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Monthly archives for June, 2015

Facilitating Felicitators

Posted on 29th June 2015 by
Brighton beach by Flickr user aphexlee - Impetus derivative

Photo Credit: Aphexlee via Compfight, cc
Modified by Impetus – logo / text box / crop

At the beginning of June, the whole Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS) staff team (except Sharon who was on leave) and Niall Drennan, a volunteer and member of our steering group, went up to Leicester for a conference put on by Befriending Networks and Vista, a Leicester-based charity dedicated to improving the lives of people with sight loss. The conference was entitled rather grandly, “Befriending: The Road to a Happier Future”.

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We need a Voluntary Sector Journal of Negative Results

Posted on 26th June 2015 by

The scientific community publishes what does not work and what did not work as expected,  as well as what did work. This simple and sensible idea allows those working in similar fields to avoid the pitfalls experienced by others. We need to adopt this idea in the voluntary sector.

My sister, a scientist, referred to the Journal of Negative Results once, and the idea has been coming back to me again and again recently. A quick Google search shows that there are at least three peer reviewed journals that provide an online, open access, peer-reviewed platform for publication and discussion of unexpected, controversial, negative results or those that don’t meet thresholds for being considered significant.

Too often we are asked, or feel pushed, to publish information about our huge successes, our amazing innovations and our significant impacts. But what about the times when things don’t work? Or they don’t work in the way you thought they would? Or things carried on much as before, but that in itself is a great outcome, albeit not a headline-grabbing one? Or where the work we’re doing is holding back a tide of regression in social conditions but it looks like we’re not achieving anything?

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Good Numbers

Posted on 4th June 2015 by
NCS manager Sean and volunteer Laura

NCS manager Sean and volunteer Laura working the spreadsheets

In my last blog, I mentioned being immersed in figures and reports. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Analysis of spreadsheets can bring to your attention things that are not immediately apparent, or suggest answers to questions.

For example, why do things always feel so busy?

Maybe because we had to deal with a 30% increase in referrals in 2014-15.

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Suddenly a voice came out of the dark

Posted on 3rd June 2015 by

sean-de-podesta icon

Sean de Podesta, Service Manager

For the last few weeks, I have been absorbed in databases and Excel workbooks compiling end-of-year figures and reports. Monitoring of activity is a seemingly endless task. Amid all this work, it occurred to me that there might be other ways of evaluating a good neighbour/befriending scheme – for example, by looking at what actually happens within it. What would a day in the life of an effective befriending scheme look like?

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10 years at NCS – Volunteer Coordinator reflects

Posted on 2nd June 2015 by

Last week I spoke to Naomi Lacey (Volunteer Coordinator) who has recently reached the 10 year mark of her work with the Neighbourhood Care Scheme. Some days prior to our conversation Sean de Podesta (Service Manager) presented Naomi with celebratory gifts from himself and the rest of the NCS team, and slices of delicious lemon drizzle cake (pictured below and made by Jo Ivens, CEO) were shared around the office.

NCS Naomi and Sean cutting cake

Considering that she has recently reached such a big milestone with Impetus, and that this week is Volunteers’ Week, we thought it would be a good idea to reflect on some of the aspects of Naomi’s job as Volunteer Coordinator. Following are the questions I asked and the responses she gave.

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