Transforming West Cumbria, mid-term report 2023

PAGE 8 | TRANSFORMING WEST CUMBRIA TRANSFORMING WEST CUMBRIA | PAGE 9 Started November 2020 16 organisations are being supported: 13 have completed Stage 1 and been awarded a Stage 2 Bedrock Award 16 Stage 1 Bedrock Awards grants have been awarded totalling £357,339 14 Stage 2 Bedrock Awards grants have been awarded totalling £1,206,942 Total value of grants awarded to date £1,564,281 Outcomes: ∞ Increased organisational resilience and financial sustainability ∞ Empowered community leaders ∞ Increased organisational capacity ∞ Improved governance ∞ Greater partnership working leaders to participate fully in the business diagnostic/planning process; Stage 2: • Additional funding award (up to £85,000) to invest in the implementation of the organisation’s two-year development plan; • Ongoing business consultancy support; • Peer support through action learning. Bedrock Awards is delivered in partnership with Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership (CSEP) and Social Enterprise Acumen CIC (SEA) who provide business consultancy. Bedrock Award applications are considered by the Bedrock/Spark Steering Group and approved by the Foundation’s West Cumbria Grants Committee. The organisations curently participating in the programme are: Age UK West Cumbria, Citizens Advice Allerdale, Citizens Advice Copeland, Copeland Age and Advice Service (CAAS), Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS), Cumbria Youth Alliance (CYA), Fit 4 Life Cumbria, Home to Work Limited, Hospice at Home West Cumbria, Howgill Family Centre, Phoenix Enterprise Centre (PEC), Time to Change West Cumbria, Together We CIC, West Cumbria Carers, West Cumbria Domestic Violence Support and Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project. Kate Welch, CEO of SEA said “It’s a real pleasure working with the Foundation and CSEP to help build the capacity and resilience of the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in West Cumbria. The organisations we are working with play vital roles in supporting some of the area’s most vulnerable people, and the Bedrock Awards will really help these organisations strengthen their offer.” Sessions delivered by SEA cover issues including strategic planning, social impact, volunteers, systems and management. “The idea is to empower them,” says Kate. Stage 1 Difference Made: A survey of the organisations who have completed Stage 1 shows how they have benefitted from the process: 100% of the organisations strongly agreed/ agreed the Stage 1 process helped identify their organisation’s needs and work on issues important to their future. All agreed it came at the right time for their organisation, encouraged better planning and strategic thinking and provided an opportunity to consider how to develop. • “It has given us a genuine opportunity that may make the difference between us surviving and closing, as grant funding gets harder to access.” • “It has been really good having a critical friend to listen and offer suggestions and advice.” • “It really helped bring the whole team on the transformational journey we are undertaking.” • “We have changed many elements of the organisation. Most importantly is the culture, so now we work as a team.” For many, the process enabled them to ‘think differently’: “On reflection, it gave us ownership of tools to enable us as an organisation and team to move forward…. the process made us think differently.” Bedrock Awards Unlike a traditional grant scheme, the Bedrock Awards have been designed to help critical third sector organisations in West Cumbria plan for sustainability, development and growth via a deep analysis of opportunities for improvement. The third sector includes charities, community groups, voluntary organisations, social enterprises, faith and equalities groups, mutuals and co-operatives. Successful grantees are offered a twostage programme of tailored support, intended to deliver long-term benefit to their organisation. It includes: Stage 1: • Business consultancy to help organisations undertake a full business diagnostic and facilitate the production of a two-year development plan; • Funding award (up to £25,000) to build organisational capacity, enabling senior Programme of one-to-one support and development grants for established organisations Building organisational resilience Bedrock, a key strand of the Transforming West Cumbria programme, focuses on building the resilience, capabilities and financial sustainability of third sector organisations in West Cumbria “It’s a real pleasure working with the Foundation and CSEP to help build the capacity and resilience of the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in West Cumbria.” Kate Welch