Involve's Learning and Skills Network is going virtual

Amanda Vickers, Development Manager for Workforce and Skills at Involve is presently starting a project, funded through LSIS, to convert the existing Learning and Skills Voluntary Sector Network (LSVN) from a Network with three or four physical meetings per year, to a virtual Network. 

How much does it cost to get to Leeds and back from Hull? Scarborough? Rotherham? How much time does it really take to attend an event or meeting, that may only be two or three hours long, but when travel time is added in, actually wipes out the best part of a working day? Many voluntary organisations are presently finding that the cost in terms of money and time to attend events, is too high. Meetings and events may be packed with relevant information and inspiring speakers – some of the information may even be vital to the survival and growth of the organisation, but the investment needed to send a member of staff to the meeting just can’t be justified. 

The project  to convert the Network to a virtual Network is being run with partner organisation Shipley College, with the aim of enabling all the members network to connect in from their own work-based PCs to the LSVN meetings, and be able to comment and discuss the content with speakers. Because the voluntary sector is not always the first to adopt new technology and new ways of working, LSVN members will be led at their own pace through the development of the project, enabling them to gain familiarity and competence with the equipment before being expected to use it for real. 

At the next LSVN meeting, on 29th March, 9.30am at St George’s Centre in Leeds, Tara Phelan of Shipley College will be outlining the project and looking for about ten ‘champions’ to be trained up first in the use of the technology. These ten will then help to train others at a planned Training Day on July 10th in Saltaire, where Shipley college is based. If you would like to be part of this project, please sign up through Involve’s website to attend the LSVN Network meeting, or just get in touch with Amanda direct.

Progress on this project will be reported regularly through this bulletin – it is a project with wider application to voluntary organisations, networks, consortia and communication in general, that will lead to savings in those valuable commodities – time and money.

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