Authenticity has never been more important; from the media we consume to the relationships we build. Stories promote transparency, build credibility and trust.

As the centre of voluntary services across North Hertfordshire and Stevenage, we understand the significance of the stories behind the organisations we support.

By the very nature of their work, voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise groups (VCFSE) are rich in stories.

From the people whose lives they work to improve, to the passionate and dedicated folk setting up and running the services.

When told well, stories convey emotion, land a message and inspire action.

Stories do two things for a charitable organisation seeking support in delivering their mission.

Firstly, a positive impact story can inspire a would-be volunteer to step forward and dedicate their time. Understanding the positive difference that their action can make is highly influential.

Secondly, and arguably most importantly given the current funding crisis facing the VCFSE sector; great stories have the power to leverage funding too.

Annual nationwide campaigns, such as the recent Red Nose Day, are centred around the stories of those who benefit from public donations.

The purpose of every fundraising activity is hooked on the work individual donations help to fund.

Whilst the reach and impact may be smaller for community-based organisations, and the funders mostly independent lenders and public bodies, the concept remains the same; powerful stories help in the acquisition of funding.

Requiring a degree of art and expertise, telling your story in an impactful way is a common hurdle for the organisations in our network.

Access to communication and marketing skills, as well as budget limitations on production costs are frequently quoted as stumbling blocks.

That's why this year’s North Herts Community Conference is dedicated to what the voluntary and community groups in our area can do to tell their story.

During this year’s conference, held on Tuesday, May 21 at Letchworth’s Broadway Hotel, attendees will experience the power of their communities' stories; as we shine a light on the stories of some local organisations throughout the day.

Storytelling expert, writer and consultant Neil Baker will host a workshop to steer the room in the creation of engaging and impactful stories.

And a soon-to-be-announced guest speaker will also take the floor, whose personal story is one of incredible courage, determination and achievement.

Our community conference is free to attend and open to all voluntary, community and faith groups, and social enterprises operating in North Hertfordshire.

Find out more at Events ( As North Herts and Stevenage Centre for Voluntary Services, we equip community groups, charities & volunteers with the knowledge to thrive. Learn more at or call 01462 689400.