“We break down barriers to help improve lives” – the bold statement on the front page of our programme’s website. How we go about doing that is something that we spent time exploring in the lead up to our programme’s fifth year.
The power in building strong relationships and ‘feeling part of something’ came through again and again. This led to our commitment to develop our relational approaches for the remainder of our eight year, Big Lottery Funded programme and to this statement in our plans for years 5 and 6:
“We’ve explored how important people’s relationship with our programme is and in many aspects of our work we are building social movements and new senses of community as much as providing a service. We’re at the stage now where evolving into a membership programme feels like the right step. It communicates better what we are and why we are different.”
Our seven values of the membership community are the result of months of coming together and exploring what makes truly transformative change possible for both people who need support, and those who are engaging with them. This has the potential to strengthen inclusion and blur traditional power balances.
Ultimately, belonging to something can be the difference between those who are recipients of interventions and those who have some shared power relationship with the agencies they’re accessing.
As we develop our membership community further we’d like to hear your thoughts on our approach. So if you’d like to get in touch or become a member of the membership community we are trying to achieve, please get in touch!