We’ve been bit quiet on the Support Fenland blog over the past few weeks. That’s because we’ve been reading everything you shared at our listening sessions. And there was a lot to read!
We’ve also been planning our final event with Councillors, but there will be more on that at a later date.
As a quick reminder, during April & May we held three events for communities in Fenland to let us know what they need. We heard from over 30 organisations. They shared with us the great things about Fenland. They also shared the challenges that they’re facing that they need our help with.
We’ve pulled together all the feedback into one place and can now see the common themes from all the events. You can see the images below.
Most groups we spoke to have concerns about
- Connecting with their communities.
- Finding and retaining volunteers.
- Making the most of partnership working.
- Communicating with support organisations and other groups.
- Finding and applying for funding.
- Building confidence to return to face-to-face meetings.
- Making sure they’re relevant to younger audiences.
- Structuring their group to make sure it’s sustainable.
- Building awareness of Fenland outside of the district.
There were a few other concerns depending on the type of group and where they’re based.
- Transportation links within Fenland.
- Access to physical spaces for their meetings / services.
- Digital take up rates.
- Falling referrals due to the pandemic.
The organisations also had a lot of ideas about how the Support Fenland project can help. And we’re pleased to be starting to put together a series of events based on that feedback.
The themes that we’ll be working on over the next few months are:
- Help us to recruit and keep volunteers.
- Help us to come together to do more – including help us to build and maintain our networks.
- Help us to think about our future – including help us to find and apply for funding.
- Help us to raise our voice both within and outside of Fenland.
- Help us stay up to date with guidance that we need to know about.
- Help us for the long term, not for 12 months.
The good news is that we already have some activities planned to help with these.
The CCVS and Hunts Forum newsletters are a great way to keep up to date with guidance, so why not sign up using the following links:
There’s still time to sign up to Support Cambridgeshire’s “Connecting Communities Volunteer Conference”. This year’s theme is Volunteer Management and how the voluntary and community sector can move forwards from the past year. Running from the 8th to 10th June, there are sessions on Redesigning Recruitment, Reviewing Retention and Re-examining Volunteering. Find out more and sign up using the following link: https://www.supportcambridgeshire.org.uk/cc2021/
In July and August, we’ll be running a series of events under the “Working Together to Do More” umbrella. There will be networking events, training courses and workshops. We’ll be in touch soon to confirm all the dates and times.
In September and October, we’ll shift our focus to “Thinking About the Future”. We have some great events lined up on business planning and understanding impact. But, when it comes to funding, we would love your help. We’d like to form a small working group to design an event which will be useful to groups within Fenland. We have some ideas, but we’d love to hear yours. We have some funders signed up to help with this, as they would be happy to fund more groups in Fenland. If you’re interested in being part of this working group, then please email Vic on email@example.com.
We’ll be back with another update soon on the event that we’re running for local Councillors. So, remember to follow the blog and like us on social media to stay up to date.