We want to challenge the ‘back to normal’ and look at the mental health and wellbeing of our nation.
About this event
Having endured so much change, the nation is at a mental health cross road with the media telling us how everything is going ‘back to normal’. We are challenging this and opening up about how everything is not the same, the negatives and the positives, what we have been through, what we are facing and what people are now willing and more importantly, able to do.
We need your help to determinine the mindset of a nation – your mental health and wellbeing, exploring how your volunteering experiences have impacted by Covid and multiple lockdowns.
Take part in our surveys:
Chaired by Paul Reddish, Chief Executive, Volunteering Matters with thought leaders and expert speakers from Groop, Sported, Coventry City Council, The Positive PitStop Podcast, Mental Health UK and Creative Youth Network
Expect highs and lows, poetry and some real take away actions you can put into place in life and in your organisations and communities.
Paul Reddish – CE Volunteering Matters
Paul took up the post of Chief Executive of Volunteering Matters in September 2019. Volunteering Matters supports over 100 volunteering programmesthroughout the UK, which in turn involve 30,000 volunteers. They support communities to lead social change in critical areas such as isolation and loneliness, skills development, youth social action and the improvement of mental health and well being.
Paul is currently chairing the national volunteering co-ordination response, made up of key leaders from across both government and the voluntary sector.
Prior to his current role, Paul was CEO of ProjectScotland help hundreds of young unemployed Scots every year to get on in life by helping them increase their skills and find what they really want to do through meaningful placements within Scotland’s not for profit sector, and also has held a number of senior roles in Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
As a volunteer, he is a founding trustee of one of the Scotland’s first community sports hubs – Inch Park Community Sports Club – who use sport as a tool to engage young people in some of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas.
Kathryn King, Head of Services and Partnerships, Sported
Kathryn started her career in the youth sector as a youth worker at a local college, following the completion of her degree at Loughborough University in Bsc (Hons) Recreation Management. After two and a half years of working in the youth sector and achieving a youth work qualification, Kathryn started her 15 years of experience in the sports sector as a Sports Development Officer working hands on at the grass roots level of sport. Following these focused development roles, the next challenge was focused on more strategic areas of work at Active Essex as Head of Delivery. This role focused on developing relationships with both local, regional and national partners all working towards the same goal of increasing participation levels in sport and physical activity.
Kathryn has been at Sported since 2011 working on developing member and volunteer services and every day is inspired by the member organisations and volunteers who are part of the Sported network and these individuals, organisations and stories are part of what makes working at Sported so great. Kathryn is very passionate about working at Sported and the impact that sport has on the lives of young people throughout the UK.
Professor Martin Reeves, Chief Executive, Coventry City Council
Martin has been Chief Executive of Coventry City Council since April 2009. He was also the Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority from March 2016 to September 2017. He had previously been with Bedfordshire County Council for three and a half years as Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Executive.
Martin has held senior leadership roles in a District and an outer London Borough and was Programme Director for WorkSmart; Westminster City Council’s flagship transformation programme.
Martin spent much of his early career as a lecturer and researcher, and has a PhD in applied economics.
He is a Professor (University Advisory Panel) at Coventry University; is the first Honorary President of LARIA (Local Authorities Research and Intelligence Association) and on the board of the Centre for Cities.
He has been President of SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) and is currently its national spokesperson on local government finance and future funding.
He is the Local Government Association (LGA) National Procurement Champion.
He is on the King’s Fund General Advisory Council and Chairs the National Cross System Board for Sustainable Health & Social Care.
Recently, Martin was once again included in the top 50 of the Local Government Chronicle’s (LGC) list of most influential people in local government.
Maria Imran, Mental Health UK, Creative Youth Network, Unity. Medicine Student At Bristol University.
Maria is currently studying medicine at the University of Bristol. Her journey to becoming such an advocate for volunteering began in 2017 when she found her passion for it as well as experienced its benefits.
She began volunteering for the Creative Youth Network (CYN), initially working with refugees and asylum seekers. Alongside this she joined a youth forum called Unity; this is a group discussing the issues that young Black Asian Minority Ethnic people may face and how to resolve and overcome these issues. Elected to become the representative for this group, she held the position of a co-optee on the Bristol City Youth Council, representing all 30,000 young BAME people in Bristol, for 2 years.
During this time she completed a 2 week City Leadership Programme developed by the Mayor of Bristol; becoming a young trustee for CYN representing the voices of young people and she was nominated for a Bristol Young Heroes awards under the category ‘Action Hero’ for her work in the community.
Other volunteering opportunities she has committed to include volunteering for the Health Foundation; for over two years she has been part of an ongoing project called the ‘Young people’s inquiry’, helping larger organisations understand the problems that young people are facing today. More recently, she has just begun a 1 year project with Anna Freud and Mental Health UK researching the mental health of young people and their families. Other organisations include Islamic relief, Muslim Charity and more.
She hopes to always have volunteering as a part of her career and her life as she has flourished from its benefits and gained opportunities she would not have gained otherwise. She looks forward to being able to continue to help the younger generations in reaching their potential and improving their future; a factor that really motivates her.
Tony Jameson-Allen – co-host of The Positive PitStop and founder of Sporting Memories
Tony has been directly involved in health and social care service improvement, using collaborative methodologies for over 15 years. Central to this has been the ability to creatively communicate via a variety of media to multiple organisations and groups and to manage and share the knowledge and learning from these groups.
He co-founded Sporting Memories in 2011. There are over 130 weekly sporting memories clubs in the UK impact that are volunteer-led, and help tackle dementia, depression and loneliness. The work has picked up a number of prestigious National awards including the PM’s Points of Light Award.
He is a Visiting Fellow at Leeds Beckett University and enjoys delivering an annual lecture on sport, memories and older people to FIFA Masters MA students at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Monfort University
More recently, Tony spent over the past year trying to find an effective intervention to cure a bout of treatment resistant clinical depression. He persuaded his local NHS Trust to fund a case study to trial an exercise and personal coaching programme, that had a significant positive impact on his health and approach to life.
Tony is on Twitter @tja_evonet
Sally Higham, CEO Groop
Sally volunteers across many different organisations and charities in addition to her full-time commitment as the CEO of Groop and role as Chair of the Inspiring Impact Steering Group. She runs her local County Junior U18 Badminton Team and she is the Founder of the Championing Women network – she also mentors young women in early stages of their careers.
Until late 2018, Sally was a Non-Exec Director (NED) on the board of Aster Group; previously a NED at Bromford Housing and a Guardian Professional writer and will be starting a new role as Chair of a Housing Association later this year.
Sally is a passionate strategist committed to supporting communities, education, youth services, charities, social housing and social enterprises to survive and thrive.
Groop is a socially focused business built from knowledge, providing new and exciting functionality in an all-in-one community management platform to Local Authorities and Charities and managing communications, compliance and data. Groop listens to their customers and develops the technology to make a real difference to communities across the UK.
An award-winning social entrepreneur: Shortlisted Tech4Good 2020 award at the Investor Allstars Awards. Winner Best Business Women in Stem 2019 at the Best Business Women Awards. Winner of Techies Social Impact Award 2019 for a product or service driven by technology that is making a difference to its users and the wider community; Shortlisted British Small Business Awards 2017; Bristol Women in Business 2016 Innovation Award; Next Gen Intelligent Communities Award 2015; Big Venture Challenge Winner 2014 and 2013; UnLtd Fast Growth Winner 2013.