Partnership programmes are one of the most satisfying and cost-effective ways we can make a lasting difference to charities. This year (unsurprisingly!) the theme uniting all of our main programmes was sustainability.
This programme with the Coalition of Care Providers in Scotland (CCPS) began in 2016 and continues into 2017. The programme’s events give social care commissioners and providers space to explore ideas together. Several things make this programme special. Firstly, it builds on the learning from an earlier programme, so it has a well-identified need and a well-developed rationale. Importantly, the events feature inputs from people outwith the social care sector, inviting participants to think differently about their challenges (‘creative benchmarking’). And finally, from our perspective, being an equal partner means we aren’t just facilitating the process from the outside, we are developing along with it. An excellent template for other partnerships.
Again this partnership with the Scottish Community Safety Network was based on clear evidence of need, as we had delivered evaluation training for SCSN members in 2015. It used the same model that we used to develop previous toolkits (for Voluntary Action Fund and Shared Care Scotland). So a programme of just 5 meetings was all it took for us to develop a bespoke resource to help community safety organisations to make sense of impact – and how to measure it.
This programme, with Wren and Greyhound’s longtime partner Shared Care Scotland, is another example of doing things the right way round – a programme that is shaped by its participants. Over the course of a year, three action learning sets and an editorial group created an absolutely outstanding resource on sustaining organisations, projects and impact. Introducing it to the International Short Breaks Association conference in 2016, international partners were amazed not just at what we achieved together, but at how cost-effective such a process can be.
(See separate post: Review of 2016 Part One)