Council invites local voluntary and community organisations to attend free communities conference to discuss issues affecting future of East Devon

Voluntary organisations and community groups, as well as town and parish councils from across East Devon are being invited to book their places on East Devon District Council's free annual “Working Together for the Future of East Devon” 2017 conference, which is taking place on Friday 29 September from 9.30am to 2.30 pm at Knowle in Sidmouth.

The event aims to bring local agencies together to improve communications between the voluntary and statutory sectors. Voluntary organisations play a vital role in the quality of life in East Devon.

The theme for this year is communities doing it for themselves, with speakers covering a variety of topics. Attendees will acquire useful information about issues such as how to recruit and keep volunteers and how to keep an organisation or community service going. Speakers include local organisations such as the Devon Freewheelers, Broadclyst Community Farm and Action East Devon. 
Delegates will also have the opportunity to network with each other and forge valuable links with other East Devon groups.  

The conference is free, but people attending the conference are asked to bring with them items of non-perishable food, such as packets of dried food or tinned goods, which will be collected by a local foodbank and later handed out to needy families in the area.

Places are limited to one per organisation/group and must be booked in advance. To find out more or book your place please e-mail jbuckley@eastdevon.gov.uk or phone (01395) 517569 with your name and contact details and the name of the organisation you are representing before 15 September 2017.

Councillor Jill Elson, portfolio holder for Sustainable Homes and Communities at East Devon District Council, said:

This annual conference is extremely successful and enables many local voluntary organisations to meet each other. This gives them the opportunity to learn about the provision in East Devon and the chance to see whether they can work together with other organisations. It also shows them how they can help more people by passing on valuable experience or gaining knowledge.

Jill is a volunteer for several organisations and is therefore well aware of the need for voluntary organisations to become more professional. She also has first-hand experience as to how vital volunteers are for many residents within East Devon