Voluntary groups get a chance to learn from others in Gosport

Some of the Mayville High School pupils who have become members of Mensa   Picture:  Malcolm Wells (180425-5690)

14 pupils from this Southsea school have become the newest members of Mensa

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VOLUNTEER groups from across Gosport got together to share skills at a conference.

The ‘Safe and Sound’ networking day held at HMS Sultan saw more than 50 organisations, from pain management support group, Partners through Pain, to Gosport Older Persons Forum, swap tips on managing their groups.

Run by Gosport Voluntary Action and Gosport Compact, which helps local groups deal with statutory bodies, the day was partly funded by Gosport Borough Council.

The event, which aimed to teach groups how to work safely, was attended by Gosport’s MP Caroline Dinenage and the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Richard Dickson and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor John Beavis, giving the groups a chance to meet local politicians.

David Taylor, events planner for Gosport Heritage Open Days, said: ‘It was a very informative day, it’s given me quite a few leads for further information.’

Dave Russell, a representative of the volunteer sector on Gosport Town Team and a member of Gosport Compact committee also found the day useful.

He said: ‘You take the opportunity to talk to people and pick up on their experiences and ask them questions to get the help in that way as well.’ The day saw speakers from a number of groups, including Community Action Fareham, HMS Sultan and Tennyson Insurance, cover topics including insurance, legal issues and safeguarding children and adults.

And along with informal networking and speakers, many had two-minute slots to give updates about the progress of their groups and the work that they do.

Cllr Beavis said: ‘Another valuable thing from a day like today is the contact details for all the various organisations – you get the opportunity to speak to them, to talk about what’s important to them and the way they deal with things.

‘It gives you a better idea of all the things that are going on in the voluntary organisations.’

Nicky Staveley, from Gosport Voluntary Action, said: ‘It’s terribly important to share expertise.’