Forward Communities Post Event Report

The Forward Communities: Cultivating Joint Working event, an interactive partnership event for the third sector, FE colleges and local authorities, took place on 11 May 2011 at the Atrium (formally ICCA), Nottingham.

The aim of the event was to bring together VCS organisations, regional FE colleges, third sector learning providers and local authorities in the East Midlands, to investigate what opportunities exist for joint working, share effective practice and explore the challenges, opportunities and rewards presented by working with other sectors.

The event was attended by over 70 delegates from across the sectors, who actively contributed and networked enthusiastically throughout the day.

The participatory nature of the event was intended to encourage ideas as part of the Forward Communities project ongoing development work and to assist the projects aims of:

  • Developing joint working opportunities which enhance delivery in both the third sector and FE colleges and
  • Building on aspirations of lifelong learning by encouraging a joint approach to learner progression.

Through invited speakers, bespoke workshops and facilitated roundtable discussions, delegates were be able to:

  • Explore how different partner organisations can work together more effectively
  • Hear practical examples of successful collaborative working across the sectors
  • Discuss creative ways the different sectors can support each other
  • Consider what opportunities there may be for collaborative working
  • Network, and exchange ideas from a variety of perspectives
  • Hear about the LSIS funding priorities from 2011 - onwards.

Delegates were addressed on the day by Mark Ravenhall, Director, Policy & Impact, NIACE and William Lewis, Programme Director, Learning & Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), whose presentation covered the purpose of the LSIS Flexibility and Innovation Fund and LSIS priorities 2011 onwards.

At the Lunchtime fringe event delegates had the chance to hear about the ASDAN Community Volunteering Qualification and recieve an update from Derby University on the new HE level 4 certificate ‘Building Strong Communities’, which will replace the Foundation Degree.

Delegates were also asked to “make a pledge” of one action that they intended to take following this event and to keep the project informed of any collaboration that evolves as a result of this event.

The event was subsidised with funding from the LSIS and organised in partnership with One East Midlands, with support from the East Midlands Learning and Skills Partnership.

If you would like to feed into the work of the Forward Communities contact Jayne Quantrill, Forward Communities Development Officer by email at, telephone on 0115 934 9572 or post at One East Midlands, Nottingham Voluntary Action Centre, 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham.

Please find links to documents relating to the event attached below:

Speakers Presentations:

Workshop Presentations:

Documents from Integrated Service Planning Workshop:

The Collaboration Toolkit and Integrated Service Planning materials are copyrighted to protect them from use for commercial gain. However, organisations and partnerships wishing to use the checklists and planning tools contained in them are welcome to do so. Word versions of these materials can be made available free of charge so that you can use them electronically in your organisations and with partners - contact Jo Hudek at or on 07801 932720. Jo also provides advice and support to help you make the best use of the tools.

Additional Documents: