Conference Access Fund helps more members to attend

Rally entertainment Spring Conference Liverpool March 2015 Photo by Liberal Democrats

Spring Conference 2016 saw the launch of the Conference Access Fund, which makes grants to members to enable them to attend conference. It was pretty successful at York, and is proving to be even more popular this time round for Brighton.

When members register for Conference they are asked if they would like to make a donation to the fund and they have been amazingly generous. The fund is ring-fenced and any that is not spent is carried over to the next conference.

The website states:

All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If there is high demand, priority will be given to members who are attending Conference for the first time and members from underrepresented sections of society.

Claims can be made for childcare, accommodation, travel and disability needs.

So far, 23 grants have been made for Autumn Conference. Of these 50% went to first-timers, so it appears that the fund is genuinely helping members who have previously not been able to attend. 40% of the applications were disability related.

It may still be possible to apply for this year, depending on how much is left in the fund. Details on how to apply are here. Applications for Spring Conference will open in October.

* 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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