Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire – 4th June 2024 

The East Riding Voluntary and Community Sector Showcase, held at The Beverley Barn as part of Humber Business Week, proved to be an inspiring and informative event, bringing together diverse organisations from across the region to celebrate their achievements and contributions to the community. Running from 10am to 2pm, the showcase provided a vibrant platform for around 40 organisations to exhibit their work, ranging from small grassroots groups to larger anchor charities. 

A Celebration of Diversity and Impact

The event underscored the incredible diversity and vibrancy of the VCSE sector in East Riding. Attendees had the opportunity to explore a broad spectrum of initiatives addressing critical issues such as poverty alleviation, social isolation, healthcare, education, environmental conservation, and community development. The showcase highlighted how these organisations, largely powered by volunteers, play a pivotal role in tackling health inequalities and fostering social cohesion. 

Keynote Interviews and Organisational Insights 

Kelly Pearson from Age UK emphasised the importance of continuous collaboration and regular networking to keep the sector informed and connected. 

Susie Bovill from Home-start Goole & District, discussed the challenges of funding and volunteer recruitment amidst the cost-of-living crisis, stressing the need for sustained support and acknowledgment of their efforts.

Jane Evison from East Yorkshire Community Transport highlighted the vital role of community transportation in providing independence and social connections, especially for isolated seniors. She called for more awareness and recruitment of volunteer drivers to sustain their services. 

Mandy Thomlinson from East Yorkshire Food Bank and Fiona Bond from Papyrus echoed the need for more volunteers and enhanced networking opportunities to support their crucial community initiatives. 

Networking and Collaboration

The showcase event, organised by the HEY Smile Foundation with support from the VCSE Collaborative, aimed to strengthen the visibility and impact of the voluntary sector. The VCSE Collaborative’s objectives included enhancing sector insight, fostering collaboration to address health inequalities, raising awareness of volunteering opportunities, and supporting workforce and volunteer development.

Rosemary Johnson from Pocklington Chronic Fatigue Community noted the event’s effectiveness in providing networking opportunities, which are vital for learning about other local initiatives and fostering collaborative efforts. 

The feedback from attending organisations was overwhelmingly positive, with 88% of participants rating the event 9 or above, highlighting the immense value of such gatherings. 

Looking Ahead

The success of the East Riding Voluntary and Community Sector Showcase highlights the necessity for regular and frequent events to adapt to changing circumstances and continue amplifying the sector's collective impact. Participants expressed a strong interest in future events, reinforcing the need for ongoing engagement and collaboration.

For more information about the East Riding VCSE Collaborative, please contact Kerri Harold at HEY Smile Foundation. 

You can read more about the VCSE Collaborative here


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