Managers Blog: What are we doing? Why are we here? What is the need?
Anyone who has filled out a funding application to the National lottery will be aware of the great importance they place on identifying need. They will not fund unless there is a very clear identification of the need that the funding will meet. On the face of it this sounds simple but then the doubts creep in and you begin to lose focus and panic. Is what we are doing actually meeting a need? What is that need? Is what you think of as a need actually a need? The need is we need some funding!
Ok. After the initial panic you begin to review what you are doing and the core reasons you run a charity. For Space2Create the heart of it is to support vulnerable adults recovering or coping with a long term mental or physical illness through creative activity. Ah! That actually isn’t a need. That is what we do to meet the need. So what needs does that encompass? To do this you almost have to put yourself into the shoes of the people who use the charity. Why are they there? What do they get from coming? When I started thinking about Space2Create in these terms I found that there were three distinct blocks of need: Those of service users; Those of other organisations and groups; Those of volunteers.
So I ended up with a very long list of needs in three groups! For service users it was things like the need to have a safe place to go, to be in a supportive social group to regain social skills, to experience small achievements to build shattered confidence, to rebuild their destroyed self-esteem, to feel valued and cared about and so on.
For groups it was things like having a suitable safe space for their service users, to have a cheap affordable space so they could run the group at all, to have disabled access and facilities and so on.
For volunteers it was about reducing their own isolation, gaining new skills to enable them to develop, having experience so they could be more employable.
What you end up with is a massive list of identified needs! That process is worth going through for anybody who is doing charitable work because actually it is quite humbling and moving. When you dig beneath the obvious and question what the actual effect you are having on people’s lives by the service you provide is, it justifies the time, effort, frustration and battles you fight to make it happen.
The only problem now is that the box on the application form is for 150 words and I have about 1000!
A short week at S2C with Easter:
BBC Get Creative Day
Just a reminder that as Get Creative Champions we will be opening the Unit to all with an exhibition and printmaking workshop on 2nd April for the BBC Get Creative Day.
A really enjoyable session today as the group made use of our map stash. We were looking at the maps to cut out section to collage and make animals. With an animal in mind we looked for shales and colours to make them. The end results were great.
Great session as the group put the finishing touches to their collaboration e play for yarn in the yards. Caroline from Kendal Theatre popped in again with some very much appreciated advice. Look forward to it being performed.