Medway Volunteer Network

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17-Dec-2020Implications of the Local Restriction Tiers for Volunteering Government guidance currently states that at all tiers people should volunteer from home where possible. People can choose..

A list of recent previous events is shown below:

Re-engage and Innovate, 24 November 2020

Medway’s VCS Leaders Network held their first post-Covid online event for the sector, and it was a resounding success with over 70 people getting involved with the event on the day. The event allowed us to come together, network and express ideas on some key strategic topics affecting us all:

“These types of meetings ensure the voice of marginalised people are heard and acted upon, and also gives us an opportunity to play our part and contribute to Medway's wellbeing….We have already been contacted by one organisation about working collaboratively.”

(Delegate – VCS Leaders Network ‘Re-engage & Innovate’ Event)

Martyn Reeves, Chief Executive of The Friends of the Wisdom Hospice and Chair of the VCS Leaders Network , made a commitment to take forward three key actions from the event to progress in partnership with the VCS Leaders Network Steering Group:

• Using the innovation ideas and queries from the online event as a foundation, nurture our relationships with the Independent Care Partnership and Medway Council to form bonds of mutual support/benefit

• Continue to seek innovative ways to support our VCS peers and build on the first online event

• Accelerate our plans to develop a strategy that promotes and educates all partners on the subjects of Mental Health, Digital Inclusion, Social Isolation and BAME inclusion.

Don't worry if you missed the event, you can find key documents and presentations for the day below:

- Digital Delegate pack full of free resources

- Martin Reeves, Chair of VCS Leaders Network, Welcome

- VCS address from Alan Jarrett, Leaders of Medway Council

- Keynote Speaker: Martin Riley, Medway Community Healthcare Integrated Care Partnership

- Keynote Speaker: Scott Elliot, Medway Council’s Public Health VCS Recovery Cell

- Keynote Speaker: Dot Denis, Dot Denis Associates Community Resilience

- Link to Spotify playlist - Songs that helped Medway's VCS through Covid-19             


Hidden Issues: Safety in our Community, 2 October 2019  

The VCS Leaders network arranged this event in response to rapidly growing risks to vulnerable beneficiaries and clients that are presented by issues such as:

* Hate Crime

* Radicalisation

* Domestic Violence

* Gang Activity

* Knife Crime

For instance, do you know that County Lines drug dealing (London gangs moving their trade in drugs outside of the capital) has seen a surge in crime in Kent and Medway and that knife crime in Kent increasing by a faster rate than anywhere else in the country?

The event provided a wealth of up to date information, advice and through provoking content for all of the delegates.

Volunteers Week 2019 , 5 June 2019

The event was for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Medway to come together to celebrate Volunteers Week 2019.

22 local charities had a great day at the Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham talking about the benefits of volunteering and how people can get involved. The event was centred on a Community Art Installation where people were asked to High 5 the volunteers in Medway by adding their hand print to a large canvas in the Nucleus Arts HeArt Community Space. The Volunteers Week logo was painted on to the canvas and the challenge was to completely fill the logo with hand prints from the community. People of all ages joined in and the challenge was completed! The Community Canvas went on tour to venues in Medway, such as the Libraries, Sun Pier House and Nucleus Arts, for people to see information about how they could get involved with volunteering and with their local community.

Georgia Smith, Engagement and Volunteering officer at Medway Voluntary Action, said: “We had a great day talking about the benefits of volunteering and how people can get involved."

Diversifying Income, 8 March 2019 

Providing excellent opportunities for delegates to explore alternative income generation opportunities for their group or organisation. The aim for the session is for every delegate to leave with at least one idea that they think might be useful to them!

The event covered topics such as Monetising Services, Crowdfunding, Payday Giving, Legacy Fundraising, Social Investment and much more.

Volunteers Week 2018 , 6 June 2018

The VCS Leaders Network invited the public to join them to celebrate volunteers and to engage with volunteering.

We welcomed the The Worshipful The Mayor of Medway Councillor Mr Steve Iles and the Mayoress Councillor Mrs Josie Iles to this event. Held at Rochester Cathedral on Wednesday 6th June 2018 we shared volunteering stories and celebrated the wonderful volunteers in Medway. Take a walk through the Fruits Of Volunteering Tree Exhibition and talk to organisations and individuals about their experiences.

Geoff from Managing Your Mind said: “Wow what a delight to see the site, the Crypt was something special. The individuals were just great. When setting up it was more an educative experience than an effort. Thanks to all concerned.


Collaboration – Taking Action , 8 May 2018

This session aimed to help organisations to take practical steps towards collaborating. The event provided activities and advice to help organisations to identify possible partners and to start meaningful ‘conversations’.There were also guest speakers who talked about their experiences and understanding of the opportunities provided by collaborative working.

Speed Networking, 26th September 2017

The VCS Leaders Network hosted a speed networking event to support local organisations to grow and develop useful contacts across Medway.

Using a 'speed dating' format, the event created a foundation to meet with people from a wealth of organisations and support areas. With a faster pace than the previous events, it gave you the opportunity to exchange business cards and have initial quick conversations with as many members as possible, allowing you to build a “to contact” list from the event. The event was also attended by a number of key individuals representing organisations from the statutory and commercial sector, as well as people representing funding organisations.

Some feed back from the delegates

"I will be contacting several different organisations about joint working. This was a brilliant way to get to know the network and should be a regular event."

"I will follow up with the number of contacts I made at the event. It was incredibly useful to meet and catch up with other organisations delivering in Medway."

"I would like to follow up with some of the organisations that I wasn't aware of as this would be useful to my clients."

 Outcomes of the event:

* Two organisations have linked up to share their resource of minibuses - benefiting both organisations and the people they support.

* “Making Miracles have had interest of a potential Trustee from the event so if it all works out that will be great for us.” Sally Howells - Chairman 

Jane Howard and John Norley secured regular meetings with Councillor David Brake.

* "I found the networking event invaluable. We're holding free safeguarding events across the country at the moment - to help spread knowledge and good practice to educational settings - and following on from the event, 24 people signed up for our Medway session right away! Being able to talk about SHS's work face-to-face really helped as people often don't have time to read emails, even if an offer is useful for them." - Head of Membership at education charity called School-Home Support (SHS)

* Gill Valentine from Home Start Medway is exploring Duke of Edinburgh Awards for children and parents.


Volunteers Week Launch, 1st June 2017

Organisations from across the network helped to celebrate the launch of Volunteers Week in Medway and to raise the profile of VCS Leaders Network Members. The event also gave Members informal opportunities to continue nurturing new contacts and relationships as they came together to support this shared initiative.


Engaging Health Commissioners, and using the VCS to drive changes in Public Health, 22nd February, 2017

Event included speakers from Dementia Action Alliance, Neurological Alliance, MEGAN, Turning Point, the Patient Experience & Engagement Pilot, Medway CCG and Medway Community Healthcare. For more details of this event please click here



Collaboration, Partnering and maximising opportunities for your organisation, 13 October, 2016

Workshops looking including Tender readiness, Procurement processes tips and the legislation. Event looking at collaborative working, challenges to collaboration and ways of collaborating.


Volunteers Week Event- 10th June, 2016

A celebration of volunteering across Medway attended by a host of VCS organisations alongside Medway MPs, Councillors and other dignitaries.



Social Value, 29th February, 2016

Event included presentations around “how the sector can bring its skills to Council procurement” and “Commissioning priorities in a challenging environment – how can we work more effectively together”. Event also included some workshops on “How should Medway adopt the concept of Social Value in commissioning in the future?” and “Understanding the tendering and the bidding process”