Organisational development support surgeries for Islington Advice Agencies.

SOBeL is adding value in London boroughs with specialist interventions which enhances the generalist development and support available from borough based infrastructure agencies eg Councils for Voluntary Services (CVSs).

One of the best examples is the relationship which has developed and continues to evolve between the SOBeL programme and Voluntary Action Islington (VAI). In the first year of SOBeL, a programme of workshops started including topics such as ‘Writing Effective Funding Bids’, ‘Understanding your Legal Status’ and ‘Effective Governance and Sustainability’. In parallel, AdviceUK started to deliver surgeries at VAI for advice agencies in Islington requiring specialised support. The surgeries have continued into the current, second year, of the SOBeL programme (2014-15). Over 40 organisations have benefitted so far from the training and surgeries.

The impact of these sessions has been the learning and the applying of it to their organisations.

The following is some of what participants have said about the attendance to sessions:

“Excellent trainer –lots of great tips!”

“Excellent course –very useful –excellent presenter!”

“The course on the day was excellent and I found it very helpful with golden nuggets of information.”

“It was a very useful and interesting training session and I really enjoyed it. I hope that it will help me with our future funding applications!”

“I have already recommended to my Committee that we follow this course of action.”

“These sessions are proving to be really good for the groups. Thank you for the session on Monday and for the feedback forms, everyone who I spoke to really enjoyed the session. The feedback forms are very positive and informative as it says where groups are at the moment regarding their fundraising.”

“Thank you for your great tips and advice on funding bids.  I could see we were a hard bunch to work with that day!! Will be writing out a plan for future bids.”

Beyond the positive written feedback, tangible examples of what interventions have led to include the raising of funds, for example by the Islington Community Language and Support Services:

“Thanks so much for your help; this will allow us to continue delivering vital services in the community. Trust for London also considered our application to fund the organisation £30 thousand over three years. Once again thank you for your help. It is really appreciated. As discussed now I am going to make an application to Lloyds TSB. Since I came from holiday I was so busy with client’s cases and all were successful. (Wezenet Haile Coordinator, CLSS –November 2014)

Other testimonies of success:
“The workshop run …was excellent and very helpful. I felt that it helped me very much to frame my funding applications on behalf of Dorcas Befriending Project. We have had some success with funding…”

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