Great to see rural organisations at the Gathering

Norette Ferns

This week's Gathering event in Glasgow was a great chance to catch up with old friends and meet new people.

The two-day conference is the largest third sector event in the country, and this was a record-breaking year with 3,413 people gathering at the SECC.

It was fantastic to see some of our rural friends there as exhibitors, particularly the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs, the Scottish Rural Parliament and Cantraybridge College and Cantray Park.

An impromtu meeting with Theresa Burns from YWCA Scotland was an opportunity to hear about their recent research on the Status of Young Women in Scotland and their ambitions for the future.

A presentation from Beith Community Development Trust highlighted the diversity of activities they're involved in - from football to beer festivals, and band camp to a hay bale swimming pool!

I learnt a lot at both the seminars I attended - one on refugee integration and the other on the Community Empowerment Bill. My favourite speaker was Aimee Ottroh of the Poverty Truth Commission who talked about her personal experiences of losing her confidence when she came to this country in 2011. She said that people need support to be accepted again, valued again and to acheive things again.

Visit the Third Force News website to see videos and blogs from the Gathering, and also check out the #G2016 hashtag on Twitter which was trending number one in the UK during the event!