The first StrongerTogether Conference was organised by the National Association of Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs on Saturday 3 October in which several Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs from around the UK took place. The Conference began at 11 am in the Chillfactor, an indoor skiing hall in Manchester, with a greeting from Andy Hamill, the NABGC Secretary and Country Director of BGC of Greater Manchester, who lead through the programme.
The elected Mayor of Salford, Mr. Ian Stewart, talked about his bad experiences with bullying in Scotland and the acceptance he found when he came to Salford, Manchester. Mr. Peter O’Reilly, Chief Fire Officer in Great Manchester who comes from Northern Ireland, shared his experiences with the British army in Belfast with the audience. The introduction ended with a speech from Leslie Holmes from Salford Lads Club who spoke about the club’s history.
After a lunch break, participants had the opportunity to join one out of four different workshops which lasted 4 hours each about clubhandbook, heritage, impact and social media. Our National Development Officer Grant Poiner held the workshop about the clubhandbook with leaders from other Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs and our Project Coordinator Cathryn Evans presented her heritage project #CLUBFOCUS at the heritage workshop.
At 5pm the Conference ended with a report about the Challenge America 2015 in which some young leaders of the Essex Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs took part. During their time in Tennessee, the group hiked for 7 days on the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains, helped to conserve the trail for another week and spent their last time in the USA to share their experiences with local young people. After the leave-taking, a dinner was offered to the participants.