Rivers Trust colleagues from all over the UK joined us for the Spring Conference. Held at the Engine Shed in Lincoln on the 5th March and supported by Anglian Water.
The pre conference event, held upstairs in a pub function room in uphill Lincoln, felt like a fringe event at a festival. Dan Yates from Save Our Rivers spoke passionately about their journey into adventure activism.. This was followed by a showing of The Undamaged, a 50-minute high-quality film from Balkan River Defence. Showing that even a small NGO can make high quality, high impact film media. This whilst enjoying a locally brewed beer and some tapas plates laid on by the pub. A different approach to the usual formal dinner, but one, we are sure will be repeated.
The day itself, held at the Engine Shed at Lincoln University, was opened by our own Jon Bolland a founding trustee of Lincolnshire Rivers Trust . Followed by an inspiring key note by Alex Beasley – Country Manager for Patagonia about their global environmental commitment. Mark Lloyd – CEO Rivers Trust completed the opening trio and urged the room to look forward with an understanding of the challenge ahead.
The first session of the morning gave insights into working in partnership, a major part of Rivers Trust work but not always the easiest. The speakers came from a variety of organisations; Nene Catchment partnership, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Anglian Water and the Environment Agency. Each gave a different perspective but also a willingness to work in the same direction.
After a coffee break the second session brought together some ‘veterans’ of the Rivers Trust movement. For smaller, relatively young trusts like ours, it’s great to hear from those who have been around for a while. Finding out how they have seized opportunities and faced the challenges.
The afternoon gave the opportunity to attend two out of four workshop sessions. As most people who work for a small charity know, we have to be ‘jack of all trades’. These workshops gave great takeaways to consider and implement. The workshops included urban engagement, skilling up to deliver a big project, tools for fundraising success and getting the most from social media. Allowing plenty of opportunity for questions, interaction and learning from each other.
Of course we couldn’t have delivered the event without the speakers and those brave enough to run a workshop! Thanks also to the Rivers Trust communications team and the Engine Shed for hosting