In the Autumn of 2014, the Trustees and senior management team undertook a strategic review, facilitated by Worcester Bosch who had adopted The Myriad Centre as its charity for a two year period. Central to the outcomes of the strategic review was that, in order to define the Centre’s medium and long term planning, it was essential to fully understand and clearly demonstrate:
- the evidence of need for the services it seeks to provide;
- the challenges the organisation will face in the way services are commissioned, funded and delivered;
- how the ’market place’ for those services is changing;
- the needs, wants, aspirations and challenges faced by all the stakeholders who are directly involved in shaping its future.
- that funding applications will need to become an integral part of The Myriad Centre’s strategic and business plans.
The Trustees and the senior management team agreed a twelve-month research project be undertaken (July 2015-July 2016) to help find the answers to these questions. This was generously funded through the fundraising activities of Worcester Bosch Group and grant support from the Bransford Trust and the Eveson Trust. The research was carried out by a student studying for an MSc in Applied Psychology at the University of Worcester.
Following quantitative and qualitative research the following key findings were identified:
- Participants recruited into the study expressed concerns about the lack of cohesion regarding communication. There is also dearth of information and guidance about future provision and funding available to them from both local authorities and service providers. Communication between parties involved in care for disabled individuals has a profound impact on the quality of service between the parties involved.
- Moving to independent living was a goal for the majority of the carers who participated in the project but at the time of the research none had any specific plans in place.
- Participants are concerned that there will be a large gap in available funding in the future but are not fully aware of the extent of the implications of this.
- Participants wish to see more meaningful activities available from the service provider. Some preference for sports-like activities was expressed; however in some instances there was a struggle to determine what other areas they would wish to see.
- Participants generally do not appreciate their holistic needs and wants, but generally look at services that are available to them thus limiting their hopes and aspirations.
- Fundraising within third sector organisations faces major challenges including high staff turnover, a lack of qualified work force, fragility of resources, and as a result return on investment is low.
- Around 43% of income generated by charitable organisations in the health and social care sector in Worcestershire comes from effective fundraising campaigns and successful bids; nonetheless due to the current situation (increased applications and a very competitive market place) new strategies ought to be implemented to enhance application success rate.
The Trustees and the senior management team embraced the findings of the research project. They assessed ways in which The Myriad Centre is able to move towards ensuring that it is prepared and equipped to address the areas raised. The immediate outcomes are:
- The post of Funding Development Officer has been created and has an integral role in shaping and delivering the Centre’s fundraising policy, meeting the strategic aims and operational plans for Myriad.
- Policies and procedures have been reviewed and enhanced to create a more holistic approach to all communication channels, working towards a better understanding by all parties of the needs of those individuals in our care and to provide support for their carers.
- A review was undertaken to define and implement a broader programme of increased activities to ensure each individual has a tailored pathway that provides encouragement and development.
- The Myriad Centre’s strategic plan is continually reviewed to ensure the best possible cohesive and targeted approach is adopted to address and resolve, where possible, as many of the research findings as possible.
- The research determined that the Myriad Centre has a pivotal role to play in the care and support of young people with PMLD by offering a standard and variety of care options that will ensure that our clearly stated values of accessibility, inclusivity, innovation, respect and enablement inform everything we do for our people both individually and collectively. It also demonstrated that Myriad continues to be recognised for being highly specialised in its field and far sighted in its approach: open, professional, trusted and welcoming.