Joining the dots

A case study into how we are developing support for groups working with children and young people across Cambridgeshire

The issue

We have long recognised that there is a gap in Cambridgeshire around specialist support for organisations working with Children and Young people. Many other areas have a specialist county support group or a funded project in a bigger support organisation, but Cambridgeshire has lacked this since the closure of Young Lives nearly 10 years ago. Our work with the sector had identified the need to support these groups as well as how we can encourage more to form.

We know that there have been drastic cuts to youth work and to activities for young people both in the statutory and the voluntary sectors. At the same time, we recognise the growing need for services of all types and across all geographies that support young people. We know that many existing groups suffer from a lack of funds and a lack of volunteers, and that some local voluntary groups have not reopened after the pandemic.

Support Cambs are clear that we are not in a position to help with support in delivering youth related services as we are not funded for this and do not have the expertise. We can help groups to find funds, look at new ways of working, and we can help new groups to form. We needed to talk to groups and to those working with them to look at what and how we can help and how we can support others providing support in this area.

Joining the dots

We did not have to start from scratch with our work in this field. The County Council has a statutory duty to young people. They no longer have a big youth work team but they do still do some targeted work in this area. Importantly for us they have a team of Youth and Community workers who coordinate district level meetings with local groups.

Support Cambs staff were able to attend these meetings as well as attend a team meeting with the county team. This allowed us to understand where we can work with the team and what some of the specific issues are for groups are. Importantly it also allowed us to refresh what our offer to groups is with both the groups we spoke to but also with the county team.

As well as these meetings we have also set up a number of meetings with some of the larger groups working in this field to look at what else we need to do. We are lucky in that we can call on the services of other partners to fill in the gaps that local groups need, and that is where we have started to join the dots.

What we know

We are hearing that the two main areas of concern for groups mirror those of the wider sector. There is a lack of volunteers and especially those that might have some youth work experience or qualifications. This is also shown in issues where groups are looking to employ qualified sessional workers.

There is also an issue with funding, especially with finding ongoing and core funding to keep clubs open.

We are also seeing very patchy coverage of opportunities across the county. This is resulting in a real postcode lottery for young people looking to access services or activities. When talking to communities the lack of activities is an issue often related to people’s perception of young people causing problems and engaging in low level ASB. We also know that communities are brilliant at addressing their needs when given the resources and motivation they need.
These issues are compounded as national reports show increased levels of need for young people to access all sorts of different services especially those related to mental health and wellbeing.

Moving forwards

Working with the county team we have agreed to the following.
• Attendance at county level meetings.
• Attendance at district level meetings on an ‘as needed’ basis.

We will look at how we can promote the youth work training that the county provide/fund to encourage more people to access this. Support Cambs partners will look at how we can promote our offer to help develop new groups supporting young people to parish and district councillors. We will look at developing a resource section for groups on the Support Cambridgeshire website.

We need to look at if the county is falling behind in supporting groups and young people working in, or wanting to work in, this area. This might be especially true from a VCS perspective and we may need to look at how we fund a new specific service using some of the learning from neighbouring counties.

Successful fundraising for voluntary groups

In March 2022 Support Cambridgeshire ran an online conference on fundraising over three days open to any community group in Cambridgeshire.  In addition to providing access to a range of talks and guidance from national funders and surgeries on how to make best use of our online, freely available funding portal we also offered an online training workshop on Successful fundraising for voluntary groups.  The workshop looked at encouraging groups to diversify and plan their fundraising strategy to help enhance their long-term sustainability.

A wide range of groups attended the session including environmental, family and disability charities.  The following feedback was given:

It simplified the process of creating a fundraising strategy. I learnt about how to communicate with current and potential supporters, the importance of having an elevator pitch and of storytelling and the different ways I can fundraise.

The workshop covered leading trends[1] in income generation for voluntary groups in 2022 include a continued reliance on digital even with the reintroduction of face to face and the hybrid approaches that accommodate both options.  Alongside this is the growth of peer-to-peer fundraising and the need to continue to accommodate cashless donations even for face-to-face fundraisers.

The session went on to consider how groups can develop a fundraising strategy, building a case for support which they can communicate and share with all their stakeholders and engage and retaining a strong supporter base.   We discussed how a fundraising strategy pulls together information about objectives and identifies what is needed and how to achieve it.

A fundraising plan helps manage resources often using a calendar to map out key dates and deadlines both internal and external to an organisation.  In developing a plan, a group needs to consider the fundraising channels and tools that will work for them.

  • individual giving might involve an old-fashioned collection but with a cashless option. There are a wide range of options using smart phones that don’t require a card reader  Pledjar donation app, QR codes eg Bopp, Give Star
  • Utilising donation functions on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram
  • Selecting the right gift giving platform to encourage your supporters to fundraise for you
  • Ensuring face to face events deliver a good return on resources and cost see Cabinet office guide to organising an event
  • Hybrid events can combine the best of in-person and digital by increasing participation, limiting environmental impact and being cost effective. People might pay a premium for the in person experience but others can also take part and donate if you live stream the event for example on Facebook

Successful fundraisers seek to build an ongoing dialogue with supporters, encouraging them to give by clearly communicating the difference the group makes to people in an engaging and motivating way.  They look to build the supporter relationship making connections and thanking them properly.

Key factors in fundraising success:

  • Know your audience and what matters to them?
  • Engage and inspire through stories
  • Create a sense of buy in before you make an ask
  • Make donation frictionless
  • Create a time limited campaign
  • Link to external events
  • Thank supporters and share success
  • Make everyone in your organisation a fundraiser

 

If you would like to discuss fundraising with us please get in touch at enquiries@cambridgecvs.org.uk

 

 Reference 
[1] Top Fundraising trends for 2022 Charity Digital
CIOF research trends

Support Cambridgeshire Impact Report – March till May 2022

Below you can see an infographic highlighting the impact of the Support Cambridgeshire partnership between 1st March 2022 and 31st May 2022

If you wish for this information not in infographic form please contact info@supportcambridgeshire.org.uk

Critical Friends – Developing a new project

 

COPE (Cambridgeshire Older People’s Enterprise) is a registered charity providing information/advocacy, social groups, outings and a bi-monthly newsletter to more than 2,300 registered members living in Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. The organization was established by volunteers to ensure that older adults have a voice in their community and to highlight quality of life issues for this segment of the population. It remains volunteer driven with all programmes developed and supervised by volunteers.

The need
Following a needs assessment distributed to members in 2018, COPE created TALKING TOGETHER, a free, weekly telephone-based series of discussion groups enabling registered participants to come
together from the comfort and security of their homes to share ideas experiences and a love for life-long learning. The programme’s importance was underscored during the Covid – 19 pandemic when all face to
face groups stopped, and many COPE members started shielding. It will remain a valuable source of support as the pandemic plays out, and as restrictions on meeting in groups continue. COPE initially required a consultation to ensure it took all necessary steps in creating a new programme and in gaining insight into the network of collateral service providers in the area. Once TALKING TOGETHER was successfully established, information about appropriate funding sources was needed.

What was done
Cope found CCVS extremely helpful in the early planning stages, examining the aims of the programme, service design and plans for outreach to the older adult community. We were able to act as a critical friend and ask questions that helped COPE clarify the projects aims and how it might operate. Once the project plan had been agreed, further discussions focused on identifying funding sources and suggestions on how to best position the organisation to be successful with its grant applications.

The Impact/change
CCVS staff acted as a “sounding board”, always asked the right questions, and made very useful suggestions, assisting the organization in the challenging process of taking an idea from conception to realisation.
The outcome is a funded project that is now delivering an increasingly important service to COPE members, including a successful series of events over the summer of 2020.

Testimony
“CCVS staff provided the essential information and helpful critique which contributed to the development of TALKING TOGETHER. They were, and remain, available to test ideas, consider alternatives and continue moving the programme forward. Always generous with their time, CCVS’s input has been a key factor in ensuring the creation and growth of our unique service for older adults.” Deborah Katznelson, COPE trustee

 

This case study can also be downloaded here

COPE critical friend sc logo

Managing Volunteers – a package of support

Introduction
Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) is dedicated to supporting innovation in patient care at the Addenbrooke’s and Rosie hospitals. We are the only registered charity dedicated to supporting innovation in patient care across Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

 

Thanks to the immensely generous support of our donors, Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals can provide a level of patient care beyond that which can be delivered by NHS funding alone and make projects happen sooner or to a greater degree than might have otherwise been possible.

ACT have a team of dedicated volunteers who often give their time to say thank you for the care they experienced at our hospitals. Their roles include, Fundraising Volunteers, who help to raise awareness of ACT, in their communities and/or the hospital as well as Office Volunteers, who support us with administration tasks.

This case study has been written by the new Volunteer Coordinator.

The need

My role as Volunteer Coordinator is new for ACT. I joined a year and a half ago and got in touch with the CCVS for support in re-envisioning how ACT involve volunteers and to put in place a formal volunteer programme.
The ACT volunteer team at the Chariots of Fire race 2019

What was done

The CCVS have supported ACT in developing its volunteer programme through the Volunteer Management forums, training and 1-on-1 advice. The Volunteer Manager Forums have provided a welcoming environment to talk to others in similar roles to myself as well as giving a valuable opportunity to learn from how they work with their volunteers. In addition, I have attended training sessions, in-person and online, on topics such as volunteer recruitment, supervision skills and legal issues. This has helped to build my knowledge base and develop a reference library of good practice guidance, that I can
share with colleagues and use on a regular basis. Finally, and importantly, being able to ask for expert advice from the CCVS on a 1-on-1 basis, is extremely helpful. The team have always provided informed and considered feedback quickly and professionally and this has been invaluable when working on bigger projects, such as putting in place the charity’s first Volunteer Policy.

The Impact/change 

The CCVS has helped ACT put in place a supportive supervision structure for our volunteers, introduce a Volunteer Policy and has given me greater confidence in championing the need for a considered approach to volunteer recruitment and management. ACT is now able to grow and extend the reach of the volunteer team whilst having a structure in place that ensures existing volunteers are valued and provided with development opportunities.

Testimony

“The support and quality of training provided by the CCVS, whilst developing and delivering ACT’s volunteer programme, has been exceptionally helpful and of great support. It’s wonderful to feel part of a wider team through the Volunteer Manager Forums and the training has enabled me to make informed recommendations to colleagues and implement positive change. I am also extremely grateful for the additional support offered since the Covid-19 pandemic. This has helped me in my approach to communicating with our volunteer team, whilst physically dispersed, as well as reminding me to maintain an awareness of my own wellbeing when working under difficult circumstances.
Thank you CCVS!”

 

September 2020

To download this case study click here

ACT volunteer management support sc logo

Peacocks Meadow Secures Funding as it Provides a Safe Space for Local Residents

Some downtime during lockdown – plus Support Cambridgeshire’s Funding Alert emails – gave this community garden the impetus to go on a fundraising blitz.

Family Learning at Peacocks Meadow community garden

A local family in the Peacocks Pop-up Library

We recently received a lovely email from Deborah Curtis, in which she wrote, “I thought you might like to know that here in the Peacocks Meadow community garden in Littleport, we have achieved £18,000 in grant funding in three months, using your wonderful monthly funding lead newsletter! The funds will enable us to create a sensory garden and woodland play area for our diverse residents.” We were delighted and intrigued, so we got in touch with Deborah to find out more.

Peacocks Meadow is a community garden, tucked away beyond the car park on Limes Close in the centre of Littleport, East Cambridgeshire. It was originally farmland owned by the Peacock family, which was donated as allotments in the 1930s. It is currently owned by Sanctuary Housing, leased to Littleport Parish Council and managed by a community group called Friends of The Woodland Garden (Peacocks Meadow).

In 2017 they received a Facilities Improvement Grant from East Cambs District Council to turn it from a neglected space into a community garden. It’s been well used and looked after since then, but when COVID-19 hit, everything stopped. Funding opportunities dried up as funders raced to support pandemic relief projects.

That left committee member Deborah Curtis with some time on her hands to think about the garden’s future. She is on the mailing list to receive Support Cambridgeshire’s Funding Alert emails, which provide a round-up of the latest funding news plus on-going funders arranged by theme such as Education, Environment and Small Grants.

A weekend of inter-generational nature-based learning, thanks to a Family Learning Grant from Cambridgeshire Skills

This inspired Deb to fire off some funding applications in early 2021, hoping that some of them might be successful. The timing turned out to be fortunate. At the beginning of the pandemic, funders had focused on responding to people’s basic needs, but by 2021, there was much more of a focus on recovery.

“We’ve been astounded at how successful we’ve been,” said Deb, “because the target for many funders now is children – getting them outside, getting them active – and our garden is ideal for that.”

In just three months, she has had seven successful applications. They received £3,000 from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youth and Community Fund to engage young people in the creation of a sensory garden area for the benefit of adults and children with learning disabilities. There was £500 from East Cambs District Council’s Covid Recovery Fund for ground clearance and rubbish removal, £500 from Littleport Rotary for skip hire and ground clearance, £9,975 from Awards for All for the creation of a woodland play area, £1,000 from Persimmon Homes Community Champions fund for timber play equipment, £400 from Warburtons Family Grants for balance stones and a mini picnic table, and £900 from Sanctuary Housing for a living willow den. The latter included a certified landscape tutor, incorporating community learning in willow construction. Most recently, Deb secured £1,800 from Cambridgeshire Skills for nature-themed family learning workshops.

Funding has been secured for a sensory garden area, which should be ready to open in September

This impressive list is a testament to Deb’s hard work, but it also goes to show that funders often like to see an organisation or project that has a healthy amount of co-funding, along with a clear vision for how the funding will benefit local people.

Their socially distanced community event at Easter was a great success. Organised by The Port, a local youth club, it welcomed 250 people to the garden in a single day.

Deb sees the pandemic as a time when Peacocks Meadow really found its purpose. “In those months of lockdown, the visitors and volunteer engagement improved astronomically and people really took it to their hearts. We’ve created a safe space for people – people with disabilities, people with young children, older people. That discovery of the garden and the pleasure in it has continued as lockdown has eased.”

Deb has just been awarded Citizen of the Year by Littleport Parish Council – a fitting way to thank her for bringing so much happiness to the residents in her village.

Find out more about Peacock Meadow via the Facebook page.

Sign up for Funding Alert emails here.

Connecting Communities 2021: Your Feedback

We report back on our volunteering conference, and what our attendees thought of it.

The Connecting Communities conference is in its fourth year, providing an opportunity for community organisations across Cambridgeshire to come together to share ideas about volunteering. It’s a huge topic, and this year – perhaps more than ever – there was plenty to talk about, as voluntary organisations figure out how best to attract, retain and support their volunteers are we slowly emerge from over a year of lockdown restrictions.

We were delighted to welcome some fantastic speakers over our three-day event from 8 to 10 June. Find out more about them and the topics they covered here. You can also watch most of the presentations and discussions back here.

We are also delighted by the feedback that attendees gave us. In one word, they described the events as “insightful”, “thought-provoking” and “purposeful”. Our speakers seem to have gone down well with attendees, and we received some useful feedback about people’s appetite for online, in-person and hybrid events.

 

Connecting Communities 2021 was hosted by Hunts Forum and CCVS on behalf of Support Cambridgeshire, and funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Huntingdonshire District Council.

Support and Advice for Village Halls

We all know that Village halls in our local communities do not run themselves: Village halls need dedicated volunteers and by default those volunteers need support and advice to ensure that their Village hall grows and thrives. Support Cambridgeshire is lucky to have Cambridgeshire ACRE as part of its Partnership.

The support, advice, guidance and information provided by Cambridgeshire ACRE ensures that Cambridgeshire village halls are getting the best service possible, all within the constraints of the current Support Cambridgeshire contract.

And to prove the point here’s a list of testimonials:

The Arkenstall Centre in Haddenham has been a centre of village activities for over 40 years: Converted from school buildings into a (then) modern village hall comprising a main auditorium with a permanent stage, two meeting rooms, a kitchen and other ancillary facilities, the Centre has evolved so it still provides essential entertainment and meeting spaces for the local community. The Centre has always had a good relationship with Cambridgeshire ACRE, seeking advice and support on occasions.  However, as time has progressed, the statutory requirements relating to the management of village halls have become more complex, and the needs of the community have changed, so the demands on the expertise of Trustees have become greater and more varied.  This has meant that the guidance and resources which ACRE professionals have been able to offer directly, as well as through the networking and training events which they organise, have become not just ‘nice to have’, but essential to the Centre’s management.

John Shippey (Trustee).

The work of Cambridgeshire ACRE is very important in many aspects, not least by provision of informative and updating communications, which serve as a stimulating reminder to community members and charitable trustees alike of the importance of their community efforts. Cambridgeshire ACRE’s role as co-ordinators results in networking and interaction between different community groups at meetings where a wide variety of ideas and experiences are discussed, shared and developed. Invariably such meetings incorporate specialist advice, case studies and sometimes commercially based expertise on insurances, legal statuses, financing, management expertise to name a few. These opportunities I view as extremely valuable based on the fact that it is easy as a trustee to lose touch with the realities of trustees’ responsibilities because so many of us lead busy working lives, meet quite infrequently and easily become out of touch. The services, information and meetings play a very important role in serving existing trustees, stimulating and updating new trustees as well as providing an opportunity for charitable employees to meet with groups of trustees and other managers to exchange experiences, develop skills and improve their expertise, all of which contribute to better understanding of their roles, enhance their often very low paid employment, but most importantly contribute to the efficiency of the community services that many small groups provide, ultimately to the benefit of the communities they serve.

Roy Swain (Chair for the Board of Trustees).

Little Downham Village Hall has been a member of ACRE for many years now and the Trustees have always found information and support from ACRE invaluable. We have achieved Hallmark 2 now and will be working towards Hallmark 3 early in 2020. ACRE appreciates the diversity of village halls, their usage, management and need to raise funds.  Our hall was originally built as the workhouse in 1779 so is a Grade 11 listed building.  We do not have the luxury of an all singing, dancing hall but we have managed to raise £160.00 towards the refurbishment of parts of the hall, such as a new roof, new kitchen, refurbished the toilets, flooring and new stage extensions, lighting and sound which has greatly enhanced theatre style productions. We seek ACRE’s advice on many matters (employment law, planning, insurances, fire safety and sourcing relevant funding). The networking sessions and visits to other halls have been most helpful for us plus training that is often offered at these sessions has made us take a closer look at all our policies and procedures.

Avril Hayter-Smith (Treasurer and Fundraising Officer).

If you are a Village hall in Cambridgeshire and require help and support (no matter how small or large) then please contact the Support Cambridgeshire Partnership by contacting Lisa Chambers at lisa.chambers@cambsacre.org.uk.

   

Connecting Communities 2019

On the 20th June 2019 Hunts Forum and Support Cambridgeshire (as part of their Think Different Approach) ran their annual Connecting Communities Conference, the topic this year being unwanted Loneliness and Social Isolation.

Subtitled Tackling Loneliness, A Community Response, the conference looked at how volunteering can help reduce loneliness.

Interest in the conference was high with nearly 90 people attending on the day ( a 98% increase on Conference levels from last year) and many unfortunately unable to get a ticket.

The event was far removed from the usual presentational format and emphasised the conversational. Partners wanted to stay true to an ethos in that working and talking together in co-operation and good faith we can achieve more than just the sum of our parts. Through dialogue and openness we hoped that the exchange of information, ideas, comments, observations from the collective experience and knowledge would create the platform for mutual support, and would help organisations to develop, connect and obtain the guidance they needed.

The Key-Note:

The conference began with a passionate and inspiring talk from the keynote speaker, Kate Gordon, from Men’s Sheds UK. Kate explained the origin of the Shed movement in Australia as a way of encouraging men to socialise and discuss their feelings and their well-being. Since the idea first travelled across the world to the UK 500 sheds have opened with 8 active sheds in Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire County Council welcome applications to the Innovate & Cultivate Fund to set up Men’s Sheds in communities across Cambridgeshire.

You can apply for a £2000 start-up grant to cover the first two years of your Shed development.

See here: https://data.cambridgeshireinsight.org.uk/sites/default/files/Mens%20Shed%20Cultivate%20Model.pdf for more details.

The Slogan for men’s sheds is Shoulder to Shoulder,  simply shortened from Men don’t talk face to face, they talk shoulder to shoulder.

Kate’s Keynote slides can be viewed here:

The Work-shops:

Later, the main hall buzzed with small groups discussing different aspects of loneliness and how volunteering can help reduce loneliness and social isolation. Different workshops looked at ways to find potentially lonely people and reach out to them  (run by Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough),  ways to communicate with and engage people (run by Care Network’s Open Arms Project), supporting and nurturing volunteers (run by Cambridge Community Arts) while The Wildlife Trust, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire ran a workshop on ways and ideas for demonstrating impact, something that helps us as organisations and is very important to funding bodies.

We were lucky to have four funding bodies at the conference talking to people about the various funds that they have available to support volunteering and help tackle Loneliness and Social Isolation. Alibhe Kirwan from the People’s Postcode lottery had travelled from Edinburgh to be with us and provided a great deal of information to help people ensure their funding applications are relevant. Alibhe’s attendance at the conference was part of a wider tour of the area visiting projects funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Ailbhe was joined by Fiona Brice from The National Lottery Community Fund, Michael Ruddy from Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and Lianne Parrett from Cambridgeshire County Council’s Innovate and Cultivate Fund.

Thank you to everyone who came to the conference and particularly to Kate Gordon, Andy Morris from Age UK C&P, Adam Fraser from Care Network’s Open Arms Project, Beth McCabe and Jane Rich from Cambridge Community Arts and Louise Rackham from The WildLife Trust Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire for running such excellent and engaging workshops, and for taking time out of their busy daily schedules.

Evaluation:

Over 45 evaluation forms were completed on the day, and feed-back was generally positive, although there are always lessons to be learned.

Here are some quotes:

This was a well organised event, run smoothly and was useful to me for networking. Please continue to do what you do best.

speaking about volunteering with other people from different organisations whose experiences are very different is very useful.

This event is so helpful in the way it supports us to find different organisations and groups who can support us moving forward.

Knowing there is so much ‘out there’ for the lonely is rewarding.

Its always useful sharing experiences with people from other organisations.

Its always helpful to realise how many others are out there that could help reduce isolation for our families.

People’s experiences are a really useful way to learn.

A really enjoyable and informative day.

Great conference, excellent programme, and a strong energy in the room. If this is VCSE power, then the future is bright.

Overall:

Most delegates scored the Conference high in terms of overall satisfaction, with most scoring 3 or 4 (4 being the highest score).

Most delegates said they felt more able to identify loneliness in their communities as a direct result of attending the conference, and the majority of delegates felt they could put some plans into immediate action.

Next Steps:

To work through how we can build on the conference for next year, a small random sample of evaluations will be sent in two months time, asking for delegates to look back and see what could have been done differently, and what they might like to see in 2020/2021.  In addition, the Support Cambridgeshire State of the Sector Survey for 2019 (which will be published in July) may provide further clues on topics, issues and challenges around volunteering – so watch out for that.

Photograph: 

Kate in action at Connecting Communities 2019.

More than a Giving Machine

For longer than the term Corporate Social Responsibility (or CSR) has been coined, charities have reached out to businesses for support. But charities can find CSR difficult to access, often being uncertain who in an organisation to contact, knowing if a business is receptive to being approached and the best way to do so, thinking that a business is only interested in publicity for its donation. Businesses too can find it difficult knowing how to deal with so many approaches made to them, not understanding the language that charities use and the hurdles and uncertainties they can go through.  However, when it works, it works well and makes a great difference to both sides and especially to the people the charities are working with.

Coming from a desire to see this work better, have greater intention and impact, and create greater benefit for our communities, Rachel Briant (the Founder of Get Synergised) and Keith Johnson from Hunts Forum (on behalf of Support Cambridgeshire) organised a workshop: Corporate Social Responsibility: More than a Giving Machine.

The title was deliberately chosen to emphasise that often the relationship can be about more than money and can include skills exchange, learning, mutual understanding and respect. The event took place in the boardroom of Barons Cambridge BMW in Cambourne, hosted by Kevin Appleton, their Head of Business.

Sixteen Charitable Organisations and social enterprises from across Cambridgeshire joined three businesses at Barons Cambridge BMW to explore how businesses and charities can engage better together to  impact communities. Sharon Livermore from Kameo Recruitment and Sue Rowley from PwC Cambridge joined Kevin Appleton to facilitate discussion groups exploring key themes. Interest from the charitable sector far exceeded the number of places available.

The workshop aimed to bridge the divide of language and ways of working between business and the charitable sector, helping charities to move beyond the idea of approaching businesses for funds and to explore and enter into dialogue with receptive businesses to develop stronger, meaningful and more sustainable partnerships.

The day saw both sides eager to develop better and stronger relationships whilst learning from each other about the issues each faced. By understanding each other’s positions, needs and intentions better, the workshop was able to break down many of the barriers for both and boost the confidence of charities to approach businesses and for businesses to have greater understanding around the challenges and needs of charitable organisations.

Charities and businesses ended the event wanting to see more opportunities for dialogue and engagement between each other, something that the organisers intend to follow through. Ideas that came from the workshop day include a space for Dragons’ Den style pitching to businesses by charities, informal network gatherings, more dialogue sessions to help each side continue to understand the languages used, the pressures each side is under and the mutual benefits.

Any businesses or charitable organisations interested in taking part in future events should contact either Rachel at Get Synergised, rachel@getsynergised.com or Keith at Hunts Forum, keith@huntsforum.org.uk .

 

 

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