Partnerships with specialist umbrellas build on the foresight drivers bank

Since 1998, NCVO Third Sector Foresight has been researching and writing about how the world is changing and what that means for the voluntary and community sector. But as we all know, the sector is incredibly diverse, which has meant that the information we provide is by necessity ‘generic’ – it attempts to talk about issues that will impact on a large number of organisations.

That is useful up to a point, but we know that often the drivers that will have the biggest impact on individual organisations are those that are directly related to the field in which they work (be that young people, the arts, social care etc). And you have been asking us to develop our work in this direction for several years, for example:

A social care charity will need to keep up to date with very different information than an animal welfare charity. Foresight should develop further in order to support organisations into this next stage.

And another member told us:

It may not be Foresight’s role to gather specialist information and say “this is what we think sub-sectorally”, but itcould consider working in partnership to create and facilitate the space to enable specialist groups to have thosediscussions.

Which is why we were delighted last year to secure funding from Capacity builders* to develop a number of partnership projects with specialist umbrella bodies (see this previous post advertising our invitation to tender)

The first of these projects, with Age Concern England, has now come to an end. The outputs include new drivers on the website, along with tailoring of some of the existing drivers to draw out the specific relevance and implications for organisations working with older people. There is also a pdf report to download. The process involved a member of Age Concern England Staff (Helen Ramsbottom), spending a number of days on secondment with our team here, two workshops with leaders of local age concerns and an expert focus group.

We are currently part way through projects with Help the Hospices and the NUS, and are looking forward to working in the next 18 months with Disability Lib, NCVYS, CCPR and Mind.

Although all the partnerships under our current funding have been arranged through the tender process mentioned above, we are interested in exploring ways to work with other specialist umbrellas. If you are interested in discussing this further, email Natalie Williams.

*These projects form part of the change workstream, funded by Capacitybuilders’ National Support Services Programme. See which brings together resources, evidence and good practice to help third sector support organisations.

Last updated at 13:55 Thu 23/Jul/09.
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