When supporting voluntary, charity and community work across North Hertfordshire and Stevenage, our goal is to improve everyone’s quality of life living in our community.

Facilitating the local network by enabling the strengthening of relationships between organisations and individuals sharing common goals and challenges, is just one way we deliver on that mission.

Last week over 100 representatives of voluntary and charitable organisations across the community came together at Letchworth’s iconic Broadway Hotel.

The event was the latest in a series, in partnership with the North Herts and Stevenage CVS, North Herts Council and also Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, whose generous funding enabled the event.

Months in the planning, the collective aim was to unite the local voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise sector (VCFSE); to facilitate the building of vital networks and equip organisations with tools to take their next steps.

As part of the ongoing All About Us campaign, the event was themed around storytelling.

Having previously highlighted fundraising as one of their biggest obstacles, organisations heard from inspiring guest speakers on the power of storytelling in order to connect with people, secure all important funding and recruit volunteers.

Explorer Michael McGrath, MBE shared his incredible journey to both the North and South poles, raising awareness of muscular dystrophy, of which he was diagnosed at the age of 18.

AI expert Linden Walcott-Burton shared hands-on advice on how to utilise artificial intelligence in the art of storytelling, and writer Neil Baker provided a framework on how to craft a story, in an interactive seminar.

Over half of the delegates who left feedback strongly agreed that the practical skills imparted will be used to support fundraising applications, volunteer recruitment and help partners understand who they are.

Furthermore, 54 per cent strongly agreed that the event provided them with the opportunity to start or continue to build relationships and foster collaborations with other VCFSE groups, infrastructure organisations, finders and statutory advisors in North Hertfordshire.

Plans are already underway for the next event for the VCFSE sector, hosted by North Herts and Stevenage. Providing further opportunity to strengthen the community, the event will be held this September at Stevenage football club.

If you represent a voluntary organisation and would like to know more about future events, subscribe to our mailing list online nhcvs.org.uk or by emailing info@nhcvs.org.uk.