The world has changed since March 2020, and the way we have had to work has changed too. 

Zoom and Teams meant different things pre-March 2020, now these are the tools we use to meet with others.  Whilst they are convenient and we no longer have to navigate the countless road works in Salford, it also means we often miss out on properly connecting with team members, partners, and other VCSE colleagues.

At Salford CVS, we run training, events, and in particular, our VOCAL forums which gave people a chance to meet, talk, and network. We've had to transfer these online, which meant we have been able to deliver our services through the past two years, but there has been something missing.

The best thing about holding these activities in person is the side conversations you would have over a brew – sometimes these conversations are about building friendships, sharing ideas, and creating long-term partnerships that enhance the lives of others. There is sometimes about getting people in the room and allowing the magic to happen.

I remember at our last Third Sector Fund Salford Stories event in 2019 we had a human library. This gave VCSE groups and organisations the opportunities able to share their grant impact stories over a brew and chat. It was the most popular room!

I saw commissioners go from table to table engrossed in what people had to say. These commissioners normally find out about these projects through funding bids and monitoring reports. They never get to see the passion, commitment, and energy behind these projects and that is why having in-person events are so important.

Recently, I have had the chance to attend a few in-person meetings since restrictions have lifted and what has been wonderful to see is the connections people have been making. One person was struggling to find a venue and the rest of the people in the room were crowdsourcing options for them and sharing contact details. It was such a joy to see and it reminded me why it is important to meet in person.

At Salford CVS our VOCAL Forums are transitioning to in-person events again. They are a great way to find out about what is happening, have your say and make connections with other VCSE colleagues.  Also, keep an eye out for our Annual Conference which will be held in September. 

As we transition back to some form of normality, it is crucial to schedule time to go to in-person events or training. It may seem like a chore at times, but often it is an opportunity to get away from distractions, get inspired, listen, generate ideas, and most importantly make connections. 

Salford CVS
Anne Marie Marshall, Services Manager

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Salford CVS & Volunteer Centre
Registered address 
The Old Town Hall 
5 Irwell Place 
Salford, M30 0FN

Tel: 0161 787 7795 


Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

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