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Nov 18

Locality ’15 Convention – the edited highlights

Assets, Convention, North West region, Public sector cuts

The Locality Convention is over for another year – and wow what an amazing two days!

Thanks so much to the 550 + people who took part in Locality ’15. It’s the highlight of the year for us – we think there’s no other event in the sector like it!  It means so much that our members, colleagues and friends from across the community sector take the time to attend and help make it such a buzzing and inspiring two days.

Have a look at the photos here.

Let’s jump straight to the (very) edited highlights:

Events kicked off on Tuesday 10 November at the lovely St George’s Hall. They’d just installed the ‘Weeping Window’ sculpture outside, to commemorate Remembrance Day.

weeping window st george's hall liverpoolThe Weeping Window is made of ceramic poppies & was originally displayed at the Tower of London

From the sublime to…well. Our audience very gamely joined in the ‘mass selfie’ instigated by Tony, Locality’s CEO.

tony armstrong locality convention liverpoolTony’s annual selfie


Our keynote speaker was Jason Roberts. He’s from Dallas, Texas, and used to be an IT guy, before getting involved in regenerating his local neighbourhood – with quite astonishing success. His passion was completely inspiring!

jason roberts liverpool locality
Ignore red tape and just start doing stuff! – Jason Roberts


Thanks to our busily tweeting delegates – we got #Locality15 trending on twitter!


In the afternoon we got off our phones and outside in the fresh air to visit some really outstanding community projects round Liverpool.

Thank you so much to SAFE Productions, Alt Valley Community Trust, Homebaked, Granby 4 Streets and The Florrie, Toxteth Town Hall and the Belve for showing us the incredible work you do. Read a little bit about our visit on Homebaked’s blog.
trip to alt valley community trust Visit to Alt Valley Community Trust’s gym and city farm


We had a very busy schedule, with 37 different workshops and masterclasses on offer – from managing volunteers, to taking on a community asset, to writing funding bids. You can see selected Convention presentations here.

We used the old court rooms in St George’s Hall to put ‘austerity on trial’, and talk about the effects of the cuts in communities.

austerity on trial locality conventionAusterity on trial, with Tony as the judge

Bright or bleak? Our panel had an interesting and serious discussion about the future of the community sector. A show of hands at the start revealed people weren’t too optimistic – and another one afterwards showed they felt even less optimistic than before the session! Thanks to the Guardian’s David Brindle for chairing.
locality convention liverpool bright or bleak The bright or bleak panel

Third Sector magazine interviewed Tony Armstrong, CEO of Locality, at the convention about the fact that due to the cuts, community services are now facing a total loss of funding in some areasread the article.

BBC Radio Merseyside also talked to Tony, Jason Roberts and Robbie Davison (from social enterprise and convention caterers) Can Cook about the convention, building better neighbourhoods and food poverty. Listen to the show here – Tony, Jason and Robbie are on at about 32 minutes in (after ‘River Deep Mountain High’).

Can Cook provided food for the Convention. They’re a Liverpool social enterprise which fights food poverty. Every Can Cook meal served at the event went towards providing a fresh dinner for someone in need. Our Convention generated 350 free meals!

can cook locality conventionSocial enterprise Can Cook help provide meals for those in need

On day two we talked about devolution and the ‘northern powerhouse’ in our morning plenary. Ed Cox of IPPR told us that there are 38 devolution deals currently in progress around the country – all of them in secret. Community groups and local people should and must be allowed to become more involved.

isobel mills ed coxTony, Isobel Mills and Ed Cox talking devolution

  Convention finished on a sweet note with the Choir with No Name serenading us in the foyer. They’re a choir for people who’ve experienced homelessness – they also rock!


locality convention drawing
Illustration of the Locality Convention by More than Minutes

See you in York next year for Locality ’16!


Thanks to our Locality ’15 Convention sponsors.

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