The National Congress Returns for 2012
The Centre for Housing and Support announces the return of the two-day CHS National Housing and Support Congress & Exhibition. This year's theme is 'Achieving Excellence in a New Era'. 12th & 13th July 2012 in Cheltenham.
It is fair to say that life for housing support providers has become more challenging under the coalition government because:
- commissioning budgets have been cut
- commissioning is increasingly focused on outcomes and in particular, payment by results;
- tendering for contracts has become much more competitive
- consortia or partnerships may be needed to win contracts and
- the relationship with service users continues to change because of personalisation.
Providers often find themselves competing with each other to win favour from service users and contracts from commissioners. This makes organisations seek to be the best in the market.
However, this prompts questions such as
- Is being the best the same thing as being excellent
- Does competition divert providers from their core purpose - that of delivering high quality housing related support to vulnerable people?
- Does having to compete and review how you do things drive organisations to ensure that their services are person-centred, efficient, and delivering wider strategic outcomes?
Answering these questions is our mission for the 2012 Congress.
About the event
It is you who have persuaded us to return to the two-day format this year - many past delegates have asked us to do so. We believe the time is right to bring back the Congress but we also know finances are still tight.
Therefore, in order to dramatically reduce the cost to you, we have trimmed some of the most high-priced aspects - there will be no expensive celebrity speakers, for example.
However, all the most important aspects will remain unaltered. You will hear top plenary speakers from the world of Housing and Support, attend exceptional Workshops led by inspiring presenters, experience a great exhibition and have plenty of time to engage in those valuable conversations with your peers from across the UK.
Of course, there will still be the excellent evening Gala Dinner and the inspiring CHS Code of Practice Awards, however, we're replacing the costly evening headline entertainment with a Disco.
Essentially, we are retaining all the most valuable elements but dramatically lowering the cost to you.
Who will you be hearing?
Speakers already confirmed include:
Grainia Long, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing will share the CIH view of the future of Housing; highlighting the positive prospects, as well as the challenges that lie ahead for Sheltered and Supported Housing providers and service users.
Colin Molton, HCA Executive Director and Champion for Older People will speak about changes in the regulatory process, new housing finance models, the affordable rent programme and the prospects for service providers.
There are more first class speakers in the pipeline and we'll be publishing their names in future editions of this newsletter.
We also have five of our eight Workshop presenters confirmed including Kevin Williamson, Head of Housing with Care Services at Westminster County Council; Phil Hirst and Kate McAllister, both Independent Housing Consultants; Angela Cately, Director of Operations with Community Catalysts; Vic Rayner, CEO of Sitra... It's going to be an absorbing programme.
Michael Rodd also returns
If you have attended the Congress previously, you will be delighted to hear that Michael Rodd will once again be our host. Michael is a professional presenter, best known for his decade of presenting the BBC's 'Tomorrow’s World'. For the fourth time, he will assume the role of the ‘Delegate’s Voice’, with a brief to lead the debate and ask the questions that will draw out every scrap of useful information on your behalf. Michael has consistently been rated at '100% Excellent' by previous Congress delegates.
The bottom line
In 2009 and 2010, the cost of attending the Congress was £559. This year, the Early Bird rate will be just £299 - two whole days of excellence at a readily affordable price!
More about our theme of excellence
Organisations like yours operate in a political environment. However, politically motivated policies are not inherently excellent. One might also ask if the commissioners are up to the task, and if they are not, how can excellence be guaranteed?
Is there a limit to doing things better for less money? Our guess is there must be - but how do we know where that is?
Is increasing competition the right path to follow? It seems to favour large organisations with the resources to bid for contracts. Does this disadvantage smaller, locally based organisations that are nonetheless excellent at what they do? How can they compete?
Essentially, 'Excellence' means going beyond what is expected in providing services; going further in becoming a truly intelligent and learning organisation and taking risks with new ways of working.
There are going to be many questions to discuss and ponder at the 2012 Congress. We are creating a programme to provide many answers but led by Michael Rodd, we also expect a degree of healthy scepticism and inquiry to prevail. You really do have to be there!
What to do next
First, Click Here then click 'Open' to add the date to you Outlook Calendar.
Next, Click Here and Hit 'Send' this will make sure you receive the Congress Brochure the moment it's published. (If you would like a printed copy or copies, add your postal address before hitting 'Send'.)
Finally, keep watching the Congress Web Page and reading Thursday@Three as we fill out the programme and announce further speakers. We'll tell you more as soon as we can.