The annual Ward Goodman Dorset Charities Conference (DCC) 2019 took place at Bournemouth University in July and once again attracted business delegates and charities from a variety of sectors across the county.

The DCC is the largest charity event in Dorset and the conference connected charities with influential sector suppliers. The event also hosts expert speakers from both charity and business sectors, allowing the charities attending to be helped further with genuine advice and support.

This year the event was sponsored by Teachers Building Society and Church House Investments, and drew in new sponsors ROUTEpr & Events and BH1 GIN.

Ian Rodd, Managing Director of Ward Goodman, said, “At a time when ethical best practice, sustainability, genuine community engagement and collaboration are organisational buzzwords, the conference’s appeal this year has been tremendous, we’ve received extremely positive feedback and that’s why we’re announcing the 9th Dorset Charities Conference will take place on  2nd July 2020 so you can now save the date in your diaries.”

Jen Richardson, Head of Charity and Community, said, “The annual conference gives charities and businesses the perfect opportunity to make great connections via the networking sessions, as well as to gather valuable information and advice from the businesses who take stand space, and the opportunity to hear the best speakers in the county. The theme of the conference was Collaborate, Educate and Communicate and the feedback from delegates shows that we achieved that aim.”

The sponsorship raised allows us to keep the event affordable and any surplus is donated in a prize draw at the end of the day. We are delighted that Autism Wessex were the lucky recipients this year.”

Bev Jesse, Head of Savings at Teachers Building Society, said, “We are delighted to support the Ward Goodman Dorset Charities Conference once again this year.As the only building society based in the local area, it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to meet with local charities and discuss how we could help them make the most of their savings, as charities are not always aware of the savings options available to them. We’re able to ensure each charity can operate their account in a way that best suits their requirements and delivers the best return on their valuable investments.”

The calibre of the event and its established reputation has drawn eminent speakers, for example, Lucy Gower, Director of Lucidity, a regular speaker with The Institute of Fundraising.

Jen added, “This is a firm fixture in our annual calendar and held to support, share knowledge, deliver financial updates and best practice amongst all who work for a charity or community organisation, in an official capacity, or are keen to discover a role which might be the right fit.”

Ian Jones, Head of Regional Community Partnerships, Bournemouth University, said, “The event was really valuable, it was a fantastic way to meet trustees and chief executives from charities across the county, as well as get to know volunteers and fundraisers. It was a pleasure for BU to host the event this year and to welcome all attendees. We hope to host the conference again in 2020.”

Keynote speaker Gareth Sherwood, CEO of the YMCA Bournemouth, shared his story and his passion for the charity sector said, “It’s easy to be isolated when you run a charity, small or large, and that is why the conference is so important as we share our passion and story, learn from one another and see how we all fit into the whole. The conference allowed us all to connect, create, collaborate, and as we move forward it will help us collectively serve the Dorset community.”

The 2019 speakers were Gareth Sherwood (Bournemouth YMCA), Bev Jesse (Teachers Building Society), Jen Richardson (Ward Goodman), Geoff Trobridge (Lester Aldridge), Ian Girling (DCCI), Alex Picot (Dorset Community Action), Graham Farrant (BCP Council), James Johnsen (Church House Investment Management), Chris Conroy (Cyber Crime Protect & Prevention , Dorset Police), Lucy Gower (Lucidity), Ellie Maguire (Dorset Community Foundation) and Marie Waterman (Volunteer Centre Dorset).

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