As COVID-19 took hold in the UK and many people and organisations began to realise just how much this was going to affect every part of our lives, PPR in Greater Manchester started to carve out online spaces for open conversations with local partners to help process what was happening, culminating in the hosting of a Civil Society online conference.
During lockdown organisations and communities found themselves rapidly adapting to organising volunteers, supporting food banks, connecting with neighbourhood hubs and the emergent ‘mutual aid’ movement. Through the Civil Society Conference, we wanted to bring representatives from across the statutory and Voluntary and Community Sectors to share learning, provide a space to reflect, and start to look to the future. A number of key themes emerged that that will continue to remain relevant as COVID-19 continues to influence our lives :
- How mutuals and the voluntary sector can adapt and thrive with changing roles and new pressures
- How to influence the broad agenda including adaptive Leadership that enables a culture of shared power and permission to innovate and ‘try out’ new ways of working
- How to support more sharing of resources and mutual, trusting relationships
- How to change culture, framing and language by crafting common strengths based discourse to influence decisions about policy, commissioning and practice
- Learning together about community activity including small business, who else is doing good things