Becoming a Stronger Influencer

In May, we launched our Impact Report; it was a great way to evaluate our work, both our values and approach and the practical difference we have made over the past 10 years. As well as celebrating our successes, it was important for us to learn from the feedback we received, and one of the key things to come out of the report was that people felt we should have a ‘stronger influencer’ in the Third Sector; becoming more involved in policy consultations and research to support the sector. 

We have already made sure to take active steps in addressing this recommendation. We recently submitted our thoughts on the Community Wealth building consultation, which we published in CommEnt (by gathering the reactions of our clients and beneficiaries) and are now providing feedback on the Highlands and Islands strategy evaluation because our work in the highlands and islands is important to us. This evaluation comes to the end of its 5-year plan. Our team has gathered considerable knowledge from the communities we work in and groups we work with, and we are keen to use their knowledge to help support policy development. 

In 2022 we worked in coalition on the Ayrshire Covid Resilience Report. The report was carried out by a consortia of high-profile third-sector providers; New Cumnock Development Trust; yipworld (Cumnock); Auchinleck Community Development Initiative; The Zone (Dalmellington), and The Sky Project (Kilmarnock), with support from the Communities Recovery Fund administered by Corra Foundation on behalf of Scottish Government. The Council of Voluntary Organisations (East Ayrshire) led the five partners within the consultation resulting in more than 6000 comments from 2089 respondents. This report will hopefully lead to positive outcomes for the communities of Easy Ayrshire as a result. 

In addition to our place-based research, the Development team are also working on several Community and Development Trust Action plans. Just this week, our Development Manager, Judith, was in Raasay working with the Development Trust to undertake a broad community consultation on proposed upcoming projects on the Island. The Development Trust was keen to have an external organisation undertake the consultation to give an impartial approach to reviewing the information gathered. The Community Enterprise team are skilled in providing a sensitivity to projects like this and provide the most valuable information for the clients.