Conference Access Fund gets off to a good start

 

Generous party members have already contributed nearly £5000 to the Conference Access Fund – and I’m proud to say that included a donation from Lib Dem Voice. The bulk of the fund has now been allocated to around 20 members to help them with the costs of attending conference and to pay for the BSL interpreter.

Last month I wrote about How you can help to send someone to party conference. I had been asked by Federal Conference Committee to convene a working group to look at Financial Inclusion. Conference already managed an Access Fund to support members with any additional costs relating to their disability needs, but we decided to broaden it so it could be used to support anyone who would find it difficult to afford to attend Conference for any reason.

It’s too late to apply for a grant from the Access Fund for York, but after Spring Conference we will be reviewing it and then thinking about how we can improve it for Autumn Conference. Please send any feedback or ideas to me via the comments below or directly to [email protected].

Please continue to donate to the Access Fund – you will be asked when you register for Conference. The fund is ring-fenced so any surplus from one conference will roll over to the next.

If you still want to go to the Conference in York but are not sure whether you can afford it, do consider volunteering as a Steward.  There is also a Facebook group Lib Dem Conferences on a shoestring where party members exchange tips and ideas.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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One Comment

  • Jonathan Brown 26th Jan '16 - 11:46pm

    I’m really pleased about the apparent success of this experiment so far, but I think there’s something we need to think about for next time.

    There’s a strong chance that those most in need of financial help may not be in a position to commit to coming very far in advance. Perhaps we could have an option for people to register an interest in advance ‘if I’m able to get time off work, which will only be confirmed the Monday before it starts’?

    Although last minute transport and accommodation is expensive too… Perhaps there are ways around this? Renting a minibus? Renting a flat?

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