This month's newsletter is edited by Rory Swinson Reid, our Research and Projects Officer.
Welcome to our April newsletter!
Well, it’s all happening, as the saying goes. David Cameron has gone to the Palace. Parliament has been dissolved. The General Election campaign is officially underway. In an era of increasing political uncertainty, the only certainty we have is that it’s going to be a very interesting couple of weeks.
That the Coalition Government, an unforeseen political collaboration brought about by the most dramatic of circumstances (as nail-bitingly documented in the recent Channel 4 drama), defied the odds and survived a full term is not something that should pass without receiving credit. Though the past five years have not been without their challenges, sometimes chaos is the only way for collaboration to see the light of day. As a civil servant wisely observes in Coalition, “So, in the shortest possible time, British politics is going to have to grow up. Do something it hasn’t done in peacetime in over 70 years – work together”.
With the increase of multi-party politics and the polls predicting another hung parliament, ‘working together’ is likely to remain the order of things for some time to come.
TOWARDS A NEW FUNDING ECOLOGY
With the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Big Lottery Fund, Collaborate will be launching ‘Supporting Social Change’, a paper addressing the funding ecology for social impact and change. This work is a starting point for further research into the role of the funding community in addressing social change initiatives. The launch on the 23rd of April will bring funders together to debate the changing modes of support for citizens, and the roles of the social, public and private sectors in society. To find out more about this work, please contact Adelaide, our Partnerships and Project Manager.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Collaborate is continuing to support collaborative citizens and build future services. To find out more about our work in Essex, East Anglia, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, the North-East, Scotland and beyond, please get in touch with Adelaide.
On the 22nd of April, we will be participating in the National Multiple Needs Summit, which will be hosted by Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM), a coalition of four national charities – Clinks, DrugScope, Homeless Link and Mind. La Toyah McAllister-Jones, our Programme Associate for Citizen Engagement, will be holding a workshop entitled: Why collaborating with the unusual suspects is the future of public services. If you have any questions about this event, please contact La Toyah at email@example.com
Our director Henry recently wrote for the Public Service Transformation Network, reflecting on the work of a group of Spanish health professionals to develop a better connected health system for local residents. Henry also collaborated with the Social Care Institute for Excellence’s Ewan King on an excellent article for The MJ about the need for collaboration to achieve quality services in times of budget cuts and continued economic uncertainty.
TO 2020… AND BEYOND!
In the middle of this interesting and often tumultuous decade, we find ourselves at the crossroads. With further cuts threatening to undermine the balancing act between stretched budgets and growing public demand for good services, now would be a good moment to reflect on what we hope and fear for 2020 and beyond.
Change is certainly in the air. With the devolution of health and social care to Greater Manchester and the creation of a 'northern powerhouse', few could argue otherwise. Though the main parties have said little of their plans for public service delivery after the election, this is without doubt the right time for engagement and more active debate about the future of 'services to the public'.
But for now, we at Collaborate would like to wish you all a very happy Easter. Thank you again for your continued interest and support in our work. We hope you all have a wonderful break.
Rory and the Collaborate team
Collaborative. Positive. Iterative. Honest. Creative.