Reflections on the Local Linking Events so far

Reflections on the Local Linking Events so far

We have been out on the road again in North Yorkshire! It has felt so good to see people face to face again, to talk in person about real issues our communities are facing and visit amazing local venue’s sampling lots of varied delicious lunch menu’s.

Our Local Linking Events are for anyone wanting to connect with others who support individuals in the community in any sector. They are hosted by us at Better Connect, with our wider partnerships attending and representing our programmes Action Towards Inclusion and Thriving at Work.

We spoke to Sam from Better Connect who has attended a number of the Local Linking Events so far and asked her a couple of questions about her experience..


What are the key lessons we are learning from the local linking events?

People have really missed being in places together! There has been a lot of enthusiasm for the opportunity to come together and a lot of people making connections they felt they would not have had the opportunity to make without the events. The cross-sector nature of the events has been really valued and it’s unusual as many events around networking that involve the VCS are just for the VCS. There was a lot of value in getting a wider range of views during the discussions.

What discussions were interesting/thought provoking?  

The need for continued support once people go into work has come up as a theme in almost every event so far. Thriving at Work is extremely welcome and there is an appetite for this for this to be scaled up. Many people talked about the challenge of moving into work and the fact that most programmes see this as the end of the support needs, but it’s actually a key transition point and can be a very destabilizing and unsettling time when support is essential. It was also mentioned how much more effective immediate in-work support is, rather than trying to rectify situations and relationships that have already deteriorated. The support for employers through Thriving at Work was also hugely welcomed.

What do we need/want as a sector?

The “sector” represented at the events has been the learning/employability/health/inclusion sector which has been comprised of people employed by VCS and statutory sector agencies. It has been really good to bring this sector together, rather than artificially separate people based on VCS/statutory sector divides. The needs of this sector that I picked up from feedback was:

  • Continuing to have good knowledge of what each partner can offer and good cross-referrals.
  • Personalised and long-term support for individuals (not rigid and short term programmes).
  • Key worker model including support once the individuals moves into work.
  • Longer term contracts to ensure stability of the provider base
  • No gap in funding at the end of ESF as this will decimate the partnership and individual organisations


How can Better Connect make a difference?

A lot of support from partners and wider stakeholders for the role of Better Connect in creating these connections across sectors and creating an environment where partners can focus on what they do best. Continue to secure new contracts and ensure that these retrain the strengths of ATI and TAW.

Thanks Sam for giving us an insight into the Local Linking Events so far. We will be sharing our findings from all our events in a couple of weeks time!

Click on the Programme name to find out more about Action Towards Inclusion or Thriving at Work

Here are some pictures of the events so far…



Hannah Prole

Post by Hannah Prole

Impact Manager

Hannah is our Impact Manager at Better Connect. Her role is to show the impact that Better Connect and our programmes are making in many different ways such as through social media, our website, networking, events and presentations. Hannah is passionate about creating positive environments that people feel safe to be themselves in, especially at work. She loves building strong relationships with partners, meeting new people and really getting to know why people are the way they are and why they do what they do!

Hannah loves being creative and getting into ‘flow’ with her work. She loves making things and being involved in the creative process. Hannah loves working for Better Connect because she gets to have variety in her role and appreciates the positive culture and focus on wellbeing.

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