Community Development Network - Post Event Report

Informed by the work of the LSIS funded Forward Communities project, the joint One East Midlands and EMFEC strategic Community Development Network meeting took place on Wednesday 9 November at the EMFEC conference centre in Nottingham. The event was aimed at Chief Executives and Training & Business Development Managers within Voluntary and Community Sector Learning and Skills Provider Organisations in the East Midlands; those with a strategic responsibility for engaging and working with the Voluntary and Community Sector as well as those involved in business and partnership development within the local Colleges of Further education and representatives with the learning and skills remit from the regions Local Authorities.

With partnership and collaborative working between the public and third sector being a hot topic, the Community Development Network event explored how effective connections can enhance the learning offer to communities and examined some of the issues that need to be resolved, so that community learning strategies that are sustainable, appropriate and effective can be realised.

The morning was kicked off by Simon Feneley, Director of College and Provider Services at EMFEC and Deputy Chief Executive of AoC East Midlands, who set the context for the discussions and how this event also fitted into the wider strategic debates associated with the future of informal adult and community learning and the Colleges in their Communities Inquiry. To download the full report, released on 15 November 2011, click here.

Lisa Vernon, the Chief Executive from Derbyshire Learning and Development Consortium, then presented an informative and lively overview of Working with the Third Sector and community development. To download her presentation click here.

The invited delegates where then set to work. To ensure a good mix of sectors on the four tables, delegates where assigned a table colour for the first table top discussion, entitled Engaging with, listening to and responding to communities. To download the notes from question one of this discussion "What difference will it make if we have effective connections?" click here. To download the notes from question two of this discussion "What are the conditions that lead to thriving relationships?" click here.

After breaking for refreshments the delegates were assigned a different table colour for the second table top discussion, Involving communities more effectively in joint planning and delivery - How do we get there? To download the notes from this discussion click here.

Teresa Carroll, Community Development Officer from the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) rounded off the morning with an update on the work that LSIS has been engaged in around community development before announcing that the Derbyshire Learning and Development Consortium had been awarded a Community network grant to take forward the LSIS Community Networks initiative in the East Midlands.

The organisers would like to thank all delegates who gave their time and contributed avidly during the table top discussions. Points raised during those discussions will feed into the final report of the Forward Communities project.

The event was subsidised with funding from the LSIS Forward Communities project and organised in partnership with One East Midlands, EMFEC and The Derbyshire Learning and Development Consortium.

For further information contact Jayne Quantrill, Forward Communities Development Officer at One East Midlands, Nottingham Voluntary Action Centre, 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG1 3FB, email or telephone 0115 934 9572.

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