“A Fantastic Day” said the Chipping Barnet Food Bank of the first Barnet Together Alliance Conference held at the RAF Museum in Hendon on Monday 3 October 2022.
After a few of years of relative isolation and seclusion it was a real pleasure to get out from behind our laptops and meet and mingle in the real world. And what a fantastic group of people to mingle with, over 100 people from Barnet’s voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector were in attendance, with another 100+ partners/ organisations offering support.
At the event Alliance partners were delighted to launch new initiatives including Barnet’s Volunteering Strategy, plus new funding streams from Barnet Community Fund and the Barnet Community Innovation Fund.
The theme of the conference was ‘Building Connections, Strengthening Communities’ and it was both a celebration of the great work being done by the sector, and a day of learning, networking and discussion with interactive workshops on the Cost of Living Crisis, Intersectionality, the local Health agenda and Staff/Volunteer wellbeing. The message was clear – if you came to the conference as an ‘I’, the partnership wanted you to leave as a ‘We’ because together, we are Barnet!
On Behalf of Barnet Together, the conference was hosted by Rian Francis, Founder of Bridging the Gap and keynote speakers included Councillor Alison Moore, Mayor of Barnet; John Hooton, Chief Executive, Barnet Council; James Banks, CEO, London Funders; Dr Tamara Djuretic, Joint Director of Public Health at LBB; Councillor Barry Rawling, Leader of the Council and Antonia Jennings, Associate Director, Centre for Local Economic Strategies.
There were opportunities to meet funders including City Bridge Trust, Groundwork London, John Lyons Charity and Trust for London and in the exhibitor marketplace (sponsored by the Barnet Group) there were key departments from Barnet Council and other organisations providing valuable support for the sector including The Media Trust, easyfundraising and In Kind Direct. This was a highlight for Ali Gurfinkel from Work Avenue, “It was such a good opportunity to meet, chat, exchange ideas with donors, funders & charity team members, nearly all of whom I never would have had the privilege to talk to were it not for the Barnet Together Alliance Conference.”
And Mike Rich from Barnet Carers said “Congratulations to you all. Undoubtedly the best – and most useful – conference I have been to for years.”
Barnet Together has a clear vision: A better Barnet for all those who live and work in the borough, based on real partnership and active collaboration. This was clearly echoed by those present, with conference delegate, Dave McCormick from Barnet Friends of the Earth saying that it was… “A very inspiring day that highlighted the great work already being done and the opportunity for more if there is greater collaboration, as collectively we are stronger together.”
Keep the conversations going on twitter @barnettogether
And check out the Barnet Together Alliance Conference hashtags:
#BTAConference2022 #BuildingConnections #StrengtheningCommunities
Barnet Together is a partnership comprising of three local organisations, Young Barnet Foundation, Volunteering Barnet and Inclusion Barnet, who together provide support to our VCFSE, that make up Barnet’s diverse and dynamic voluntary sector. The conference was delivered in conjunction with our Alliance partner, Barnet Council.