Collaborate – Connect – Action

29 Sep 2016

Earlier this month, BAB hosted Collaboration Workshops and invited all organisations within the partnership to ‘Collaborate – Connect – Action’! The workshops were facilitated by Hall Aitken, as part of the support and development they provide to Ageing Better areas across the country, and aimed to support and promote collaboration among partners, particularly when it comes to submitting bids for our Community Navigator and Community Development projects.

The workshops were held in 3 different locations in Central, North and South Bristol, giving attendees an opportunity to meet other organisations who work locally.

The specific objectives of the workshop were to create a shared understanding of:

  • The pros and cons of collaboration
  • The critical success factors for effective collaboration
  • Organisations in Bristol that have a platform for effective collaboration
  • The actions needed to progress collaborative working

Participants were divided into groups to discuss what collaboration means and invited to develop and agree a working definition for purpose of the workshop. Groups were also asked to identify any insurmountable barriers to effective collaboration, which they could later discuss and share with the room.

Vicki Morris, Chief Executive of The Care Forum, attended the workshop held in the North:

“The discussion about what works in collaboration, and being able to prioritise the key qualities that partners want or need, was a useful one – it highlighted some issues about the power dynamics between larger and smaller organisations.”

The workshops included facilitated networking sessions, which allowed participants to meet new people who work in the sector, discuss areas of commonality between organisations and identify potential partners with whom they might work with on future projects.

At the end of the session, participants were asked to share one commitment to action that has resulted from the workshop and/or discussions with other organisations. Many of the attendants agreed to follow up with some of the contacts made in the workshop to explore opportunities for collaborative work in the future, as well as sharing information about the workshop with colleagues with the view to future partnerships or collaborative working.

Vicki Morris also added: “It was also good to give some fairly direct feedback to Adam Rees, BAB Director, about our experiences of what has or hasn’t worked previously. I felt this was a relatively rare opportunity to speak directly to a funder prior to the bidding process, which I really valued and respected.”

BAB is also funding local VCS support organisation Voscur to provide independent support and facilitation to collaborative partnerships on the following themes:

a) Identify collaboration viability
b) Agree and articulate partnership delivery
c) Advice, resources and problem-solving

If you are planning to submit a collaborative bid and wish to receive BAB-funded support from Voscur, please contact us directly on bab@ageukbristol.org.uk for further information. Organisations are recommended to contact BAB as soon as reasonably possible if they wish to receive collaboration support from Voscur.


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