) engagement activity recently undertaken in partnership with the 3 Councils for Voluntary Services and Asset Based Consulting.

We will then use the asset based methodology developed for Building Stronger Communities to take the opportunity to build on that engagement work using the Appreciative Cycle (Dream, Design, Deliver, Define, Discover), asking participants to contribute to developing plans on how locality teams can best link with local communities.


VIII: Partnering and Collaborating Within the Third Sector

Marie Casey – CEO, seAp Advocacy (Support, Empower, Advocate, Promote)

Relationships and connectivity are fundamental components of resilience. As the voluntary and community sector, supportive working relationships between our organisations are critical to our capacity to survive and adapt. Collaboration within the sector has been damaged by the rise of competitive tendering, but it is time to reclaim our collaborative values.

Working together can allow us to build knowledge, share information, consolidate assets and resources, deliver services, and have a collective voice. Small organisations can survive – when they otherwise might not – through partnerships with larger organisations. Larger organisations can benefit from the specialist knowledge and skills of smaller organisations. But what makes a “good” partnership? And what are the key partnerships we need to develop and improve in our current context?

Marie will facilitate an exploration of these issues and the practical actions we can take to ensure our partnership working within the sector is as supportive, energising, and mutually beneficial as we can make it.


IX: New Models of Care, New Opportunities for Collaboration and Partnerships - ‘Accountable Care’

Vicky Smith, Accountable Care Strategic Development Manager, East Sussex Better Together

Accountable Care focuses on delivering local health and social care services based on the outcomes, or results, for patients and service users. Put simply it means the health and care system is geared towards preventing ill health and promoting independence and wellbeing, while ensuring we have high quality hospital, care and specialist services when people need them. This approach is already being used successfully in other countries around the world.

On the basis of our research over the last year we believe Accountable Care is likely to be the most effective vehicle to deliver our East Sussex Better Together vision of fully integrated and sustainable health and social care in East Sussex.

This workshop is for voluntary organisations and groups with an interest in how health, social care and wellbeing services are delivered in East Sussex.  It will be an opportunity to hear more about how an Accountable Care model could work, ask questions and inform how the VCS can play an active part in shaping this new model of delivering health and care services to our local population.


 The Big Event 2016 was sponsored by East Sussex-based