Written by Adam Rees, BAB Director
You will have seen us reference the BAB partnership in all of our materials, celebrating a membership that now stands at over 170.
In comparison to other Ageing Better areas we have roughly ten times as many partners! Rather than choosing a smaller number of partners to deliver BAB projects at the bid stage, organisations in Bristol were invited to get involved as Strategic partners, Delivery partners or both. Our partnership is therefore much larger than just those delivering for and funded by Bristol Ageing Better.
I think it is brilliant that I see so many people at our partnership meetings (Save the date for 7th September!); these events offer fantastic opportunities to learn more about each other and to contribute to the development of the BAB programme.
Not only do my team and I support the partnership but we are here to manage the BAB programme and commission providers to deliver. This core aim of commissioning the programme in line with Big Lottery Fund legal requirements can cause friction with our commitment to supporting the partnership,
We are committed to delivering 16 projects but in many cases these projects have multiple delivery partners and we anticipate having 50 delivery contracts in place by the end of this year. When selecting Delivery Partners for these projects we need to ensure that the financial decisions are fair, transparent and in the best interests of BAB and the older people who will benefit from the work.
Each of our selection panels includes me or Ruth Richardson, at least one older person and another person either from the BAB Programme board or someone who has expert knowledge of the project. The aim of these panels is to review applications against the specifications in the Invitation to tender and to decide on which bidders are successful. We try our best to select a panel without direct conflicts of interest and where there is a lesser connection we record this interest and consider the effect it has and whether the panel member is able to vote. We provide feedback for any unsuccessful bidders and are keen to support them bidding for future opportunities.
Over the coming months, we will be releasing significant contracts with significant budgets with approximately £2million being committed by the end of December. We will also be offering opportunities that prepare partners to bid and encourages collaborative bids. We will also be sharing information from these events through the website to ensure that even those unable to attend have access to the same materials.
We will continue to support partners and commission services and we will continue to put the right processes in place to ensure that they don’t conflict with the ultimate aim of creating meaningful and sustainable services that support Older people to get the levels of social contact that they want.
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