The Share Network meetings are hosted by VAST and All the Small Things and are designed as an opportunity for VCSE organisations across the area to get to know each other, talk about local challenges and successes, exchange know-how and resources, and learn from each other.

December’s theme was the effect of the Autumn Budget on the VCSE Sector, with Keynote speakers Mark Gregory (former Chief Economist at EY in the UK) and Neil Dawson (VAST Trustee with significant VCSE sector experience).

Mark Gregory is a leading voice in the UK economy. Mark Grew up in Brown Edge and is a director (soon to be trustee) of Claybody theatre in Stoke-on-Trent. Mark gave us an overview of the current state of the economy, and the changes we can expect to see to the VCSE sector once the chancellor’s budget begins to take effect. Mark warns organisations to be mindful of additional pressures that may come our way (an increased need for mental health services, for example) – and to make sure to keep an eye on your finances as charitable giving decreases.

Neil Dawson has been a trustee of VAST since 1998, and has been the Chair since 2006. Neil’s breadth of experience in the charity sector means he has seen VCSE organisations face similar economic hardships and come out the other side. Neil discussed the importance of networking and collaboration, valuing and maintaining our community buildings, keeping an up-to-date business plan, and reaching out for help when we need it.

Want to read the full notes from this session? Please email [email protected]

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