VOLUNTARY groups from all over Wiltshire and Swindon are being invited to a day of information and inspiration at the Wiltshire Community Foundation’s fifth annual funding conference.

Taking place on Wednesday, October 9 at the Corn Exchange in Devizes, the day of discussion sessions, workshops and networking will give small groups working in communities across the county a chance to network and pick up useful information that will improve their work. Last year more than 100 people attended the event.

This year’s theme is ‘building connections’ and workshops on the day will include measuring impact, safeguarding, protection from fraud, and digital transformation.

There will also be interactive panel sessions with The National Lottery Community Fund, Groundwork UK and Zurich Community Trust on their priorities, grant programmes and application process.

It is being organised by the Wiltshire Community Foundation’s team in Devizes, whose work alongside voluntary groups assessing and monitoring grant applications gives them vital insight into the help they need.

WCF head of grants Jane Butler said: “The day is highly valued by the groups we work with because it is a chance to network.

“Many of these groups work in isolation and it can be quite lonely. We know from the feedback we’ve had that they really value the chance to meet and talk to others in the same situation.”

Mrs Butler will present a session on the foundation’s grants programme with useful advice for applicants.

Last year the foundation funded groups and individuals across Wiltshire and Swindon to the tune of £1.2 million.

Following last year's conference, one attendee said: “The event was useful and well organised. The length of the sessions was very good as these events often cram too much in and sessions can be too short.”

Another said: “Generally the organisation’s work is fantastic, I really rate them and have found almost every encounter with them very useful and informative.

"I met some really interesting people that will be good contacts for the future so the networking was really good.”

Sponsored by Monahans, places cost just £15, which includes a full day of activities and lunch. Book at https://bit.ly/2KvfZEQ.