A meeting of mindsOn 1 Aug 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Everthought of running your own conference? It’s not impossible. The members of theMid Downs OH Group Conference Committee explain how it has run a successfulannual conference for more than 10 yearsWhatrequires 200 rolls and sandwiches, 32 litres of liquid, up to two kilos of hamand cheese and more than 16 hours of discussion? You may be excused forthinking it was your occupational health and safety meetings, and in fact youwould not be far from the truth.Thisis what the Mid Downs Occupational Health Group Conference Committee getsthrough from January through to November each year.TheMid Downs Conference and Exhibition started in 1990 and was organised topromote occupational health practice and has always been organised by OH advisers,members of the Mid Downs OH Group. Over the years the conference has developedin many different ways with more exhibitors, high-profile speakers and linkswith our European colleagues giving delegates an insight into how OH works inother countries. ObjectivesAkey objective of the committee has always been to ensure there are practicalelements within the conference that allow delegates to go back to theirworkplace with new ideas and renewed motivation to the benefit of employer andemployees. The conference also provides an excellent opportunity to network andmeet with colleagues working in similar environments.Thecommittee needs to ensure speakers provide delegates with a presentation thatis informative and interesting. Recent technology has allowed many of thepresentations to be projected onto a screen via a computer. This formatsignificantly improves quality and makes it possible to project photographs.Judging by the delegate evaluation forms it is seen to be a considerableimprovement. Theexhibitors, who usually number more than 40, have consistently given excellentsupport to the conference and the group has developed good workingrelationships with many of them. They like the venue, The Hawth in Crawley,West Sussex, because of its layout and the number of delegates that they areable to meet during the day. Delegates also have the opportunity to win someexcellent prizes and, of course, to look at new equipment, services andtechnology that they may be able to persuade their financial managers to agreeto purchase.ThecommitteeTheconference committee is made up of Mid Downs members who volunteer their timeand resources to ensure the conference maintains its high profile in the OHcalendar. A conference secretary keeps the whole bandwagon rolling and ensurescommittee members stay in line when they are given specific tasks. Theconference secretary also provides a central point of contact for exhibitors,delegates and venue organisers, all of whom need to be contacted and informed ofthe conference arrangements.InJanuary each year the committee meets to review the previous conference – inparticular, the build-up, speakers and the evaluation forms. One of the vitaltools in this exercise is the delegate feedback form. The objective is toidentify subjects for the next conference and provide a balanced programme ofspeakers. This year, as always, speakers’ subjects are driven by delegates’feedback. The diversity and relevance of the subject matter ensures a highattendance. The Hawth is very popularwith delegates due to its accessibility, size, layout, and food. But even thishas to be considered: what arrangements should be made for lunch, what will bethe layout of the exhibitors – there is always something to consider. The venuecan pose its own problems, for example, it may not be available. So it isbooked early just to be sure. PublicityOtherissues that have to be reviewed include the design of the mailshots. Theprogrammes that arrive in the post at people’s home, workplaces and educationestablishments each year are revised to ensure they reflect current trends indesign and layout. The committee adapts advertising material’s size and design,plus the advertising strategy to ensure people do not forget to put the date intheir diaries. This is based on the previous year’s response to advertisementsand mailshots. Delegates’fees have consciously been kept as competitive as possible, remembering thatthe budget for training and courses can be under pressure. Onthe dayOnthe day, the exhibitors need to be able to set up quickly for early arrivals sogroup volunteers are on hand from very early in the morning to assist withminor problems that crop up, typically with the availability of extensionleads, and so on, and space requirements. The catering is also up and runningearly to provide tea, coffee and bacon sandwiches before delegates arrive. Thelunchtime menu always provokes a great deal of discussion as we have to ensureit caters for a wide range of tastes and preferences. Generallythe day of the conference runs fairly smoothly. Speakers are allocated”minders” to ensure they get to the podium on time and theirpresentation material is loaded and ready to go.Atthe end of the conference each delegate receives a set of speakers’ notes and acertificate of attendance, the former usually hot off the press and onlyarriving just after lunch. This signals the end of the day and everything needsto be packed away, remembering that in a few months the whole process will startall over again.Long-termbenefitsRunningthe conference has brought some direct benefits for the Mid Downs OH Group as awhole and for its members. It allows the group to meet every last Thursday ofthe month at The Hawth, a venue that is easily accessible for the growingmembership who work and live in the south-east of England. Every month it hasspeakers on a wide range of subjects which have included the expert witness,manual handling and alternative therapy. Italso provides an opportunity for members to raise issues, discuss them and findout if others have had similar problems. A recent development is the group’sability to provide funds to assist members to go on courses.Since1994 the Peter O’Malley Scholarship has been awarded to individuals to promoteresearch and development in occupational health. This has been possible becausethe success of the conference has made funds available. Theconference will hopefully run for many years to come to promote occupationalhealth and provide a focal point for OH advisers to meet, have discussions withand get support from like-minded colleagues.
Media enquiries If your enquiry is related to COVID-19 please check our guidance page first before you contact us – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-government.If you still need to contact us please use the contact form above to get in touch, because of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you send it by post it will not receive a reply within normal timescale. General enquiries: please use this number if you are a member of the public 030 3444 0000 an almost £500,000 grant to support the local creative economy in Margate High Street with a state-of-the-art Fabrication Laboratory providing technical skills training, business planning and support for local creative businesses and professionals a £900,000 grant to the Scarborough Construction Skills Village project to help tackle local unemployment and skills challenges. Funding will support local residents into new apprenticeships and jobs in the construction industry, particularly in micro and small construction companies a £60,000 grant towards a project to refurbish an industrial landmark building – St Hilda’s Pit Head in South Shields – transforming it into a community, cultural and heritage hub providing training, office, event and exhibition space It’s really exciting to see money from the Coastal Communities Fund help kick start these shovel ready projects, which have the potential to unlock the barriers to development and growth in our coastal communities. Investment in our seaside areas, through projects such as these, will provide nothing short of a New Deal for the Great British coast, creating thousands of jobs, training places and opportunities along the shore. Government announces 16 ‘fast track’ coastal projects ready to start this year Over £6 million is being invested to create 1100 jobs Coastal Communities Minister promises ‘new deal’ for Great British Coast Twitter – https://twitter.com/mhclgFlickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhclgLinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/company/mhclg Sixteen successful ‘Fast Track’ projects are receiving a share of £6 million Coastal Communities Fund money to help deliver sustainable growth and jobs across the Great British Coast.As part of the fifth round of the Coastal Communities Fund, 16 ‘ready to go’ projects have been selected to start work to transform their coastal communities in 2018 to 2019 before the main round funding becomes available in April 2019.The chosen projects, which range from a community arts project in South Shields to heritage boat tours in Falmouth’s historic docks, are collectively forecast to create over 1100 jobs and are set to attract public and private sector co-funding of £2.4 million.On a visit to one of the ‘fast track’ winners, Disability First “Access Fylde Coast”, Coastal Communities Minister, Jake Berry MP, said: 2 Marsham StreetLondonSW1P 4DF Disability First, “Access Fylde Coast” will receive almost £1 million to boost tourism by improving the visitor experience for people with disabilities visiting the Fylde, Blackpool and Wyre coasts. The project includes training courses for local businesses to support people with disabilities, organising new events and creating trained volunteer access guides. Other game-changing projects set to benefit from grants include: Social media – MHCLG The Coastal Communities Fund was established to support coastal projects in the UK deliver sustainable growth and jobs.Since 2012, the Fund has awarded grants to 295 projects across the UK, totalling over £173 million. This has helped to start almost 500 new businesses and create more than 7,000 jobs – with these figures set to more than double once the projects that are already underway are completed.Applications submitted for Round 5 of the Coast Communities Fund are currently being assessed. The successful main round bids of the remaining £34 million are expected to be announced by early 2019.Further informationThe full list of fast track grant awards are:Beer Coastal Community Team, Devon – ‘More Than Just the Beach’A £53,000 grant towards a £70,000 project to employ a village commercial manager to develop and organise events and to provide facilities to attract more long-stay visitors and extend the visitor season. Project includes implementing a 3-year promotion, marketing and development plan for the village.Berwick Coastal Community Team, Northumberland£304,000 grant towards the £324,000 Berwick “Welcome Visitor” project to improve the town’s visitor offer by promoting new visitor opportunities, events and products that will encourage longer stays and extend the current visitor season.British Marine Federation South West, South Hams, Plymouth£53,000 grant towards a £177,850 project to diversify coastal and maritime tourism in Devon. Funding will support the development and promotion of a package of measures to increase cross Channel leisure yacht visits between Brittany and Devon, both during and outside the peak season.Community Arts Project North East, South Shields£61,390 grant towards a £76,425 project to refurbish an industrial landmark building – St Hilda’s Pit Head in South Shields – and transform it into a community, cultural and heritage hub providing training, office, event and exhibition space and a base for a community arts project.Coastal West Sussex Partnership£170,000 grant towards a £340,000 project to position coastal West Sussex as an active hub for water-based sports. Funding will promote collaboration and an experience based marketing campaign for local businesses, including a water sports development office.Deal Town Council – Cycle Friendly Deal, Kent£98,077 grant towards a 106,000 project to create a new tourism offer aimed at families and occasional cyclists to make Deal a cycle friendly town. Funding will support the development of family friendly cycle routes, improved signage and the creation of new cycle maps and guides, plus a new e-bike share scheme.Disability First, “Access Fylde Coast”, Lancashire£985,522 grant to improve the tourism offer and visitor experience for people with disabilities visiting the Fylde, Blackpool and Wyre coasts. Project includes training courses for local businesses to support people with disabilities, organising new events and the creation of trained volunteer access guides.Jurassic Coast Volunteer Network, Devon£258,526 grant to create a joined-up network of volunteers and businesses along the Jurassic Coast, in partnership with local education providers. It will include an IT platform with training, accreditation, recruitment and business relationships managed by the Jurassic Coast Trust.Kneehigh Theatre Trust Ltd, St Austell, Cornwall£803,236 grant towards a £1.295 million project to develop a centre of excellence to provide training and development for a new generation of leaders and workers in the cultural and tourism sectors. It will also support 2 festivals of contemporary culture and the use of new technology to create new coastal digital experiences to attract visitors throughout the year.Lancashire Wildlife Trust£71,000 grant towards a £985,000 project to increase nature tourism by working with local businesses to enhance engagement in the nature tourism offer of the Lancashire coast. Events, talks, surveys and workshops will be organised to encourage local communities to champion the coast.National Maritime Museum Cornwall Trust, Falmouth, Cornwall£110,000 grant towards a £223,200 project to introduce heritage boat tours of Falmouth’s historic docks, with trained tour guides, to highlight maritime history and wildlife. Funding will increase visitor numbers, create jobs and volunteering opportunities and support local maritime businesses.Medina Valley, Isle of Wight£60,000 grant towards a £119,900 project to support the creation of an Isle of Wight Events Centre. The aim is to enhance the estuary’s tourism offer with local hospitality providers and businesses and encourage more collaborative working and marketing.Scarborough Construction Skills Village£896,568 grant to the Scarborough Construction Skills Village project to help tackle local unemployment and skills challenges. Funding will support local residents into new apprenticeships and jobs in the construction industry, particularly in micro and small construction companies.St Austell Coastal Community Team – A green and Ceramic Cultural Centre, CornwallA £1,093,520 contribution towards a £1.29 million project to transform the St Austell area as a visitor destination. Funding will support a programme of public realm, cultural initiatives and events and skills training to attract more visitors and extend the tourist season.Suffolk County Council, ‘The Hold’ Suffolk Heritage Activity and Events Programme, IpswichAc £414,763 grant towards a £1.44 million project to bring to life ‘The Hold’ – a new Suffolk Archives and Heritage Centre next to the Ipswich Waterfront. Funding will deliver a comprehensive, year round heritage activity and events programme to develop new audiences to visit Ipswich Waterfront.The Margate School, Enterprise and Technical Support for the Creative Economy, Margate£499,100 grant to support the local creative economy in Margate’s High Street and town centre by kick-starting Margate’s first Fabrication Laboratory. This will provide technical skills training, business planning and design mentoring/ facilitation for local creative businesses and professionals. 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