New Year Ponderings…

As the New Year settles in, it may seem that the whole world is in disarray. Brexit looming, NHS along with most public services are at breaking point, and don’t even get me started with the whole president elect! It’s not right, there is no doubt about that, and as an organisation we do all we can to campaign against cuts in the public sector, but the upcoming year will undoubtedly provide our services with some extreme challenges. At times like these that it becomes easiest to neglect the seemingly mundane chores of recording, and investing in systems like CORS to do this. Sometimes however, it is these tasks that make our futures brighter. With this in mind, here at Gravitas we have been having a New Year catch up, a chance to tidy up our bug/suggestions list that has been long overdue, and create a strategy for development over the year ahead.

Sir Stuart Etherington, the Chief Executive of the NCVO has pointed out that it may well have to be volunteers that enable the public sector to cope with increasing demands coupled with reducing budgets. He reminds us that volunteers are not just unpaid labour, but can be well trained and highly dedicated individuals that value the rewards they get for filling their spare time with meaningful endeavour.

If you are a user of our system you will be only too aware that we continually encourage your suggestions for improvement. Towards the end of last year, this led to the implementation of a major piece of development work that integrated the records of service users that move on within your service to become in-house volunteers. This work might not have brought obvious impact to our system users straight away (apart from them not having to enter that person’s details twice in separate systems), but it laid the ground for future work that we knew would be important to our clients.

We are well aware that many of our services use volunteering, both as a method for improving mental wellbeing through increasing self-esteem, but also as a route to enhancing the probability of employment. For these reasons we saw the benefit of linking the service user through the two systems (outcome recording and volunteer coordinating) within CORS, whilst maintaining separate records, offering the opportunity to witness their progress as a singular story.

Please contact Karen if you would like to talk further about what benefit these changes may have for your service or join in with the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

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