Mother and Child Welfare Organisation: Co-production and integrated support under Steps to Recovery

Yasmin Jiang

21 July 2021

Mother and Child Welfare Organisation (MACWO) is a Somali-led organisation based in West London, which works to support mothers and their families from a range of ethnically diverse backgrounds. The organisation helps individuals to develop capabilities and skills that will help them lead productive and fulfilling lives. At the same time, MACWO advocates locally for the removal of barriers in accessing equal opportunities in education, employment, healthcare, and statutory support. 

When MACWO was on-boarded to CSC’s Steps to Recovery initiative in April, their biggest challenge was to secure core funding to retain staff and develop a long term strategy – a typical challenge for high-impact people-focused services like theirs. The organisation had received many short term grants during the pandemic, which allowed them to expand their staff and services, but as these came to an end, they were struggling to sustain these programmes. 

After our initial consultation, we agreed on a five-point action checklist to support MACWO with its long term sustainability: 

1. Scope out key funders relevant to the organisation and assist with funding applications

We identified a list of funders that aligned with MACWO’s work, and the organisation was also connected with a funding officer from the Tudor Trust through one of our webinars. MACWO are pursuing applications to Common Call Fund and Tudor Trust.  

2. Coproduce a community engagement survey 

In May, we co-produced a community survey that measured the impact of MACWO’s work, and demonstrated the viability of a new project – a ‘Community Hub’. Thanks to the sustained energy of MACWO staff and volunteers, the survey achieved over 150 responses, including from non-English speakers.

3. Co-produce an impact report

Drawing on the community survey results and secondary research, the CSC team produced an impact report to evidence the need for MACWO’s services and evidence it’s achievements and effectiveness. This report has been submitted alongside funding applications. 

4. Boosting organisational communications

Communications is key for unlocking opportunities for partnership, demonstrating credibility to funders, and  reaching community members who need support. We have run Communications Workshops with MACWO, and based on the team’s inputs and ideas, we’ve co-developed a clear strategy to enable the org to optimise its resources and skills. We have also created a press release on MACWO’s success as a top-performing Census Centre! 

As we near the end of our time working with MACWO, we are confident that they are in a strong position to continue supporting their community: the impact report means they have a strong evidence base to apply for funding, and MACWO has already started implementing the co-produced communications strategy.

Francesca, Director of CSC comments:

‘It has been fantastic working with such an innovative, quick-thinking and impactful organisation, who go the extra mile to support migrant communities in West London. We’ve worked collaboratively and productively to solidify their position as a strong candidate for grants and public funding.’

Khadra Ali Hared, Founder of Mother and Child Welfare Organisation comments:

“We are a grassroots organisation run by people driven by their passion…we thrive on direct problem solving. This part of our work is completely preoccupying and immerses us in our day-to-day issues. You have helped us to step back and think about how to record and share the work we do. You have also encouraged us to see our work as a whole and to present it confidently to large funders.

You were very open and accepting towards our whole organisation, its work and its people. We appreciated the kindness and care with which you listened and helped us. It was unlike any other experience of consulting that we have had before.”

About Steps to Recovery

Through our Steps to Recovery programme, we are delivering pro-bono consultancy support to civil society and faith organisations serving ethnic minority communities to boost their post-covid recovery, and contribute to their longer-term sustainability. The support is individualised, according to the organisation’s priorities, and outputs are co-produced. With the support, they can better serve the communities, whose needs they understand and care about. We deliver Steps to Recovery in partnership with Strengthening Faith Institutions/Ostro Fayre Share Foundation, thanks to funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.