SHARE celebrates housing’s bright future at annual conference

SHARE’s annual conference took place at Peebles Hydro Hotel in March and was a fantastic celebration of housing and the role of committee/board members.

Really interesting sessions and speakers, great entertainment, food, activities and networking. Happening just before the great lockdown, the event did lose some delegates and speakers, but that didn’t detract from those attending having a thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating time. The buzz was great, enthusiasm flowed and there was lots of dancing!

Saturday’s keynote on Poverty, how bad is it was delivered by Alan Ferguson from SHARE and Dave Simmers, chief executive from Community Food Initiatives North East (Aberdeen). Dave spoke about his many years in community development, the work the food initiative is involved in and all the great work that is being done throughout Scotland. It was a fantastic insight to how communities were tackling the scourge of poverty.

Sunday’s keynote Human rights in housing was delivered by Colin Macrae, assistant director, Shelter Scotland and Tony Cain, policy manager, ALACHO. Both speakers provide information on what their respective organisations were doing, making the point that it wasn’t just about everyone having a warm, dry, affordable home – it was also about ensuring they are able to have full use of it; and about embedding human rights in policies and services provided. They also talked about what more organisations needed to do.

Delegates had the opportunity to attend workshops on:

  • What’s on the horizon for housing associations and co-operatives?
  • Committee/Board Appraisals
  • Affordability – are we doing enough?
  • Anti-social behaviour – the impact on communities
  • Reducing homelessness, the role of the housing sector
  • Finance, removing the jargon, Factoring for Committee/Board
  • Attracting Committee/Board members – what others are doing
  • Social isolation – what can housing organisations do? and many more……

In addition to all those work-related workshops, delegates had time to relax and have a bit of fun while taking part in team building exercises and networking with colleagues from across the sector.

Delegates had the opportunity to visit the event exhibitors EVH, Sustrans, ng homes, Elderpark Housing Association and Spire View Housing Association.  A total of £1,000 was raised through the charity raffle and proceeds donated to Shelter Scotland, a charity chosen by the 2019 conference delegates.

Lisa Scott, SHARE’s chair, welcomed delegates to the Friday evening drinks reception. She took the opportunity of giving an overview on what delegates could expect and thanked her colleagues on SHARE’s Executive Committee and SHARE’s staff for all their support and hard work over the year and for the event.

Charlie Lunn, chair, Spire View Housing Association, welcomed delegates to the drinks Saturday evening drinks reception: “We sponsored the drinks reception because we wanted you all to join us in celebrating 30 very successful years at Spire View. This conference is all about ‘Housing’s Bright Future’ and although we hoped for a bright future back in 1989, we certainly didn’t expect there to be just as many highlights as there have been over the 30 years….and here’s to the next 30!”

A focus group, made up of past delegates, helped to ensure the key topics in the sector could be addressed through the programme. All of this input helps SHARE ensure this annual event is exactly what the sector wants.

“As you can imagine a lot of planning goes into developing this event. It’s great to see it come to fruition and to catch up with colleagues from across the sector. The sun was shining and everyone was in great spirits,” said Alan Ferguson, SHARE’s director.

SHARE thanks everyone who attended the conference this year and a special thanks all of the speakers and sponsors. The event sponsor was ng homes, Spire View Housing Association sponsored the Saturday evening drinks reception and Elderpark Housing Association sponsored two tea tasting masterclasses delivered by Eteaket and EVH who sponsored the top raffle prize.

Well done to Govanhill Housing Association who were the Friday evening quiz winners; Bob Turnbull from Southside Housing Association, who won the top prize in the charity raffle (for two years in a row) and Susan James from Williamsburgh Housing Association, who won the £100 prize draw.

“There was a great buzz throughout the whole weekend and feedback from the evaluation forms was really positive and some areas to review in 2021. Feedback is really helpful to SHARE and the more the better. A link to the online survey will be going out to delegates, either direct or via the person who booked for them, which will provide another opportunity for those delegates who didn’t get a chance at the event,” said Pauline Munro, marketing and events manager at SHARE.

You can view the event photo gallery at


Related posts