Grapevine returns to London today (19 June) to bring news of our pioneering work in Coventry and Warwickshire to the movers, shakers and decision-makers from local and national government, health, housing and social care.
CEO Clare Wightman has been invited to be one of the speakers at the Civil Society Futures* forum, organised by public policy events provider Inside Government.
She will tell the audience how we are using our out-of-the-box thinking and expertise to take a place-based approach to meeting local needs.
What this means for us at the moment is a National Lottery Community Fund project in Stoke Aldermoor (Coventry) to help a group of community-minded residents improve their place.
Their plan focuses on young people, families and connecting cultures. It will bring together civil society, citizens, local authority and businesses to address local priorities through collective action.
Today’s event coincides with ‘Policy Day’ of Small Charity Week – an annual awareness week to celebrate and promote small charities across the UK.
In describing our approach, Clare will give examples of earlier work igniting change with people and communities. Included is the story of Rishard – a young man on the edge of crisis whose needs were misdiagnosed as care, support and treatment.
His real need was for a life shaped by his hopes and dreams, one that could stretch and grow.
With Grapevine, he found his way back with help from a network of good people to become an actor (his dream) and no longer a client with needs to be serviced.
She says: “It’s not magic. It happened because relationships keep on giving – regrouping around new problems or new opportunities in a way that services just can’t.”
Relationships are able to go way beyond the remit of services and will be key to our place-based approach in Stoke Aldermoor and many other current and future projects.
We wish Clare all the best for her latest speaking engagement. Follow her on Twitter at @GrapevineCEO. The event hashtag today is #IGCivilSociety.
The government’s Civil Society Strategy was published in August 2018 and outlines a plan to enhance collaboration between the voluntary and public sectors.
It recognises the pivotal role that voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations have to play in tackling the challenges we face in today’s society.
Today’s event gives practitioners a forum to debate and disseminate current thinking and information about the strategy from organisations like us who are taking up the opportunity and running with it. We are attending in the lead up to our 25th anniversary celebrations this October (1994 – 2019).
Find out more on Small Charity Week here.