Inspiring speakers, exceptional visits, new connections, exciting awards, practical workshops and so much more!

Wow, Locality Convention is over for another year, and what an amazing few days it was.

We have heard countless times that it was the “best year yet”. If you don’t believe us, take a look and see for yourself!

Day one

Locality Convention ’18 kicked off on Wednesday 7 November in wonderful (and rainy) Bristol. Over 550 delegates filled up the Bristol Marriott Hotel in the city centre for two days of learning, connecting and inspiration.

Our Chair, Mark Law, CEO of Barca-Leeds, and Locality CEO, Tony Armstrong, kicked off the Convention by talking about the power of community to transform lives.

Tony also highlighted the importance of networking – meeting new people, sharing advice and learning from each other.

These were Tony’s top three networking tips for Locality Convention ‘18:

  • Pledge to be open – Let’s all make a pledge to be open and welcoming to everybody, to keep an eye out for people on their own and go and say hello if they look lost
  • Mingle, mingle, mingle – If you want to network with people but feel uncomfortable breaking in to a group conversation. Enter the room saying “mingle, mingle, mingle” – try it yourselves
  • High five, fist pump and check in with your new buddy – Put your hand up if you’ve been to Convention before. If you see someone near you who hasn’t got theirs up and you don’t know them, approach them, say hello, give them a handshake or a high five. Now you’ve met your new friend, you’ll notice we’ve put some “I believe in the power of community” cards on your chairs. If you believe in the power of community, take a selfie with your card and your new friend and tweet them!

Tony also discussed some key focus areas of Locality’s work at the moment:

Bristol city mayor, Marvin Rees

Marvin Rees, Bristol city mayor and the first ever mayor of Black African-Caribbean descent of a European city joined us to share his vision for Bristol. He discussed the importance of enabling the power of our communities to flourish and creating a fairer city for all, by improving housing, transport, health and education.

Transforming lives on the ground – hearing from Locality members

Amy Kinnear from Hartcliffe and Withywood Community Partnership, and Suzanne Wilson from Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust told the stories of two communities in Bristol.

They challenged the room to think about two important questions.

  • How do we build local economic vitality from the bottom up?
  • What does good community engagement look like?

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP

We also welcomed Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, who shared his vision for building economically and socially stronger communities.
He set out a vision for high streets as vibrant community hubs, announcing the Open Doors project.

We were joined by ITV News, Channel 5 News and BBC Bristol film crews, who interviewed Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Tony Armstrong and Locality member Steve Sayers, CEO of Windmill Hill City Farm.

After a great Q&A session with Marvin, Amy, and Suzanne and an inspiring start to the day, the excitement was so contagious that our tweeting delegates even got #Locality18 trending on Twitter!

Visits and workshops

We all piled out of the morning session inspired and ready to listen, learn and network.

A third of the delegates headed to some of the best community-led projects in Bristol, so they could truly experience the power of community in practice!

Thank you so much to Knowle West Media Centre, Windmill Hill City Farm, Barton Hill Settlement and Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, Trinity Arts and Ujima Radio CIC and Bristol Cable for showing us the incredible work you do. Read a little bit about the visits.

Others, joined interactive workshops with experienced Locality staff, guest speakers and Locality members to learn new skills and get ideas to take home.

Thank you to everyone who spoke at, coordinated or took part in our fabulous workshops. Find out more about all our workshops.

See what delegates shared on Twitter during Locality Convention ’18 by following the hashtag #Locality18.

Keep it Local: for services that transform lives

In the afternoon it was time for the next big session where we heard about how councils and community organisations are doing things differently and working together to keep services local.

We kicked off the session with Ed Wallis Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Locality, who launched a new Keep it Local toolkit. It’s for community organisations to help local authorities become Keep it Local Councils and improve their commissioning practice.

Then we heard from Robin Tuddenham of Calderdale Council; Heather Williams from Knowle West Healthy Living Centre; Paul Streets of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales; and Adam Lent the Director of the New Local Government Network.

Robin Tuddenham, Calderdale Council

Heather Williams, Knowle West Healthy Living Centre

Paul Streets, Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales

The final session finished with a panel discussion and Q&A, with great questions from the audience, which opened up lots of interesting conversations heading into the evening.

Locality Awards

Over 300 people attended the first ever Locality Awards where we celebrated some of the most inspiring people and organisations in the Locality network.

The Locality Awards ceremony was presented by Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley, a producer, presenter and environmental activist, and Neil Maggs, journalist and presenter.

There was an amazing atmosphere in the room, with fun music, snazzy lights, plenty of food and drinks, and inspiring videos from each of the finalists!

Congratulations to all our award winners and runners-up. Each and every finalist and nominee was so deserving of an award and it was a challenge for our judges to pick!

We ended the day on a final vote from the audience, with a resounding yes to holding the Locality Awards again next year. We can’t wait to open the nominations and host this amazing celebration again.

Thanks to our awards sponsors, Unity Trust Bank and CCLA.

Day two

The second day of Locality Convention ’18 kicked off with lots more networking and the Locality AGM, where Locality members reviewed the annual budget, asked questions and voted for who they wanted to join the Locality Board.

We’re excited to welcome to the board:

  • Alison Haskins, Halifax Opportunities Trust
  • Gus Alston, Kentish Town City Farm
  • Alex Kittow, Southmead Development Trust.

Doing things differently – “name you what?”

We were then joined in the main auditorium by David Ellington a performer, presenter and director. David is also profoundly deaf and a British Sign language (BSL) user.

The interactive session offered a practical, new angle on inclusion – teaching over 500 people how to have animated conversations with people nearby and sign their names without making a sound. It explored how we can create places and spaces where everyone feels welcome. Where D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled people come together equally.

Then delegates attended more exciting workshops and visits before our final plenary session.

Ideas to unleash the power of your community: TED-style talks from exceptional speakers

Our amazing compère Stella Duffy OBE, Co-Director of Fun Palaces, writer and theatre-maker kicked the session off.

Then we heard from some truly inspiring speakers from Locality member organisations; Carolyn Hassan, Founder and Director of Knowle West Media Centre and Bristol Living Lab; David Robinson, Community worker; Rebecca Trevalyan, Co-Director of Library of Things and Miriam Delogu, Project lead for The Circle.

Stella Duffy OBE, Co-Director of Fun Palaces

Community at the heart of culture, at the heart of community.

Carolyn Hassan, Founder and Director of Knowle West Media Centre and Bristol Living Lab

Community engagement through digital technology

David Robinson, Community worker

The relationship project: Imagine a place where relationships are the central operating principle. A “relationship centred” organisation, business, school, city… What would change?

Rebecca Trevalyan, Co-Director of Library of Things

Rebecca’s talk was all about how to dream big, and test small.

Miriam Delogu, Project lead for The Circle

One of the most inspiring talks of Locality Convention ’18, Miriam spoke about finding the resilience to get back up and keep going.

By the end of the session, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room and Miriam got a standing ovation.

We then finished the final plenary with a Q&A session with our incredibly inspiring speakers.

Then, it was all over for another year (Convention that is). We received some amazing feedback and hope that you will keep the feeling alive by sharing your news, stories and thoughts with us and each other.

Photo competition winner

At the start of Day One, Tony challenged delegates to a photo competition to win a ticket to Locality Convention ’19. We are excited to announce that the winner of this year’s photo competition is the wonderful Melissa Mean from Knowle West Media Centre!

It’s a great group shot that really captures the power of community and what Convention visits are all about!

Thank you

So that’s it, two incredible days of inspiration, learning and connection condensed into snappy highlights!
We want to thank each and every one of you who attended, networked, asked questions, tweeted and shared pictures and stories.

Relive the two days by taking a look at the event photos.

Get your ticket to Locality Convention ’19

Our annual Convention is back for another year and it promises to be better than ever!

Where: The Queens Hotel, Leeds

When: 12 – 13 November

Our two-day programme has been created in partnership with community organisations and front-line experts from across the country. You won’t want to miss out!

Locality Convention ‘19 offers unique access to the most inspiring and pioneering leaders, policy makers, thinkers and doers, whose ambitious work is transforming our communities.

Find out more and book!

Thanks to our Locality Convention ’18 sponsors