The Big Connect - Sessions

Here is a brief description of the sessions taking place at the Big Connect on 12 July. You will be able to book for all the sessions on a first come first serve basis on the day of the event by visiting the ‘Book Your Sessions Here’ desk at reception.


Community engagement

  • Groundwork’s interactive session on empowering young people

Have you ever wondered how to engage the young people in your neighbourhood and help reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour? Groundwork’s interactive seminar will take a look at a ground-breaking initiative that empowered young people in Northants.  These young people will be telling their story and the journey they have taken from being deemed problematic within their neighbourhoods to being respected and valued by local people and even the police officers who have previously arrested them!  There will be opportunities for questions.

Regenerate and the Association of RSLM

Community engagement

  • Regenerate and the Association of RSLM’s Workshop on how to engage local residents and mobilise their assets and skills to transform your local area

This workshop will explore how we can tap into the hidden assets and energies in communities by building trust, respect and relationships and encouraging leadership. Listening and reflection is at the heart of Regenerate’s work. Their workshop will introduce the concepts, principles and skills for effective public engagement, showing how listening builds trust, respect and relationships, and can be used strategically to support personal and political renewal and transformation.

Community Links

Community engagement

  • David Robinson, present’s his intelligent approach to preventing the problems blighting our communities

Preventing problems from occurring rather than picking up the pieces afterwards, seems like common sense. Why isn’t it common practice?

David Robinson, Chair of the Early Action Task Force will present a pragmatic approach to developing “readiness” – the capacity to both seize opportunity and cope with adversity. It is an approach to prevention that is of relevance to us all and has a practical role for us all – business, community and government.

David Robinson leads the cross sector Early Action Task Force. He is an experienced and influential community worker, the Founder of Community Links and now it’s Senior Adviser. Community Links work with more than 30,000 people a year through an extensive network of community development projects in East London. This local experience is shared with policy makers and practitioners internationally through publications, training and consultancy.

Read David’s blog to find out more about Community Links' work

Fujitsu and Lloyds Banking Group

Community engagement

  • Fujitsu and Lloyds present the business case for helping transform our local communities through Business Connectors

Why are some of the largest employers in this country giving their resources in the form of talent, time, products and services to help transform our local communities?

Why would and why should business enhance their relationships with, and contribute to the well-being of the communities in which they operate? How does business engagement mutually benefit both local employers and community organisations? Find out more about the community, business and HR benefits of seconding Business Connectors from Lloyds and Fujitsu.

Find out more about Fujitsu’s work in this agenda

The Big Lottery Fund


  • Find out how the Big Lottery Fund can support your community

The Big Lottery Fund will be looking at the programmes that are facilitating successful collaborations with the voluntary, education and private sectors to tackle social need and they will also be offering top tips on applying for grants of between £300 and £10,000 for projects that improve communities, and the lives of people within them, how applicants can maximise their chances of success, common errors made in applications and how to avoid them and which applications should be directed to a different Lottery distributor.

Spacehive and Buzzbnk


  • This exciting session hosted by Spacehive and Buzzbnk will tell you everything you need to know about crowd funding

This exciting session will tell you everything you need to know about the fast-growing online funding phenomenon which is set to pump £14 billion a year into the UK economy by 2016. This model is being used by local people, councils and businesses to back popular regeneration projects online - unlocking new sources of funding and providing a powerful route to market for "civic entrepreneurs" with great ideas.

Discover the amazing social and financial impact you can make by backing this refreshing new way of doing things. You'll hear from Spacehive, as well as Buzzbnk - a platform that sources loans for social ventures.

Read Chris Gourlay, Founder & CEO, Spacehive’s blog on how they are working with Business Connectors

Community Development Foundation (CDF)Funding

  • Community Development Foundation (CDF) Session on how to access affordable finance and encourage better provision of fair finance.

A key obstacle to local economic growth is access to affordable finance, households and communities, especially those in deprived communities, struggle to access the financial services they need.  The fact that payday lenders have been one of the success stories of the recession demonstrates the negative impact of a lack of fair finance. However there are solutions to this.  The CDF session will cover:

  • The problems caused in communities by a lack of fair finance and access to suitable financial services;

  • What are the main high street banks doing to support local economic growth;

  • How alternative finance providers such as credit unions, community development finance institutions and peer to peer lenders, can help to fill the gap;

  • What community groups and community activists can do to encourage better provision of fair finance in local communities

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC)
  • NPC Session on Measuring outcomes: how, what and why

This workshop will provide an introduction to impact measurement, including practical tips and advice on what and how to go about measuring outcomes in order to help improve services and attract funding. The session will use draw on the process of developing a measurement framework for the Business Connector’s programme as a case study, to examine benefits, challenges and approaches to measuring outcomes.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Give & Gain




  • NCVO and Give & Gain show us how to manage corporate volunteering

Justin Davis Smith & the Volunteers' Week Team at National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Gennie Franklin, Director of Programmes and Employee Volunteering at Business in the Community will be sharing their vast knowledge of how to manage corporate volunteering. This is a split seminar from the corporate and community perspective.

Real People HR

Advice surgery

  • Real People HR advice surgeries for anyone with HR or employee relations issues

Real People HR advice surgeries for anyone with HR or employee relations issues. You can bring any kind of HR or employee relations issue to Real People, an award-winning social enterprise specialising in HR support for small and medium-sized organisations. It might be about handling restructuring, redundancy or TUPE transfers. You might be seeking to change pay and terms. It may be disciplinary, grievance, or capability issue, perhaps an employee whose behaviour is causing difficulties in the workplace.

Or you may want advice on your approach to recruitment or training. Although we can’t guarantee you a complete solution in 20 minutes, we will give you an accurate assessment of where you are, where you need to be and signpost you clearly to your options and next steps.

Book your 20 minute slot now by contacting or call 020 7566 8651.


Advice surgery

  • Are you a social entrepreneur looking to scale-up your work? UnLtd will point you in the right direction

Wherever you are in your journey as a social entrepreneur, a point in the right direction can make all the difference to help you keep moving onto that next stage. UnLtd’s workshop will give you practical tips on funding, support and advice on starting out and moving forward. UnLtd Award Managers will be on hand to talk about operations, governance, replication, growth strategies and to help to find the right networks.

HD Learning from HR Moves

Advice surgery

  • Learn from HD Learning from HR Moves how to manage your time more effectively

Time, as we know, waits for no one – you can’t really manage it. What you can manage is the energy you bring to those hours.  In 20 fun-filled interactive minutes we will take you on a practical and innovative journey of discovery of how you can effectively manage your energy and use time more wisely.

Productivity thinking over the years has fixated on the idea of time: there are only so many hours in a day, so if you want to be an effective person, you should learn to manage them wisely.

Trading 4 Good

Advice surgery

  • Visit Trading 4 Good to find out more about a new digital service helping small businesses strengthen their reputation and grow

Find out more about a new digital service helping small businesses strengthen their reputation and grow by showcasing the good work they do in their communities.

Trading 4 Good is providing workshops and 1:1 advice on how you can help the small and medium sized businesses in your area to shout about the good work they are doing. Discover how SME’s can help on the high street and in your local area.

Skills point

Advice surgery

  • Skills point

Would you like to know how to write a great press release, or harness your social network? Or perhaps you are looking for sound financial management advice? These Skill Point sessions offer practical support on these and many more topics.

Joyful Living


  • Come and de-stress with a relaxing massage from Joyful Living

A 15 minutes massage on back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands and scalp, performed on a massage chair, using a combination of Swedish massage, acupressure and stretches. Very good to treat conditions like tension in back, neck, shoulders, hands and mental tiredness after long working hours. We guarantee it will leave you relaxed, energised and de-stressed.