• Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub


The University of Sunderland held it’s first third sector conference that saw over 50 charities from across the north-east meet for a series of talks and discussions.

The Building Bridges Conference aimed to bring together organisations to see how relationships across the sector can be strengthened and inspire greater collaboration.

Sessions covered a range of subjects from policy research that affects the sector to challenges that have arose since the pandemic and how to address them.

Dr Matti Morovat BEM, Lecturer in Business at the University who organised the event, said: “It was inspiring to see over 50 people come together for this event. Their participation enriched the conference in ways we couldn’t have anticipated.

“The passion in the room was palpable as attendees spoke about their organisations and the impactful work they are doing in the community.”

Dr Morovat added: “I sincerely hope that the connections forged at the conference will serve as a foundation for meaningful collaborations moving forward, helping us make a real difference in our communities and for our students.

“Engaging with the third sector is important for the University as it prepares our students for future work by providing them with practical experience and fostering essential skills for their careers.”

Representatives from charities like Sunderland City Council, Red Sky Foundation, Durham Wildlife Trust had the chance to connect and network to see what possibilities could be available for greater cross sector collaboration.

Sergio Petrucci MBE, Founder & CEO of Red Sky Foundation, said: “The day was a brilliant opportunity to discover the varied possibilities of how the University of Sunderland can unite and support charitable organisations.

“With such a huge talent pool of students made available, we’re really excited and looking forward to seeing what the future holds as we continue to scale up and grow our work.”

The conference also gave the University the opportunity to learn how to better support it’s partners in the third sector.

Dr Derek Watson, Associate Professor in Cultural Management at the University, said: “Our Conference with the Charity sector reflects the University of Sunderland and School of Business’s commitment to proactively engage with all organisations from micro to multi-nationals.

“The inclusive conference provided a conducive environment to capture 3rd sector needs and to follow up with both generic and bespoke support.

“Our relationship building also provides our students with enriched learning and vital employability exposure to secure careers with progression.”