Catalyst Conference Previous Events

Catalyst Conference Previous Events

Every year Catalyst hosts a conference bringing together loud and quiet voices from Stockton’s VCSE sector, allowing them to discuss issues with members of statutory agencies and other key figures to discuss and develop themes and strategies for the coming years.

Serving as a forum for consultation and networking, the Catalyst Conference has become the definitive event in strategic planning for voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees.

Scroll down to see the highlights from previous Catalyst Conferences since 2013.

Conference 2014: Accelerating Change

Conference 2014: Accelerating Change

Catalyst Conference Previous Events conference previous events Catalyst Conference Previous Events DSC 1703The Catalyst Conference was a huge success this year. Focusing on a theme of “Accelerating Change” – taken from the dictionary definition of a catalyst – we looked at how the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector will progress over the next five years.

The conference was held at Bede College in Billingham; a fantastically popular venue which suited the busy and buzzing atmosphere of the day.

The first speaker of the day was 8-year-old Grace Franklin who wrote a joke book in order to raise money for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. The book is full of jokes that helped to stop Grace feeling sad when her dad was away with the army. Grace would tell these jokes when on the phone to her father, which kept them both in good spirits. More information on Grace’s book can be found here.

The morning continued with a passion-fuelled cover of Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin’ by Mike McGrother of Element 1 CIC. The re-worked lyrics covered the sector’s strengths and weaknesses, Stockton’s regeneration and finally the recent approach of Benefits Street. The music kick started the event with a flood of energy.

Melvyn Nixon took to the stage and gave an invigorating presentation about the “Three Rs of Success”:  robustness; resilience; and resourcefulness. The audience were moved to tears after Melvyn presented a touching video of a man born with severe cerebral palsy, who completed an Ironman Triathlon with his father, demonstrating success using the Rs.

Next up was Tony Chapman of Durham University who went through the findings of the Third Sector Trends Study, which painted a picture of the way in which our sector is growing, changing and expanding.

The audience then broke into discussion groups, conferring a number of questions surrounding Catalyst’s role and the sector’s future. Ten facilitated tables discussed five questions, which will all contribute towards the formation of the next Third Sector Strategy,

Attendees had the opportunity to join two of seven workshops, focusing on various topics including volunteering, funding, some Catalyst projects and Dave Merritt’s Focusing on Opportunities in Your Problem, Not Problems in Your Opportunities.

Finally Neil Schneider, Chief Executive of Stockton Borough Council, addressed the attendees looking at the regeneration of Stockton-on-Tees and how the council will continue to support the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector despite extensive cuts in funding.

People were able to Tweet about the conference using the hash tag #CatCon2014 which saw 50+ tweets beamed onto the main conference wall throughout the day via TweetBeam, who graciously offered their service to us completely free of charge.

Thanks to everyone for attending our conference and to those who helped make it such a huge success.

Conference 2013: The Power of Now

Conference 2013: The Power of Now

Catalyst Conference Previous Events conference previous events Catalyst Conference Previous Events conferenceLast Thursday Catalyst held its fifth annual Catalyst Conference. Almost 100 people turned up to the Destiny Centre to listen to six key speakers who talked about the power that the voluntary and community sector has in our community – now and in the future. Speakers included Neil Schneider, CEO of Stockton Borough Council; Barry Coppinger, Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner; and Dr Paul Williams, GP lead for the Stockton and Hartlepool CCG. A Q&A session followed each speaker where attendees were able to ask these key figures their own questions focussing on the voluntary and community sector.

Alongside this formal conference, 20 organisations hosted stalls in a refreshment room. In this room people were able to advertise their services and network with others in the sector.

This annual conference gives us the opportunity to discuss the key issues in the sector, and hear how key figures in the community are addressing them. This year’s conference focussed on ‘The Power of Now’ and demonstrated how powerful the voluntary and community sector is in our area – both in providing services and influencing decisions.

This is a great annual opportunity for the sector to come together and address the issues that we are currently facing. Catalyst would like to thank everyone who attended, spoke at and helped run the event.

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