It is funny how a sudden injection of funding can lift an organisation like SAND even before we start spending! Our National Lottery Community Funded project EMBRACE does not start until June but already it is having a significant impact, as we are planning the future very differently.
Included in the funding is some money for ‘Organisational Development’ which is going to help us with practical things – like a printer, professional advice, an Away Day, some promotional materials. But, even before we start getting those things, we realise that we need to – and can – replace our trip-hazard carpet in the office! And so – happy days – our meeting this week began with a carpet choosing exercise. We are lucky enough to know a good outlet: The Carpet Gallery who were only too happy to supply us with a sample pack to play around with. Nothing galvanises quite like shopping-with-ease and we had a very animated discussion before choosing … beige!! Ha ha – with the proviso of sourcing a rainbow rug – over to Julien at The Carpet Gallery for that one!
Shopping aside, we had much to report on this month as things step up. Our feature on local BBC Radio attracted a flurry of communication from interested parties, as did our recent presentation at the AgeUK conference. Consequently, we have already been to meet people at Connexus Housing Association; Wrekin Housing Trust (Independent Living Coordinators) and Telford Citizens Advice Bureau – and are due to get together with Midland Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – Memory Services.
In April, we also delivered a half day training session for Green Oak Foundation, who tweeted:
SAND waved goodbye to David Coull – outgoing CEO of Coverage Care and great supporter of our work, and had the opportunity to say hello to his successor, Chris Wall. During these conversations, we discovered that SAND has had a mention in an Outstanding CQC report – see page 14! We continue to work with Coverage and will be screening the 25 minute version of Gen Silent for them in the next few months as part of their commitment to EMBRACE a Culture of Inclusion.
It feels as though May is a month for adjustment as we move ever nearer the formal start of our big project. We are already advertising for help with marketing and design and planning ways to increase our capacity. We have identified a Critical Friend to help us think through how the project can happen at a practical level and will soon be engaging the whole Action Group in an exploration of how change will happen.