Annual Conference

BNs Annual Conference (Edinburgh) 2016: Friday 4th November 2016 9.30am - 4.30pm

Befriending and partnerships: The power of collaboration.

This year, as well as providing a unique opportunity to spend the day with representatives from befriending organisations up and down the country, we will be exploring the potential of partnerships.

Befriending is so often about enabling connections and opportunities for the people we support, but are we also making the most of the possibilities offered to us as organisations through connecting and collaborating with other organisations? Are we enhancing the social capital of our befriendees and befrienders but neglecting our own? How can we forge meaningful and lasting partnerships both with other third-sector organisations and across the sectors, which will ultimately allow us to do what we do more effectively – and do things we couldn’t do on our own?

This year’s conference will explore the theme of partnership and collaboration and will draw on expert voices from different sectors – as well as the experiences of befriending services already engaged in successful partnerships of all shapes and sizes – in building a picture of the potential for the future of befriending of this powerful approach to working.
Our two keynote speakers are:

· Colin Campbell, Founder and Direct of Assist Social Capital and
· Tony McElroy, Head of Communications and Devolved Government Relations at Tesco.
Colin will be talking about the concept of social capital and how this could inform the way befriending services plan, develop and report on what they do (for example, effectively making the case that befriending enhances the social capital of befrienders and befriendees). In particular he will discuss the idea that by working collaboratively with other organisations across the sectors, befriending organisations can enhance befriending organisations’ own social capital.

Tony will be addressing the potential for the private sector and the third sector to work more collaboratively in the future, good practice examples of existing work, and looking to how this could be built on and ways this could be developed in the future. We know that many of you may have both practical and ethical concerns about the private sector being a major player in the work you do, so this should be an interesting discussion!

Book your place now and make sure you’re part of this important conversation!

Past Conferences

Download previous years' conference reports here: