Thursday, 29 January 2009

Hackney funding seminar

Earlier today, the development team (and one policy team member!) found themselves in Hackney for the second in a series of local funding seminars which form part of WRC’s Building Futures project. The audience consisted of women from a number of organisations, from Hackney and the surrounding boroughs, who were keen to find out about the various options for sustainable funding.

The first speaker was Eve Oldham, commissioner for Older People’s Services in Hackney, who explained how the commissioning process can work for the voluntary sector and gave a step-by-step guide to the process, from invitation to tender through the to the awarding of the contract. Next was Pippa Judd, Counselling Services Manager at the Threshold project in Brighton. Pippa gave an insight into the challenges of partnership working, from her experience of having to merge with a larger, generic organisation due to loss of funding.

After a quick tea break, we heard from Em Ekong, director of Urban Inclusion, who talked about social enterprise and how it can work for the women’s sector. Em emphasised the importance of thinking creatively when it comes to thinking of possible income generation ideas and that while commercialisation is not appropriate for all organisations, it certainly is something which is worth considering. Finally, WRC’s Supriya Horn gave a short introduction to the world of fundraising from individuals and emphasised that this is a source of funding which is currently underused by the women’s sector. The formal presentations were followed by informal roundtable sessions with the speakers, where the women attending got to ask their own questions and network with one another.

All in all it was a very successful and inspiring morning, which one delegate described as “brilliant and loaded with info!”. Look out for details of our next funding seminar in Tower Hamlets on Friday 13th March!

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