Somerset VCSE Leaders' Conference 2019
From 21st Jun 2019 to 21st Jun 2019

The Future is in Our Hands
Somerset VCSE Leaders’ Conference 2019

Friday 21st June, 10am to 4pm, Monks Yard, near Ilminster

On behalf of the Somerset VCSE Strategic Forum, we're proud to present this year's Somerset VCSE Leaders Conference, an inspiring and unmissable event for charity leaders in Somerset.

The Future is in Our Hands. With demand for VCSE services on the increase, how can we ensure that the sector is prepared? Join us for an exciting programme of keynotes, Q&As and workshops, which will address the key issues we face as a sector and inspire and motivate us to rise to the challenge.

Keynote speakers and Q&As:

The Future is in Your Hands: Peter Wanless, CEO, NSPCC:
As demand for voluntary sector services continues to rise in Somerset and beyond, how can we, as charity leaders, ensure that we are prepared to rise to the challenge?
As CEO of the NSPCC and former CEO of the Big Lottery, Peter brings a wealth of experience of the VCSE sector at the very highest level, and will draw on this experience to inspire the audience.

'Not for Loss’ Instead of ‘Not for Profit’ – Adopting the Social Enterprise Mindset: Patrick Nash, Enterprise Values
Too many charities, especially small ones, rely on grants and charitable funding that comes and goes. It’s hard to create sustainable income. It’s time to move from a ‘not for profit’ mindset to a ‘not for loss’ mindset.
Patrick has turned struggling charity services into successful enterprises, solving social problems, creating jobs and making profits – all at the same time. He will speak about developing a social enterprise mindset.

Collaboration for Success: Charlotte Augst, CEO, National Voices 
As CEO of National Voices, the coalition of health and care charities in England, and former Partnership Director of The Richmond Group, Charlotte is well-versed in the benefits - and pitfalls - of collaborative working. She will explore a range of issues relating to this subject such as: Why collaborate? How can collaboration work in the VCSE? What are the challenges? What are the benefits? What does success look like?


Using Digital to do Things Differently: Cosmic
Learn how digital is changing the way charities operate and deliver change. Find out what is over the horizon and learn ways to do things differently to prepare for the digital future. This workshop, lead by Kate Doodson, Joint CEO at Cosmic, is designed for non-techies to build confidence in making strategic decisions around digital services and opportunities

What do I say? TheWholeStory
Storytelling has become a bit of a buzzword; offering to engage your audience, make you more authentic and memorable, influence others... the list of benefits is endless.
As luck would have it, it does do all these things and more. Lily Pender, Founding Partner at TheWholeStory, will guide you through a series of techniques to find your charity’s core story, and help prepare and test what to say to build enthusiasm and motivate outcomes you want. 

Your Social Enterprise Planned in an hour: Enterprise Values
If you want to have a go at transforming your charity service into a sustainable enterprise, this workshop is for you. Come with a service or product in mind. Patrick will take you through a fast-paced planning process to help you turn this into a successful enterprise. You’ll analyse your product potential, find markets for it, come up with pricing, design a sales strategy and financial forecast, and propose your investment requirements. All in an hour. Come prepared to move quickly!

Booking details:

Early bird tickets are £35 and are available until 17th May. Standard tickets are £40. Tickets include lunch and refreshments. You can book online here. If you would like to pay by BACs and require an invoice, please call 01460 202970 or email

About the speakers:

Peter Wanless
Born and bred in the South West, Peter Wanless has been NSPCC's Chief Executive since June 2013. He is currently the longest serving of the main children’s charity CEOs. Before that he was the Big Lottery Fund's Chief Executive for five years, during which he helped develop its position as a supporter and champion of voluntary and community sector led change, distributing £700m a year to charities and community groups.
Between 1998 and 2008 he was a Director at the Department for Education and the Department for Children, Schools and Families. In the early years he was the first Government Director of Strategy and Communications, and assisted in pulling policy and communications closer together. He later became Director of Secondary Education, and ended up as Director of Families, where he established their Families Group. In his 20s he worked at the HM Treasury, operating in a range of roles including head of private finance policy and as a private secretary to various Cabinet ministers, including John Major and Michael Portillo.
Peter is on the Board at Somerset County Cricket Club and is an avid cricket fan himself! He was awarded the Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List for distinguished public service.

Patrick Nash
Patrick has worked in social enterprise
for the past 40 years. He has started up 12 enterprises, the most recent being the UK’s largest provider of charity helplines. His successes include building Scotland’s first eco-village, creating the UK’s first national counselling service for schoolteachers, and bringing together some of the largest armed forces charities to create the Veterans Gateway. He was awarded IoD Director of the Year for Corporate Responsibility 2017.
Frustrated by working for charities dependent on grants and major gifts, Patrick has spent the last 20 years working with charities to create successful, profitable enterprises that deliver services to people facing challenging circumstances. He is passionate about the vital role that business and enterprise can play in solving some of the big problems faced by society today.
Patrick now works with organisations who want to transform from ‘not for profit’ into ‘not for loss’. He teaches social enterprise; coaching leaders, and helping organisations to set up new products and services and secure customers, funding, investment and more. 

Charlotte Augst
Charlotte is the Chief Executive of National Voices. Prior to joining National Voices in March 2019, Charlotte led the work of the Richmond Group for five years, developing strategy, facilitating discussions and representing the Group externally. She came to London in 1997, after completing a law degree in Germany, to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of London. She holds a PhD in law and medical ethics. Charlotte has held senior positions in health and research policy – in Parliament, for national regulators, and in the charitable sector. She has been a Trustee of Mosaic Clubhouse, a Brixton based mental health recovery charity, since 2015.

Kate Doodson
Kate is the Joint Chief Executive of Cosmic, one of the leading social enterprises in the South West, and recognised across the UK for its achievements and ongoing development. Kate is a girl geek having spent 18 years in the IT industry, many of which running a wholly female owned IT software business. Kate specialises in Digital Futures and the strategic use of Digital to transform business processes. She is passionate about ensuring businesses use the full range of digital services available to them to give them the edge they need to thrive, particularly in the rural economy. Kate regularly delivers lectures regularly across the UK and internationally on Digital Transformation. She is a steering group member of the South West Cyber Security Cluster, Tech South West and a STEM ambassador in Schools. Her previous career in Civil Engineering enabled her to work extensively in both the UK and overseas. Kate's achievements include being shortlisted for the Women in IT awards as IT Advocate of the Year, and she has received awards from Tech4Good, Social Enterprise UK, and the Venus Awards.

Lily Pender
Put simply, Lily teaches people to think and speak at the same time. Lily once described herself as the girl at school who never put her hand up to ask a question and stuttered her way through reading her work out-loud to the class, but she eventually found a confidence in drama. It taught her how to speak and to communicate, and gave her a creative set of tools with which she could explore and articulate her thoughts. Lily cofounded TheWholeStory to help others find their voice, and get it heard. TheWholeStory is driven by the desire to facilitate the application of storytelling to the benefit of our contemporary working lives, within museums, charities and the public and private sector. She worked with charities of all sizes including Crimestoppers, Cancer Research UK, Centre Point and the Samaritans.