On the 3rd of July I went to the Impact Initiatives yearly conference. Not only was it my first Impact Initiatives conference but it was also the first conference that I had been to, so I had no idea what to expect. The whole experience was quite overwhelming but also interesting.
When I arrived I was given a name badge and was told to pick a coloured card for the table I would be sitting at. I was a bit anxious about this because I find meeting new people quite awkward and nerve-racking especially because this was my first conference. However it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be because I had one of my colleagues on the table and most of the other people on the table I had met at least once before.
The conference covered a lot about the charity with Caroline Ridley the CEO (the chief executive officer) of the charity talking briefly about the history of Impact Initiatives and how the charity has been doing as a whole including how the charity is doing financially. For the majority of the conference we were sat in our coloured tables, however one of the tasks was to come up with a business card explaining our service in three sentences and for this we had to sit in our work teams.
Quite a lot of the conference was doing updates on each of the services that Impact Initiatives offer, what they are, what they have done over the past year and what they are going to do for the future. Some of these services were Stopover which helps young women live independently, WASP which is short for the Whitehawk After School Project, this supports young people between 4 and 11 years. Finally the Young People’s Centre which offers a safe space for young people between 13 and 25 years offering low cost counselling, life coaching and free drop-ins.
After the WASP update we had to go out with our coloured team members with a fiver and the Impact flag. We had three missions to complete within 1 hour. With the fiver for example we had to buy products that added up to as close to a fiver as possible.
As well as this we had to take photos on as many 40s as we could find. This was because this year marks Impact Initiatives 40th anniversary. Meaning that the charity has now been around for many years helping individuals in the Sussex area, both the young and old to live independent, healthy and fulfilling lives.
One of the other missions was to take a photo of the Impact Initiatives flag in a unique place. Finally we had to find a big crowd of people and take a photo of all of us waving.
Doing this activity was quite pressurising as we had to be quick and make sure that we had everything that we were asked to get. At some points it felt like we were part of The Apprentice as it was a competition between the other teams to see how many points we would get and to achieve all the missions.
Hearing about the other services that Impact Initiatives offer allowed me to understand more about what each one of the services offers and how they help the service user’s to live healthy and fulfilling lives.
Being a part of this conference has given me a better understanding of what conferences are like and what sort of things they cover. More importantly it gave me an understanding of how Impact Initiatives run their conferences and what sort of things they cover and how it works. This conference also gave me the opportunity to find out more about what each one of the services within Impact offer and what they do. With me being a young person and experiencing this for the first time was quite an experience. Although I did find it a bit dull in parts some of it was really interesting with being a new staff member there were things that I didn’t know and so it was helpful for me to know what those things were. Overall the day was enjoyable.