This post was written by Ian Loynes, SCIL’s Chief Executive.
At its joint AGM in September, SCIL and the Hampshire Coalition of Disabled People (HCODP) agreed the proposal that both organisations should work more closely together in the future. This article explains why we want to do this and what we hope to achieve.
SCIL & HCODP were formed separately, in 1984 & 1990 with different but linked aims. However (like many organisations) SCIL & HCODP have both found it difficult to attract resources, MC members and other volunteers. As a result, both organisations increasingly share people (for example, staff with one organisation are commonly MC members on the other). In addition, both organisations share many other things like: members, premises, personnel, funding sources, similar projects etc. We worried that this might lead to confusion, duplication, tension, burn-out or conflict which we wanted to avoid.
An initial joint meeting agreed the need to work more closely together, but felt a full merger would be inappropriate. Since then DAIN and DOVE have all agreed that the issues apply equally to them as well. Jointly we submitted a funding proposal to enable the appointment of a joint worker to take these ideas forward and to enable all the organisations to survive and thrive in the future.
What should we achieve by working closely together:
- Streamline our structures and core costs
- Reduce number of hats we all wear
- Investigate joint memberships and joint MCs
- Work together on joint funding
- Develop a common strategy
- Eliminate duplication to free up resources
- Be more effective as a result
However, there are a number of things we also want to avoid:
- Losing our individual identities
- Compromise funding opportunities
- Weaken governance of organisations
- Confuse personnel or line management
- Do anything that is not in the interests of our aims or the rights of Disabled People
- Weaken our democratic accountability to Disabled People
So, what do you think?…If you have any views or ideas, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone or post your views to the usual address.