We were delighted to be asked by the cabinet office and DCMS to attend and present our thoughts at the Midlands roundtable leg of this series of national workshops. The event was based on the belief:
COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact upon UK communities, businesses and our economy – creating new challenges and laying bare existing problems. However, these challenges have also given rise to new opportunities to reshape our society. As we continue to respond to these challenges, there has never been a more important time for organisations to come together to share experiences and insights into the steps that need to be taken to build a more equal, sustainable and inclusive economy. Kieran Breen our CEO shared at the meeting
Our big learning from the response to the pandemic is that agility and creativity are key and if business, community and government work together we are far more likely to succeed. This means we do need to be prepared to learn and to work without egos, silos or logos.
All present were optimistic but also saw the challenges which are often caught up in unequal power dynamics, lack of diversity within existing power and decision making structures and people being unwilling to work outside their “bureaucratic norms”.
The Kruger report and #BuildBackBetter movement were all seem as adding urgency to the momentum building for positive change. We have recently received funding from the national lottery community fund which will enable us to build on our work in this area and to broker more community, business and local government partnerships so nobody is left behind. As well as carrying out much needed practical work we will through our #BBBYouthWelfare initiative be working in partnership with De Montfort University and a range of community, business and local government agencies and staff to develop new ideas and strategies for supporting young people as we transition out of lockdown and beyond.