Variety is the spice of life!
It is hard to believe that it is now the end of January and, for me, 2016 has certainly got off to a varied start...from First Aid training to a safeguarding update for a team...to some fantastic Cook and Eat sessions working with families who use Sheffield Children's Centres...
I have really enjoyed all the different training I had been involved in this year so far, and one of the best things is meeting so many different people.
Different people in different roles, with different outlooks but one thing in common - a willingness to learn! And as I always say in a good training session learners learn as much from each other as the tutor...(if not more!!)
So thank you to all those who have passed the word on, and roll onto February...
There are lots of photos of the courses on www.facebook.com/jillwebbtraining
Lessons from Kids Company...
Since my blog last month, I have noticed the Kid's Company in the news again. Quite rightly, there has been close scrutiny of the funding made available to the charity and how it has been used. I have been interested to talk both to charity trustees and directors of not- for - profit companies concerned about their management role in light of these concerns. There is some great practice going on - very small organisiations who have brilliant finance, HR and health and safety systems. Some of these are managed internally and some are bought in. Regular audits of these systems reassure directors, trustees, staff and funders - as well as most importantly - service users that the organisation is robust and sustainable. I have been enjoying supporting some charity staff with management supervision and also helping a local charity to become health and safety compliant by ensuring the right number of staff have the correct First Aid training. Simple steps but very important!
As time goes by, my concern - shared by many professionals - is for the families which were received support from Kid's Company. The current economic climate is a very difficult time for anyone with a family try to make ends meet.
These families are now looking elsewhere for support. At this time of year, Christmas is looming with the stress of managing presents and all the extra expenses. I am delighted to be working with Mel at Smartpeople in Halifax to provide a Level 4 course to support those working with parents. Never before has the support been needed so much; but those working with families need their own training and support. This course is focused on developing positive relationships with parents. It is suitable for Family Support Workers who hold some supervisory responsibilities - which could be for other workers, or volunteers - and managers and supervisors within day care. Staff based in schools who work direct with parents - such as home school liaison workers - have found this course really useful. The Level 4 qualification can be used to provide excellent continuous professional development for aspiring learners that have previously completed their Level 3 qualification, or it can be an acknowledgement of prior experience and qualifications of workers. What I love about this course is that is it practical! It considers models of working with families; how workers can keep themselves safe and look after themselves as well as offering support to families which makes a difference. The 4 taught days are full of activities, case studies and learning from each other. Booking for January are now being taken on a first come, first served basis - please visit www.smartpeople.org.uk/qualifications/14/city-guilds-level-4-award-in-work-with-parents
for more details!
Meanwhile, if I can help you or your business in anyway please don’t hesitate to
Kids Company hits the news again!
The close down of the charity ‘Kids Company’ over the summer – due to bankruptcy – has caused ongoing issues for the young people and families this charity was supporting. Local families were understandably shocked and distraught, and there has been a struggle to find help elsewhere.
The theme of lack of funding alongside a massive demand for services is a common theme in my work with charities and voluntary sector organisations. As statutory services such as health services and local authorities suffer ongoing budget cuts more families are turning to charities to help.
In this challenging time for charities it is important to note that the issues faced by Kids Company were not just financial but led to questions around the responsibilities of the trustees. This article in The Guardian summarised this.
In my recent meetings with trustees and company directors this situation has caused much discussion. If we are honest, many volunteers have their arms twisted to sit on a management committee for a not-for-profit group or a registered charity. We often feel desperate to fill vacancies on a management board, and perhaps can be a little lightweight about the responsibilities which come with this? As I write, I am challenging myself on this issue as I know I have often been in the position of ‘arm twisting’ potential volunteers.
A good starting point for any volunteer on a committee is to ask to see the constitution of the group, which will set out when meetings should happen, who makes the decisions and describes the roles and responsibilities.
For registered charities, the Charity Commission produces some excellent guidance.
Having both been a charity trustee and working on a board of directors I find my experience invaluable when working with groups to ensure they are fit for purpose and ensuring that the ways they operate protects the organisation and individuals within in. If I can be of help to your organisation please do not hesitate to