This year, CTA held our England Roadshow events in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge and Brighton. As with previous years, the team came away feeling inspired by the energy and passion of our members and their constant drive to be curious and creative.
As with 2016, this year’s CTA Roadshow was run in association with KPMG who provided us with space at their offices across England. We are incredibly grateful to them for the support and partnership they are offering CTA and the community transport sector.
Responding to feedback from members, this year’s CTA Roadshow looked at a range of practical issues and focused on giving members the chance to network and share best practice. In the recaps below we look at the main themes of each session, including the presentation slides.
They don’t, however, reflect the breadth of discussion, networking and idea sharing that went on at each event – something cited by participants as one of the best aspects of the Roadshow. That would require a book rather than a blog! The events provided excellent opportunities to discuss important issues with colleagues from across the community transport sector, hearing their thoughts and ideas, and sharing best practice, so we’d encourage you to come along next year! In the meantime, you can book onto this year’s Westminster Conference.
If you have any questions or thoughts about anything we covered at the Roadshow, email firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from you!
The first session of each event was an opportunity for participants to share why the work of our sector matters to them. Participants were given a number of different cards with the start of a sentence on, which they then completed. Everyone then displayed these cards on a wall or window in the venue, creating incredible displays which demonstrated why they are all so proud of the community transport sector.
Below are just a few of many, many examples:
Ahead of this year’s Roadshow, we asked our members to send in practical advice questions for our team to answer. One frequently asked question looked at issue of community transport and driver licencing. Amanda assured participants that despite what some may be saying, current regulation on section 19 permits has not changed.
When it comes to potential future changes, she said, CTA are talking to the Department for Transport to make sure the voice of community transport is heard. She also outlined CTA’s three tests for any regulatory changes: that they satisfy the EU commission, that they are easily enforceable, and that they will leave the sector in good shape. CTA will keep our members up to date, she said, on any developments relating to this issue.
Another question looked at the current legislation that might affect community transport operators working in partnership with commercial companies. For more information on the current regulations, see the Summer 2017 issue of Together, the journal of Community Transport Association.
During the session, participants shared numerous examples of how they work in partnership for the benefit of their organisations. These ranged from creating a monopoly board of their local area, selling squares to local businesses, to advertising in and on the side of their vehicles.
James Coe, CTA’s Policy and Public Affairs Executive kicked off the afternoon at each event with a session on partnership and funding. As part of the Roadshow, we wanted to look at the behaviours and ideas of successful members that have compensated for decreasing council or grant funding by building partnerships and looking for new and innovative funding streams.
James looked at how, whilst there isn’t much we can do about less money being made available to local authorities, we can look at the relationships we dedicate our time to developing and our own outlooks and behaviours as organisations.
James outlined five ways that many of our members are ‘winning’ and participants discussed questions arising from these, looking at what they could mean for them in practice. You can find these ‘winning ways’ here.
The last session of each event focused on volunteering. This was led by Tom Jeffery, CTA’s Marketing and Communications Executive, and looked at five ideas community transport operators could think about when it comes to creating a more effective volunteering strategy. These were: defining what is unique and attractive about your organisation, building a profile of the sort of volunteers you want to target, giving your volunteers clarity and consistency, working in partnership with other organisations, and the importance of making volunteers feel valued.
As part of this session, participants discussed each of these ideas, sharing their thoughts and their opinions on them and looking at how they relate to their current activities around volunteering. We got some really positive ideas and feedback.
Thank you to everyone who came along to each of our events, and a huge thank you to KPMG for providing us with their exceptional conference spaces. They gave us the opportunity to bring our members together in venues across England giving them the space and opportunity to look to the future, be inspired and learn from each other.
For more photos and tweets from our events, see #CTARoadshow on Twitter.