We aim to enhance community cohesion by enabling and empowering VCSE groups to leverage social impact in the communities they know and love. This includes nurturing individual skills and talents, as much of our support is delivered through expert training and mentoring to members of community groups and charities. We have a particular focus on working in the most socially deprived and diverse neighbourhoods. Properly understanding the needs people have, and then working alongside them to plan, develop and run services and projects has always been at the heart of our people-led approach to consulting.
We are academically-inclined, and keep a focus on the bigger picture: the strive for socio-economic equality and sustainability. At the same time, we believe our role is to promote change from the bottom up: our track record of working ‘hands-on’ with local grassroots organisations means we’re not afraid to get stuck in.
The support we provide is mainly aimed at people working in more financially fragile charities and community groups. This encompasses a wide range of inter-linked areas of business planning and income generation to build an organisation’s capacity as follows.
Beneficiary involvement, ‘People in the Lead’ and co-production‘ are the essential building blocks for effective business planning, fundraising and other income generation in the charity and community sector.
We help charities and community groups to do this by helping organise stakeholder engagement exercises, forums and consultations to better understand local issues and needs; and ensuring that those with ‘lived experiences’ play a meaningful and empowering role.
PROVING THAT A CHARITY OR COMMUNITY GROUP IS GENUINELY MAKING A DIFFERENCE is another critical ingredient for a charity or community group to be dynamic and successful.
We help charities and community groups to do this by carrying out an independent evaluation with the group’s beneficiaries, finding out about the range of positive changes that have taken place for them and also identifying learning points. An external evaluation is a great learning tool for organisational development and improvement and also helps to evidence success and capability to funders – essential, if a funder is going to make a financial investment in a charity or community group.
HELPING TO PLAN EFFECTIVELY OVER A NUMBER OF YEARS
We help charities and community groups to do this by working with their team members and with beneficiaries to develop a business plan for the group.
EQUIPPING ORGANISATIONS WITH SUSTAINABLE SKILLS IN ALL OF THE ABOVE
We help charities and community groups to do this by sharing our many years of front-line community development experience and skills with the groups we work with throughout our time together. In an ideal world, the groups we help only need to work with us once, after which they feel skilled-up and empowered to continue to take their group forwards to bigger and better things using the knowledge and skills we have provided them with.