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Social Innovation Council Quarterly Forum: June 2023 - summary

Thank you to everyone who came along to our June Quarterly Forum. This Quarterly Forum was focused around the theme “How can working in partnerships lead to changes in the ways support is delivered to individuals facing financial hardship?”

We started by sharing a poll asking how many attendees were already working in partnerships to deliver support, with the results showing:

  • 94% were already working in partnerships.

  • 4% were planning to in the future.

We then asked how many attendees were interested in establishing new partnerships, with 100% responding ‘yes’. We also asked attendees to share what types of organisations they already have partnerships with, and which types of partnerships they were looking to form in future, which you can view the results of below:

We then heard from our two speakers who have both been working in new partnerships to deliver new support or change the way they deliver support. Julie, Chief Executive at Glasspool, spoke about how they will be changing the way they deliver grants to individuals. In response to feedback and research, in January 2024 Glasspool will cease to deliver grants directly to individuals through its Essential Living Fund, and will establish the Flexible Frontline Fund. This aims to increase financial wellbeing and reduce financial distress for individuals by working with Grants Delivery Partners amongst frontline organisations to help deliver support and help people get items they need.

We then heard from Simon, Programme Lead at TSB, about how they are working with partners on several support initiatives for victims of domestic abuse. They spoke about how they partnered with the charity Hestia to become the first UK bank to offer safe spaces for victim survivors of domestic abuse, along with working closely with many other organisations/charities that aim to support domestic abuse victims. They also outlined their Emergency Flee Fund, and other services the bank offered to keep victims safe and financially secure, including their Access to Banking pilot with Women’s Aid, allowing individuals to open a bank account without standard forms of address verification. TSB have recently partnered with Lightning Reach, and we will be looking to feature the support they offer on the portal in the near future.

We then finished by getting attendees to split into two breakout rooms - one to share experiences about working in partnerships that they had already formed, and a second for attendees to discuss new partnerships they were looking to form. Breakout room 1 highlighted the positives already working in partnership with local and regional support organisations had brought them, particularly around building awareness and reaching new audiences. It was also raised that having a clear understanding of different partners' organisational cultures was important in delivering coherent support together. The group also discussed that when working in partnerships an internal reflection of processes and the ability to make change is important to make true progress on how support is provided, and that orgs should look beyond the day to day job and look at the wider picture.

Feedback in breakout room 2 included that attendees were looking to form partnerships so they could continue to deliver support in ways that met constantly increasing demand, and attendees were keen to make partnerships in particular with local organisations that could help them deliver support to people locally. Attendees also shared any challenges they had experienced with partnerships around communication, and that it was important to have an open process, a clear point of contact and clear reporting setups to help partnerships meet their shared goals.

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