Staff and volunteers from over 20 local community organisations attended the Unity Voluntary Sector Conference held at the Best Western Hotel, Andover.

The annual event was held to enable the charity sector to hear from speakers on subjects that could have an impact on their services users or which may help them to shape future services as well as giving groups the opportunity to network and get to know other community based groups who provide essential local services.

This year, guests heard from a number of statutory agencies on key topics:

Phil Turner – Test Valley Borough Council – Housing Options & Homelessness developments

Jackie Sutherland – Department of Work and Pensions – Changes to Universal Credits.

Julie Gallagher – Trading Standards – The work of Trading Standards, their approved trader scheme ‘Buy with Confidence’ and the National Trading Standards initiative ‘Friends Against Scams’.

The Royal Voluntary Service who attended the event said, ‘The most relevant presentation for our client base (older people) was the presentation about scams. I learnt quite a lot, as I wasn’t previously aware of all the different types of scams and how they work. I was also very interested in the Housing presentation. The Universal Credit presentation was quite interesting, but not really relevant to me/my job. I enjoyed speaking to a couple of other people from different organisations in the break.’