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This strategy day was themed around the big questions –

Why, what, where and how?

The key points are set out below, including action points, and finishing with a draft one page strategy map.


Why SWW Mind exists:

Responses to this question were open but grouped around a few key themes; support, mental health and wellbeing.  A word cloud of the responses is given below.

word cloud
Key points to note:
• Support should enable people to be better able to manage mental health in the future, building confidence and resilience;
• Support should be available early on and prevent deterioration of mental health;
• Anti-stigma work is vital;
• Wellbeing should be promoted, it’s not just about dealing with problems;
• Support should be innovative and engaging.

Two statements were considered to encapsulate the organisation’s mission:
Empowering individuals to access mental health and wellbeing support to thrive in their local communities.

Supporting your mental health and wellbeing - empowering you to thrive in our local community.

The first was seen as more comprehensive and possibly well suited to talking to other organisations and commissioners.  The second appears better at drawing a link between the organisation and people. It also flags the local aspect of SWW Mind.

Action - decide how you are going to describe the organisation to others

How useful was the last strategy?

Only one person in 11 knew the old strategy very well.  This is partly to do with turnover of trustees and senior staff, but it is important that the next strategy should be an active and working document. The strategy should include measurable targets so that the board can track progress.

How well did the organisation do on the last strategy?
The previous strategy had three key themes; stabilising core business, raising and diversifying income streams, and ensuring effective marketing and branding. The ratings of achievement vs expectations ran as follows:

 

Far exceeds

Exceeds

Equals

Short of

Far short of

Stabilise core business

   

50%

30%

20%

Raise and diversify income streams

 

10%

40%

50%

 

Effective marketing and branding

   

22%

67%

11%

What SWWMind does and what it should do

In the questionnaire people were given a list of activities from the last strategy document and asked to say whether the organisation should do more of this, carry on, or do less.  Of the nine activities listed, only one activity received a mark of “do less”, and even that only from one person. The majority of activities had a majority of people saying that there should be more of this. To do this well would require more income and better infrastructure.

A discussion was had about what activities Springfield Mind should undertake in the coming strategy. Whilst acknowledging the need to identify resources for some work, a set of activities was established that could make up the broad range of the organisation’s future work. All activities should meet one or more of the following tests:
• Does it promote/increase wellbeing?
• Does it improve resilience or build people’s skills?
• Does it raise awareness of mental health issues and tackles stigma?
• Does it raise unrestricted income in a way that is consistent with Springfield Mind’s values?


Screenshot 2022 07 01 154043
The following aspects of future activity were also identified:
• A desire to innovate – to be responsive to the community and ahead of the pack
• To be a community connector, working in partnership with other organisations
• To be part of and to make use of community assets
• To work where there is the most need and where the biggest impact can be made (e.g. in the gap young people face in between diagnosis and CAMHS)
• An ability to offer immediate access and support

Information and Advice
Offering immediate access and support includes responding sensitively to enquiries for help, even when SWWMind does not offer a service that someone is looking for.  To respond in a genuine, concerned and supportive manner is not easy but it is vital.  Currently there is no funding source that supports the provision of information or informal advice.  Neither is it wholly known how much staff time is currently given over to this.  Collecting information about time spent by staff and volunteers providing information, informal advice and support would be useful in establishing a baseline and demonstrating added value to funders/commissioners.  It would also provide a mechanism for safeguarding/rationalising the delivery of this work in the future.

Action - identify the current level of information and advice provision

How? - values as a promise
A discussion around values and ways of working gave some clear areas of agreement.  A simple belief underpins all thinking about the organisation’s activities; the person comes first.
It was recognised for many people SWWMind plays a role that is both first and last; the first line of support and the last hope when other services aren’t responding. This led to a promise to service users that all connected with SWWMind should act in accord with:
“We will listen to you and respond, treating you with respect, doing what we say we will do, and working in a high quality way”

Service user involvement
The need for increased service user involvement was compellingly and elegantly made. Without this, services and support can be misdirected, inappropriate, tokenistic and patronising. To live up to the desire to be an organisation which is respectful and empowering, Springfield Mind needs to co-produce its services and support. Those present made the following promise about the future operation of Springfield Mind:
“We will work with you through routine and meaningful service user engagement and involvement”

Action - Establish baseline expectations of service user involvement

Diversity and Inclusion

Whilst there is a variety of age and gender in the board and SMT, it was noted that all the people in the room were white.  Most of SWWMind’s services are 18+, but there is a move towards some children and young people’s services. SWWMind wants to develop into an organisation of and for a diverse range of people.  There was a recognition that it might take some time to get to that point, but that effective collaboration with community groups will ensure that SWWMind gets there.

Action – identify BAME focused community groups with whom skills sharing collaborations can work.
Action – identify priority actions to better support children and young people.

A voluntary sector organisation
There was a strong desire to ensure that value is put on the role that volunteers play in the organisation.  There is a commitment to ensuring high quality volunteering opportunities to harness people’s skills and also to provide a pathway for service users into paid roles.
Action – identify, support and advertise high quality volunteering opportunities

Where? (and under what name?)
There was strong agreement about the desire to clarify the area of operation, working across two counties in a way that is meaningful for service users.  To do this will require talking with other local Minds and working through Mind’s change of area protocol. This is underway and will be prioritised by the CEO.
Once this is completed, it will give a natural reason for rebranding and communicating the new name. This is a strong opportunity for the organisation to communicate key messages and requests.
Action – Complete process for change of name as outlined in the Mind Partnership Agreement
Action – Prepare key messages to be communicate alongside the rebrand

How? Internal processes
Though the focus on activities is very useful, it is important to ensure that they are underpinned by sound foundations to ensure long term delivery. SWWMind is committed to the following:
• Strong quality management
• Effective use of the MQM framework
• Inclusive working practices
• Co-production and meaningful engagement including on strategy and policies
• Effective monitoring of activity and outcomes
• Robust financial management
• Sustainable and diverse income streams

Action list

• Decide how you are going to describe the organisation to others
• Identify the current level of information and advice provision
• Establish baseline expectations of service user involvement
• Identify BAME focused community groups with whom skills sharing collaborations can work.
• Identify priority actions to better support children and young people.
• Identify, support and advertise high quality volunteering opportunities
• Complete process for change of name as outlined in the Mind Partnership Agreement.

Strategy