Time for some reflection

Today’s meeting was a healthy mix of moving forwards and looking back on what we have achieved so far. SAND has an Action Plan which was developed in the Summer of 2013 and we used to revisit this at every meeting – using it as a sort of ‘guiding agenda’. Ultimately that didn’t feel very inspiring as the nature of an Action Plan necessarily means there is a whole load of stuff which you haven’t done yet – hmmm, a tad depressing.

Once we moved to monthly meetings – short and productive, we put the Action Plan to one side and enjoyed more collective discussion during our precious time together.

This morning was time to see how we are getting on. We last looked at the Action Plan in October 2013 so, prior to today one of us got it out and went through it, adding a separate column for everything we have achieved so far – WOW, what a buzz! We then used half an hour of the meeting to pat ourselves on the back and add things that had been accidentally missed off!

Our website replicates the Action Plan to some extent and we’ll update that over the next week or so to capture all this stuff (so take a browse through the pages sometime soon). The process of a bit of reflection is very important for everybody in the group to see just what progress has been made and how we have chopped and changed a little to follow particular preferences – or just things that made sense at the time. It also helps to bring people up to date who have only just become part of the group and as our brand new Treasurer was with us it was perfect timing!

Soon we will have a go at planning for the next 12 months and see how we get on – doing it in 2 stages like this feels more manageable and fun than trying to do the whole lot in one go!

We are also moving along nicely on various jobs – we now have a Paypal account with the next move to put a button on the website and then work out how this and our Golden Giving site complement each other. We also have some ideas about Donation Envelopes – we got some samples from an online supplier but these are just too expensive for where we are right now so we reckon we can produce our own very cheaply – just to give out at our own events with invited audiences – anything more and we’d need to be looking into the laws around licensing. We are looking into Sponsorship as well, and what people might be getting for their money.

At this stage, it would really help to galvanise more people (beyond the action group) if we could start some sort of project sometime soon and we need resources to do that. Also, now that we have the responses collated from the pilot survey with housing & care managers we are keen to start building on it.

Last but not least we are now starting to plot a couple of launch events with different audiences in mind so yes, 2014 looks busy already!

We feel like a really high capacity group with everyone playing to their strengths. Seven out of nine of the Action Group members have been there since the very start and this continuity is fantastically helpful. People enjoy the meetings and don’t feel like they have a whole lot to do in-between times – and what they do is relevant to their own work and/or of particular interest to them.

This Blog records what is happening at which point of SAND’s development.


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