Working with partner organisations is key for bpha – it’s how we’re able to achieve positive actions, initiatives, and events to support our customers and the wider communities.
Our Community Engagement Team holds regular online meetings for community organisations to come together, share ideas and work on projects together. Last week we were able to hold our first in-person ‘Better Together’ partnership event and information fair, inviting around 80 existing and potential partners, local councillors and Mohammed Yasin, MP, as well as Dave Hodgson, Mayor of Bedford and the Lady Clifford, the out-going High Sheriff of Bedfordshire.
Part of our role is helping organisations secure funding so that they can provide our customers with services that give them day-to-day support, skills, places to socialise, make life easier, improve their communities and much more. As the cost-of-living crisis bites, organisations are seeing more demand for services, increasing the need for funding. So the focus for the event was bringing funders and organisations together. The aim was for funders to explain more about the process and tips for being successful and for organisations to share ideas and get tips from each other on pushing forward with, and promoting, projects. It was also an opportunity to hear from groups and individuals who have benefitted from funding and practical support, reminding us all of the impact this can have.
We had the opportunity to work in break-out sessions, identifying community projects that are in the works and identifying potential funders and facilitators. These will be followed up, hopefully getting these projects on track to go live sooner.
Thank you to our speakers from Public Health (who spoke about the cost-of-living crisis and how they have supported residents), CVS Bedford, The National Lottery, Harpur Trust and Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation (BLCF) who talked through the funding process. Thanks also to Carers in Bedfordshire, iLearn and Faith in Queens Park who spoke about projects that they’ve worked on with bpha, and also one of bpha’s residents who spoke about the positive impact the launch of a community hub in Queens Park has had on her life.
Thanks also to Bedfordshire Fire Service, Harpur Trust, National Lottery, CVS, Bedfordshire & Luton Community Foundation, Bedfordshire Employment & Skills Academy, who set up information points so that guests could find out more about the organisations and how they could potentially work together. And to the many bpha colleagues who also set up information stalls and supported in making the event happen, including CEO Kevin Bolt who introduced the day and set the tone for the event.