Here is a list of projects and organisations we are currently working on and with:
Perinatal mental health in southeast London: the barriers to access
NHS England are seeking to improve the support new and soon-to-be mothers are accessing during the perinatal period, i.e. during pregnancy and/or the first two years after childbirth. CSC have been commissioned by the mental health charity BLG Mind and the NHS on this academically-informed piece of social and community research in Bromley and Southwark.
Our work will uncover and evaluate the barriers women face in accessing perinatal mental health services – logistical, emotional, cultural, psychological. Through surveys, interviews, and focus groups, CSC are reaching mums and soon-to-be mums to find out their stories. Together with BLG Mind, we will be able to develop evidenced-based policy recommendations for the NHS to act on.
Improving the safety and wellbeing of mothers in need is a Human Rights issue, the perinatal period is also a game-changer in child development. This means that intervening during this critical window will also go a long way to contribute to sustainable societies of the future.
Knife crime in southeast London: supporting the Youth Rally Mission
Youth Rally Mission was launched in 2007 when Isaac Attram, the father of a young, talented victim of knife crime and street violence, set up the organisation. Driven by his faith, he founded Youth Rally to enable young people to develop their talents and a sense of belonging. They now run an after school project and other workshops to provide a clear alternative to street crime. Youth Rally were referred to CSC by Near Neighbours Co-ordinator.
Since the intensification of the government’s coronavirus containment measures, Youth Rally’s partner schools have been concerned that not enough is being done to keep young people ‘on the right track’ – and the irreversible damage that this period of disconnect could have. To deal with the immediate aftermath, and to prime the students ready to resume their personal development effectively when school restarts, young people need support with COVID-specific challenges. Whereas they would normally channel action through schools, Youth Rally identified that now is the time to work with parents and families.
CSC helped Youth Rally Mission to: (1) refine their programme design to channel support through parents and families, (2) communicate their existing achievements and good positioning in the community, and (3) create a compelling proposal and budget for the required funding.
Post-pandemic planning: researching the impact of covid on Barking and Dagenham’s social sector
We’re proud and excited to be engaging with the social sector in Barking and Dagenham (LBBD) to assess COVID’s impact on the sector. Amidst the positive and adaptive response in the community, LBBD stands to be hit hard- especially when we consider longer-term. We’re collecting and analysing trends, experiences, views and ideas to help plot recovery, a trailblazing initiative commissioned by BD_Collective. The report will guide policymakers and funders who want the best for the borough; they’ll be able to make informed decisions that will have the most impact. Read about the Covid-19 Impact Report (Phase 1) in full here.
Steps to Sustainability: our emergency covid support programme scaled-up
When the pandemic struck the UK, Civil Society Consulting CIC, wanted to support vulnerable communities as much as we can during this crisis. We reached out to the sector offering hour-long one-to-one surgeries online – free, and open to any struggling charities or faith groups. This went hand-in-hand with a briefing pack to the sector.
We found this was transformative to panicked community groups, and decided this was the most useful thing we could do for the sector and quickly changing environment of just a few months ago.
To date, we have delivered free one-to-one consultation surgeries to 34 local faith action leaders. To lock in impact, we followed up with the appropriate number of hours of support – based on a checklist to implement the advice provided.
The initiative received extremely positive feedback from struggling organisations and endorsement from other key players in the sector. It also brought into sharp relief our role in the sector. Many groups lack the tools, confidence and know-how to secure necessary funding. Therefore, we are scaling up our crisis response. We are revamping our crisis support initiative, with a specific BAME-focus, under the name ‘Steps to Sustainability’. Over the next six months, we will engage with over 60 faith-based and BAME charities up and down the country.
Steps to Sustainability is exactly what we stand for as a small, not-for-profit consultancy – both in its end goal and in the means for getting there. Our mission is to leverage social impact and community cohesion. We believe the best way to do this is to empower, enable and facilitate community organisations and social action leaders to serve the communities they know and love. Since this is exactly what Steps to Sustainability is all about, we see it as a flagship programme.
Social connection and emergency supplies in Coventry
The House of Empowerment is an African church community in Longford, Coventry. We met their community leader, Kwame, through our free one-to-one surgeries and gave them support and advice. Following this constructive one-to-one, CSC worked with the House of Empowerment to submit a proposal to the National Lottery Community Fund to support their emergency work delivering food and medicines – as well as social connecting support – to their elderly congregation during COVID-19. The funding bid was successful (!) allowing the House of Empowerment to fill a gap in the provision of vital services to its community members, whilst propping up mental wellbeing and social cohesion.
We have also been working with:
- Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland
- Thrive Birmingham
- Overcoming Shocking Debt
- Transforming Communities Together (Wolverhampton, Walsaw, Dudley, Sandwell)
- Together Liverpool
Together Liverpool aims to equip Churches, Communities and Charities to bring hope, resources and support to their neighbours, so they can make a bigger difference in their communities.
Together Liverpool works to support and promote a wide range of social and financial inclusion projects in the extremely deprived city of Liverpool and the surrounding area. By working in partnership with key local partners, in particular with local churches and their congregations who provide invaluable volunteer support, the charity delivers front-line social action programmes that really make a difference to the lives of people living in poverty, including support to provide foodbanks, community meals and community markets, work to tackle social exclusion, including for asylum seekers settling in the area and financial inclusion through running training and offering support to those affected by debt and other financial issues and working in primary schools to train children about managing money.
Mark initially started working with Together Liverpool towards the development of the charity’s first business plan, working closely with the trustees, volunteers and users to do this. Through this process the charity developed not only a business plan but also a 5 year budget and a fundraising plan and then with support from James, a number of funding bids were developed and submitted, including a major application developed by Mark and Ellen, the charity’s Chair, to the National Lottery for step-change funding to enable the charity to go to another level and respond to more of the pressing social and deprivation issues the city is experiencing.
“We just found out we got over £160,000 from the Lottery. You can’t imagine what this means. Out of over 300 areas in the country, we mainly work with people who live in the 2nd and the 4th most deprived places, and there is precious little here to help people in need. But with this money, we will double our income for the next 3 years and be able to help 1000s more desperately poor and unhappy people to improve the quality of their lives and give them a chance of a decent future, despite the problems in our area.
“The help Mark gave us has been top drawer. He is a wonderful to work with and tenacious too, as this process took well over a year to come to fruition and he was with us all the way – supporting, encouraging and never giving up.”Ellen Louden, Chair
Goldhill Adventure Playground
The Goldhill Adventure Playground provides play, learning and social inclusion opportunities to children and young people, living in a highly socially disadvantaged catchment area in Leicester – the Saffron Lane housing estate in Eyres Monsell – one of the most deprived locations nationally. Alongside its adventure play facilities spread over 1.5 acres of wooded terrain, the charity also provides activities like football, table tennis, pottery, music and drama, as well homework clubs and 1-1 support to excluded and learning-disabled children. Parents also access information, advice and support about parenting, managing debt and finding work.
James and Mark were initially asked to help Goldhill with some fundraising, but it soon became clear that the charity could benefit from a wider range of support as well. After carrying out an external evaluation of the charity’s services through consulting local young people and parents, the Civil Society Consulting team worked closely with Goldhill’s trustees, staff, volunteers and users to develop a business plan, a fundraising plan, new evaluation procedures, a promotional impact report and also provided training and support to strengthen the charity’s board of trustees. And from this platform, since 2015, Mark and James have supported Goldhill to raise over £450,000 of new funding from a wide range of sources like the National Lottery, Children in Need and Sport England.
“James and Mark have been really fantastic for Goldhill. We know the work we do here is highly through of and valued by local people, but as a very small charity, we always struggle… When they started working with us, Mark and James helped us to take time out and think about the best direction for Goldhill.Dee Dixon, Playground Manager,
“They helped us to improve our evaluation, marketing and approach to fundraising. Lots of our funding is being cut but they have helped us do the things needed not only to maintain, but also to grow, out funding income. Since they started working with us in 2015, our income has gone up by nearly 50% in four years and we are now able to work with lots more young people and families who are really struggling in their lives and offer them support when lots of other places round here are closing down. Plus, we are now much more confident to apply for funding ourselves as they have given us lots of advice, hints and tips. I cant recommend them enough. They are worth their weight in gold.”
Goldhill Adventure Playground, Leicester
Barking and Dagenham Somali Women’s Association
Barking and Dagenham Somali Women Association is dedicated charity to improve Health & Wellness of Women and their families in Barking & Dagenham and surrounding boroughs by providing information, advice and guidance in areas of Welfare, Housing and Health, Skills and Training and employability, homework club, Sport activities and User led Community Wellness Cafe with leisure and social activities
“The team have been brilliant, and their support came at the right time for us, and it is lifeline to sustain the organisation at this difficult time of austerity.”Zahra Ibrahim, Director
Barking and Dagenham Somali Women’s Association
“I cannot recommend James and Mark highly enough. They are two of the most professional, knowledgeable and hard-working individuals that I have had the pleasure of working with in my long career in Local Government.”Carol Yarde, Head of Transformation