The future of civil society in Tees Valley

A seminar to discuss the way forward for stakeholders in the voluntary sector, charitable foundations and the public sector.

Friday 5th July 2019, Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, 9.30 – 1.00

The voluntary and community sector (VCS) has maintained its role in supporting and strengthening the civil society in Tees Valley. It has done so in the context of a great deal of economic, social and political change. The aim of this event is to bring people together from the VCS, charitable foundations and the public sector to engage in a forward looking debate surrounding the changing policy and funding landscape and the positive contribution which the sector can make to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area.

Perhaps surprisingly, given the challenges of recent years, the VCS has managed to sustain its contribution at more or less the same size and scale of activity. This has been achieved as individual organisations and groups have adapted and looked at new ways of accessing resource through trading, fundraising, public sector contracts, winning grants from regional and national foundations and from social investment banks. The mix may have changed in the sector’s basket of funding, but the overall volume of income seems to have remained much the same.

But it has not been easy and many VCS organisations say that they have had to work harder than ever to keep themselves going and supporting local causes that are important to them. With all these changes in mind, it seems like a good time to ask people to get together for an event. The event will be small but productive, with just 60 places, bringing key stakeholders from the VCS, public sector and charitable foundations together from across the five boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.

At the start of the event, a panel will present views on the future challenges facing the sector, including policy trends, funding and investment context and potential collaborative initiatives with partners.

The event will be chaired by Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council.

Nancy Doyle-Hall, Executive Director, Virgin Money Foundation: on the role of charitable grant making foundations and trusts in supporting civil society

Alison Collins, Investment Manager, Northstar Ventures: on the role of social investment in developing VCS sector strengths

Tony Chapman, Policy&Practice, St Chad’s College, Durham University: on changing funding relationships between the public sector and the third sector.

Following table discussion there will be a second panel to debate with the audience the current situation across Tees Valley and its environs and the future prospects for the development of civil society.

Mark Davis, CEO, Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency

Karen Grundy, Community Programme Manager, Catalyst Stockton

Rita Lawson, CEO, Tees Valley Rural Action

Mike Millen, CEO, Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency

The seminar is free to attend, but places are limited and will book up quickly, so please register your attendance via: Janet Atkinson, Institute for Local Governance, Durham University janet.atkinson@durham.ac.uk.

The Institute for Local Governance is a North East Research and Knowledge Exchange Partnership established in 2009 comprising the North East region’s Universities, Local Authorities, Police and Fire and Rescue Services. Further information about the content of the event can be obtained by contacting:- tony.chapman@durham.ac.uk or john.mawson@durham.ac.uk