The Power of Networks and Collaboration

In times of crisis, it is easy to turn inwards, to think that if we just work harder, we will somehow pull through, but often a different approach is needed. Networks can be a vital resource in enabling us to find support, new perspectives, potential partners, and all sorts of opportunities. For this reason, our in-person day at the Conference, will be dedicated to hearing from local leaders and sponsors of networks, about the power of networks, and why they are important and worth investing time in.

Why are networks important?

At the recent East of England regional NCVO Assembly, delivered in partnership with Empowering Communities, we heard much of the challenges facing the sector, and of the loss of goodwill and loss of energy that many are feeling in the sector.

But we also talked about solutions and how we can respond collectively as a sector and community. To this end, many felt that it is our ability to adapt and collaborate, which keeps us here. In times of crisis, it is easy to think that if we just work harder, we will pull through. However, it is clear that often we need to take a different approach.

Networks are a way of building bridges. They can be a vital way of developing relationships and building VCSE voice, as well as accessing new resources. For this reason, the Power of Networks is the theme for our in-person day of the conference.  We will hear from a broad range of local VCSE leaders and sponsors of networks and alliances in Norfolk. We will learn why they are important and worth investing time in.


Speakers on the Power of Networks

We will hear from Emma Ratzer, Chair of Norfolk and Waveney, VCSE Heath and Social Care Assembly   and have an opportunity to meet the new VCSE Place Leads for the new Integrated Care System. Emma was appointed through a rigorous and inclusive appointment process back in May 2021, you can read more about this here. This is a great opportunity to hear about this exciting new phase in the development of the Assembly.

Also joining us will be Natalie Jode, Executive Director, of Creative Arts East, who will share with us her experiences of developing and growing the FLOCK Emerging Creatives Network and the CAE Volunteer Promoters Network.

We are also delighted that we will be joined by Sam Edwards Founder & Managing Director, Yawn Marketing, the sponsor of the Norfolk Women’s Marketing Network to hear why he supports this network and the value it brings to his business. Yawn run small scale networking events they call roundtables and attribute a lot of their success to their network.

Nigel Boldero is Convenor of the Norfolk Green Care Network, a network developed in recent years, with support from Empowering Communities partners, as a response to local social prescribing initiatives, and the needs of the community to find ‘nature solutions’ to health and wellbeing challenges.

Finally, we look forward to welcoming Clarissa Stoneman, Development Associate at Lloyds Bank Foundation. We also look forward to welcoming Dan Hastings, Project Manager, at DIAL Great Yarmouth. Our speakers will talk about the work of the Foundation to support local people in Great Yarmouth. There, they have made a long-term commitment to support change. The work currently supports the Homeless Alliance. Thus emerged in 2020 during the first lockdown. Because of conversations amongst several VCSE organisations and following the ‘Everyone in’ policy, the government and local authorities accommodated homeless people in hotels. You can read more about their approach here.


Book your place

Wednesday 23rd November (10:00 to 14:30) – The Power of Networks and Forums
Tea and Coffee will be available from 09:30 for a 10:00 start.

Join us at The Space Conference Centre in Norwich (NR7 8SQ) as we come together in-person as a VCSE community to engage with and learn from sector colleagues and wider stakeholders and professionals.

There will also be an opportunity to discuss how we grow Norfolk’s VCSE networks further,. There will also be the chance to start conversations about gaps in networks and VCSE voice.

10:00 to 11:45 – Reflecting on the Power and Value of Networks and Collaboration in Norfolk

Learn from and engage with a diverse panel of Network Leaders in person as they reflect on their individual and collective journeys.

Click here for more details and to register your attendance either in person or online.

11:45 to 13:15 – Networking Lunch, Marketplace and The Voice Project

An opportunity to network with VCSE colleagues with lunch provided. Click here for more details and to register your attendance.

13:15 to 14:30 – Growing and Investing in our Networks and Forums

Join us to discuss how we continue to develop and grow our networks to build the resilience of the VCSE sector and meet the needs of our communities.

Click here for more details and to register your attendance.

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