Earlier this month, You Press had the honor of attending Compass Wellbeing’s summer conference, ‘Enhancing Delivery Leaders for Tomorrow’. Held at the historic Stratford Town Hall, the conference drew over 300 community organizations representing 13 different boroughs across London, with most hailing from Northeast London, including Newham, Hackney, and Tower Hamlets. The all-day event proved to be a great opportunity for local voluntary and community organizations to collaborate and network, learning best practices from each other through a mix of open-ended discussions and various scheduled workshops.
“I’ve always wondered, if God was looking for a job, where would he want to work?” began Mohit Venkataram, CEO of Compass Wellbeing, alluding to the importance of their professions. “If he wanted a job that is full of passion, a job that is challenging, but incredibly rewarding and satisfying, there is no richer sector he would want to work in than volunteering and community service.”
Compass Wellbeing’s venture into the community service sector has been incredibly rewarding thus far, with £11.7 million commissioned to 224 different VCSEs (Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprises) in just their first three years. However, the health-based community interest company felt they had more to offer than just money, organizing this conference with the goal of dispersing the knowledge they’ve acquired in their short lifespan with the hope that other organizations can use it to reach similar heights.
Two keynote speakers followed Venkataram, discussing building thematic alliances for health resistance and population health, respectively.
What followed was a choice of two sessions, with breaks in between each for food and beverage, as well as time to visit the various booths lining the ballroom set up by different organizations and foundations, dubbed the ‘Market Place.’
You Press chose to attend the sessions titled ‘Submitting an effective bid application’ and ‘Children and Young People: Alliance building and model development.”
The first session was designed to assist organizations in applying for funding, providing valuable advice on how to go through the process smoothly and stand out. With the sheer number of organizations in the greater London area vying for limited funds, it can get competitive trying to stay afloat. The speech was delivered by Amit Dixit, the Director of Business Development at Marie Curie, an organization providing care and support to those with terminal illnesses and the ones closest to them. Their past experience, and success, in acquiring funding shone through, having lots to offer on the subject.
The second provided support in connecting to a younger demographic, led by Elaine Thomas from The Mentoring Lab, a group dedicated to youth mentoring, training, and development. Her story, outlining her journey towards learning how to build relationships with younger people, served as a reminder to make sure that we listen to our youth, as it goes a long way in understanding their feelings and perspective.
Overall, the event was a huge success, largely in part to the collaboration at work from all sides, from Compass Wellbeing to all of the organizations in attendance. “We wouldn’t be able to do any of our work in isolation,” said Dixit. “Only by working effectively with our partners will we get the rich picture.”
These events are quite important in establishing a sense of togetherness in the community. They can also be quite enjoyable. At the end of his talk, Dixit, with a grin on his face, declared ‘Enhancing Delivery Leaders for Tomorrow’ “One of the sickest conferences I’ve ever been to.”
By Joe Brady, You Press Intern