Following on from the individual interviews I performed with stakeholders at the Hub, we organised and delivered a Stakeholders Event for the leaders, CEOs and Trustees of the 60+ organisations the Hub has worked with over the past two and a half years.
The event was attended by 24 partners from 12 different agencies. After some networking and ice-breaker time, we saw presentations. The Area Housing Manager (Fife Council) presented on the changes in housing and homelessness services, particularly in terms of collaborative approaches to reduce duplication and increasing citizen engagement. Katie and I prepared Stakeholders event Presentations on the activities of the Hub so far, showing the merits of the Hub as a single point of contact. Citizens Advice & Rights Fife also contributed a short animation which gave a snap shop of the Hub’s activities in 2017.
The following themes where highlighted from
Collaborative person-centered service delivery
Prevention and building resilience, and
We then went into short workshops, to create opportunities for further discussion. From the feedback on these workshops, Katie and I were able to draw out key themes and issues, and have been able to highlight action points that we can take forward:
- establish a short-term working group to develop a formal partnership arrangement
- develop multi-agency referral methods, to make it easier for service users to access the organisations in the Hub, even if they are not in attendance.
- develop a system that will help keep track of citizens who use the Hub, report on their successes and to highlight gaps.
To finish up the event, we asked the participants to make a pledge, of which 5 organisations pledged some form of resource to help the Hub achieve these action points.
For a full report on the event, please contact us.
Hi, I’m Juliet, and I’ve been working for the Hub for 2 months now as the Partnership development Coordinator. My job is to work with the Stakeholders of the Hub to ascertain how we can improve our partnership working in Dunfermline, and to do this, I’ve been talking to some of the key Stakeholders on a one-to-one basis. By doing this, I’ve been:
- Investigating the current partnerships developed so far
- Ascertaining the perceived barriers, challenges and concerns
- Gathering ideas, suggestions, aspirations and thoughts on what partnership working in Dunfermline looks like.
I’ve spoken to 16 organisations and 36 different people, all who have a direct presence here at the Hub. From these discussions, I’ve been able to get to grips with how the stakeholders use the Hub presently, and the challenges they’ve encountered. Feedback about the Hub has been mostly positive, particularly in the ability to network with other organisations easily. However, the venue and facilities have raised some challenges, particularly around private spaces and heating.
The chats I’ve had with the stakeholders have been invaluable – whilst there has been challenges, stakeholders unanimously agreed that the merits of the Hub outweighed the drawbacks. There is a passion and a desire within the group to work differently and more efficiently, and many saw the Hub being the vehicle for that to happen.
Katie and I are now using this feedback to develop and deliver three Stakeholder Events, and two networking events. For the first stakeholder event, planned for January, we are very keen to invite management, CEOs and Trustees of the partner organisations, to get a more strategic overview of how the Hub can integrate and supplement each service in Dunfermline. We’re really looking forward to seeing what comes of these, and we’ll report back on the event and what we plan to do next!
Here’s our report for November – we saw an increase again of people needing access to the phone, mainly to call DWP, such as checking up on payments. Referrals for the foodbank is still a big requirement. Emergency food parcels are a great service, and really help those in crisis, but its not a solution to ongoing issues. We’ll be looking to work more with our partners to try and ensure that people who need food get it, but they are also receiving support to prevent crisis in the future.
Credit Union and Community Job Club remain our most popular advice sessions. We also started a new session, specifically for anyone who is struggling to apply for Universal Credit.
We’re pleased to appoint our new Partnership Coordinator, Juliet Matipano. Juliet will be working closely with our stakeholders, consulting with them on the Hub, how we can work better together, and the future development of the service we provide.
Juliet’s post is funded by the Aspiring Communities Fund. The aim of this fund is to strengthen communities, increase levels of economic activity, stimulate inclusive growth, and support local service provision and inclusion by:
- Enabling communities to design and establish new or enhanced services addressing poverty and inequalities;
- Supporting new staff posts within community organisations to increase levels of economic activity, local service provision and inclusion, and enhance community resilience; and
- Accelerating the implementation of projects and services delivering longer lasting community-led solutions.
Juliet will be conducting one-to-one interviews, stakeholder events and networking events in the next four months, and we’re really looking forward to what recommendations and actions we can take forward.
Project supported by:
We’re looking to expand our Coordinator Team here at the Hub, and we need a Partnership Development Coordinator. The aim of this post is to provide support to stakeholders of the Dunfermline Advice Hub, and members of the Dunfermline Poverty Action Group and to develop a cohesive plan around partnership working, collaboration, citizen empowerment and community engagement.
This Post is temporary, with review at end of March 2018, and is funded by the Aspiring Communities Fund with support from the European Social Fund. Future funding will be based on the work completed by the Post Holder.
If you’ve got experience of partnership working, project management and are a good team player, download our Job Pack today! Please return your completed application and equal opportunities form to: firstname.lastname@example.org, before 12noon on Friday 3rd November. Please note that we plan to carry out interviews on Wednesday 8th November.
This month has been quieter, with lower attendance at the Community Job Club. However, we’ve seen a huge increase of people asking about Credit Unions. This will be likely due to the increased promotion of credit unions lately, and the recent developments in plans for Kingdom Credit Union to take over Dunfermline & District Credit Union.
We also had a huge increase in volunteer hours. We would like to acknowledge and give a huge thanks to our team, who went above and beyond to cover whilst our Coordinator was on annual leave. Without the extra help, we would have had to close the Hub, and our partners would not be able to benefit from all the great services we offer here. So, big thanks to Alison, Amy, Dot, Fiona, Nicola and Scott, without whom, we would not be able to do what we do.
Dunfermline Advice Hub is pleased to announce that we are a Safe Space! Safe Spaces are places where citizens and organisations agree to a set of values, ensuring that everyone is made to feel welcome, respected and safe. Fife Centre for Equalities who worked with us to refine the statement are aiming to learn from the Hub’s Safe Space commitment and work in partnership to encourage other organisations to adopt this approach
Everyone has seen sign in shops and services that say something along the lines of “We will not tolerate physical or verbal abuse towards our Staff”, and that’s quite correct- no one should ever work in a place where they will be abused.
However, let’s look at this from another perspective. This kind of statement presumes that citizens will be the instigators in a confrontation. What does someone do if it’s actually the staff member that is being disrespectful, inconsiderate or is not taking into account their wishes? Respect is a two-way street. Anyone who comes to the Hub needs to know that they will be valued and respected here, regardless of who they are, whether they are staff, volunteer, or citizen.
Our Safe Space Values
We always welcome feedback, and we want citizens to speak out if they feel they not being treated within the Safe Space Values. It’s so important, for us as workers and services, to know when we’re going wrong, and have the opportunity to correct that. However, that’s not always how it goes. It can be very difficult for someone to speak out, to be assertive or to articulate in the moment what’s wrong. Therefore, we’ve made it clear on our Safe Space Commitment posters on how you can do this using a variety of methods, including phone, social media, in person at another time, or email. All feedback and comments are treated with the strictest confidence, and we will always ensure that we will follow up on any complaints to everyone’s satisfaction.
Working together always presents us with challenges and difficulties, but the benefits always outweighs the negatives in this case. The Hub is all about reducing barriers, so we hope that with our Safe Space Values, we give everyone the opportunity to speak out, to learn from each other, to change our behaviour, and to respect others.
At the end of the summer holidays, we saw a continued increase in demand for emergency food. Here at the Hub, we supported F3, a holiday food project for families. We provided a pick up point for families who contacted F3 – by getting families to come here, we could make more families aware of the support available, and be able to signpost to the advice they needed.
Many of the families reported that it was becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet, and were already aware of the traditional support such as free school meals and school clothing grant. However, most who picked up a food parcel weren’t aware of the clothing bank, and that we had a “pay-as-you-feel” shop. Many parents benefited from getting some extra children’s clothes, extra school uniforms and clothes for themselves. And with the opportunity to pay, donate or create (a tidy space), many didn’t feel so bad taking free clothes, knowing they have contributed in some way.
Our Talking Wall is great! When you put up a suggestion, we make sure we do our best to get something done! Everything we have going on at the Hub is inspired by YOU and your ideas.
Anyone can start something new at the Hub – community groups, organisations, charities, social enterprises, the list is endless. The Hub belongs to everyone, and we want lots of people using it!
If you’d like to start something, pop along and have a chat with our Coordinator, or give us a call, 01383 432483.