Festival of North West Thinking

We are delighted to launch our Event Programme for our Festival of North West Thinking 2021 & VSNW’s AGM taking place on Tues 9th November in Preston, Lancashire.

You will find the programme attached. It contains all the information you will need on the day including timings, workshop descriptions and speaker biographies. A reminder of the schedule can also be found below.

Please register your attendance now to secure your place. We’d be particularly grateful for our members’ attendance, to take part in our AGM.
Register for your free space here

Festival of North West Thinking Programme:  
We have programmed an exciting schedule of events, workshops and keynote speakers for you, bringing together a variety of leaders in the sector, those with lived experience, drawn from across the UK with a focus on the North West. 

We are pleased to announce our brilliant keynote speakers as below:

Madison Kerr – Economist at Pro Bono Economics
Peter Holbrook – CEO of Social Enterprise UK

We are also happy to announce our expert panellists for our discussion panel titled: ‘Building a Brighter Future – the role of the VCSE sector’:
Dr Fran Pollock – Chair of The Equality Trust
Maddy Desforges – CEO of NAVCA
David Burch – Senior Researcher at CLES

Both in the morning and afternoon we will have three strands of workshops, exploring issues around Economy, Health and Equality & Social Justice. 
Making a case for the VCSE sector in the local economic agenda. (AM)Ann-Marie Wrigley, Chair –  Network for Europe
Margaret Cheshire, Chief Operating Officer – Cheshire Community Foundation
Angela White, Chief Executive – Sefton CVS
David Burch, Senior Researcher – CLES

National economic opportunities – Beyond Brexit (Levelling Up & Shared Prosperity Fund). (PM)Madison Kerr, Economist – Pro Bono Economics
Peter Holbrook, CEO – Social Enterprise UK
Equality & Social Justice
Devising a strategy for supporting VCSE Equality Organisations. (AM)
Melanie Close, Chief Executive –  Disability Equality NW
Tracey Gore, Chair Liverpool Race Equality Task Force – Steve Biko Housing Association
Jonathon Prasad, Project Officer – IREP & Lancashire BME Network
Stuart Dunne, CEO – Youth Focus NW
Gillian Halliwell, North West Head of Regional Funding – The National Lottery Community Fund
Things that keep us awake at night. (PM)
Alison Page, Chief Executive – Salford CVS
Warren Escadale, Chief Executive – VSNW

Health System Changes – Where are we up to with health system transformation. (AM)David Allen, CEO – Cumbria CVS
Joe Hannett, Partnerships Manager – Community Futures
Alison Page, Chief Executive – Salford CVS
Warren Escadale, Chief Executive – VSNW

Mortar between the bricks – effective models of VCSE sector working in health neighbourhoods. (PM)
Christine Blythe, CEO – BPRCVS 
Jan Campbell, Health and Social Care Officer – 
Sefton CVS 
The event kicks off at 10am with our welcome and keynote speakers, and comes to a close at 4pm. VSNW’s AGM will take place at 1pm. 

Please register now to confirm your place, and book your workshop preferences.
Download full programme here
Food & drink
Refreshments will be provided throughout the day, with arrival, morning and afternoon coffee breaks. There will be a buffet lunch serving a mainly vegan menu of curries and rice and accompaniments. If you have any special dietary requirements or allergies please indicate this to us in your registration form.
Travel by car
The GHS Centre has a large gated car park so you will be able to drive and park at the venue if you wish.
Travel by public transport
The venue is also easy to reach using public transport; it is close to Preston town centre and within a few minutes’ easy walking distance from Preston railway station.
The Gujarat Centre Preston was designed to be accessible by the whole community, including people using wheelchairs and those with limited mobility. The venue is accessible by a ramp access and there is a lift to the first-floor meeting rooms and properly equipped washrooms.
Corridors and all steps/ramps have handrails. Corridors are carpeted.
If you have any specific accessibility requirements, please indicate this on your registration. If you have any specific questions – please email Anna at [email protected]

Covid-19 Precautions
This event is planned to be in-person at the Gujarat Hindu Society Centre in Preston. Whilst we are looking forward to bringing together our network of members and VCSE sector representatives from across the North West again after so long, we would like to provide you assurance that we will be doing so with the safety of attendees in mind.
We will be ensuring that we are compliant with any Covid-19 restrictions and guidance surrounding gatherings in place at the date of the event and we will continue to review and communicate further around measures through the event lead up to ensure we are maximising safety and peace of mind of all that join us.
As part of this we kindly request that you complete a negative lateral flow test within 48hours before the event and to not attend should you feel unwell or have any Covid-19, cold or flu symptoms.
We look forward to welcoming you. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.Best wishes,Voluntary Sector North West (VSNW)
Our mailing address is:
Voluntary Sector North West
3rd Floor, Swan Buildings,
20 Swan Street,
Manchester M4 5JWwww.vsnw.org.uk
[email protected]
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