"This week I was fortunate enough to attend the Queen's Garden Party. The invite came as a result of supporting two national charities, UK Youth and Ambition, in their coming together. I chaired the the process of consulting on members needs and requirements from the new organisation. This organisation was launched a few months ago and continues to undertake the journey of developing the appropriate services to meet members needs.

"Merger, collaboration and closer working together are key challenges for us all at the moment. I have lost count of the amount of conversations I have had where I have debated and discussed how big is too big for a voluntary sector organisation. Are we stronger together? Does becoming big mean quality and culture are lost? If you merge different types of services does is cause brand confusion? Or will services be lost? There are no simple answers to these conversations and every discussion needs to be taken on it’s own merit.

"The Garden Party reminded me of how many people are doing positive things for their community whether this be working for the voluntary sector, volunteering or through other service roles. Fundamentally everyone in those roles is working in a tough climate to achieve positive outcomes for the communities we live in.

"The Queens garden party is an opportunity to recognise how much individuals in the community do to support those around them, it was also an opportunity for me to take time out from the day to day and reflect on the future of the two organisations I am CEO of (Infobuzz and Young Gloucestershire). It has reconfirmed that there are many different ways of achieving the outcomes for the communities we live in and we need to keep stepping along the tight rope to understand the direction of travel that will provide the best outcomes we can for our community."