Needs in Kent Conference Brings Together Charities, Community Groups and Funders

The Kent Community Foundation Needs in Kent Conference gave charities, community groups and funders the opportunity to look at the county’s needs and discuss how collaborative action might affect change.

On 15 June, two hundred delegates met at the Village Hotel in Maidstone to attend the first Kent Community Foundation Needs in Kent Conference. The Conference gave community groups, charities, and funders the opportunity to review a comprehensive Needs in Kent analysis commissioned by Kent Community Foundation which set out the priority areas of need by district.

The Conference was opened by Kent Community Foundation Chief Executive Josephine McCartney and hosted by ex-BBC Southeast News Presenter Rob Smith.


In the morning delegates heard from  Julie Stone who had produced the analysis, Stevie Rice from West Kent Mind, Adam Male from Kent Savers Credit Union and  Leader of Kent County Council Roger Gough.

Roger Gough told delegates, “There is a lot to do, the needs in Kent are well established and I hope the discussions today will lead to a collaborative partnership where we can deliver the very best to the residents of Kent.”

The Keynote speaker was Janice McGuinness  from People United who’s thought provoking Keynote was about kindness and began with her affirming  “I believe kindness can change the world one step at a time.”

After lunch,  breakout discussions about the county’s five main areas of need, domestic abuse, food poverty, mental health, low income and substance misuse  prompted very important  conversations about how and what might affect change.

A lively ‘solutions panel’ with the author of the report and representatives from  LVB Creative, Kent County Council, the National Lottery Community Fund and Kent Community Council ended the day and closing remarks were given by Kent Community Foundation Chairman of Trustees Robert Sackville-West.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “I was totally overwhelmed by the response to our conference. There was a real energy in the room as delegates enjoyed getting together to discuss the priority areas of need that the districts  face and how we might work collaboratively to offer better or different solutions.”

To find out more about Kent Community Foundation visit

To view the Kent Community Foundation Needs Analysis visit

About Kent Community Foundation

Grant-maker Kent Community Foundation has been finding, funding, and supporting some of the smallest voluntary organisations in the county for twenty years. In this time, it has distributed over £50 million to support thousands of small charities and deserving causes where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.

They are part of a UK wide accredited network of forty-seven Community Foundations who are committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged by matching those who want to help, with those who need the help.

Responsible for more than ninety philanthropic funds, Kent Community Foundation is unrivalled in its knowledge of local causes and assists individuals, families, and businesses, who want to help, to establish and administer their own charitable funds.