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Everyday Catch22 colleagues improve the lives of hundreds of people. But all too often, we’re simply dealing with challenges created elsewhere in the system. To make a significant, long term difference, we need to look beyond individuals and reform public services themselves.

We believe that currently our social care systems, employment systems, health and justice systems are too far removed from the people they serve. They are often bureaucractic, transactional, and end up harming the people who need the most from them. Our frontline experience means that we know what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to change.

Good public services

A strong society is unachievable without functioning public services. Our vision for public services is a system that is more human, unlocks capacity in society and champions local accountability.

We believe in services that are built around people, not processes (we call this ‘being more human’), that involve the community through volunteering (unlocking capacity) and that deliver local accountability through different governance models.

Today we seek to reform the system in five different ways:

1. Building new governance structures to build the capacity of smaller organisations
2. Designing and delivering innovative services that produce better outcomes
3. Collaborating with commissioners and service users to design new ways of working
4. Providing a platform for smaller charities that share our social mission and Public service reform
5. Partnering in new ways with businesses to deliver social outcomes

Together, these give us the evidence base we need to drive our endgame: government adoption of better public services.


Collaborative leadership

As a large charity we believe we have a responsibility. Where we have the scale and capacity, we should be at the forefront of transforming the landscape and enabling change. It’s not just about money and contracts, it’s also about collaborating and being creative. If we all believe in a good society, we should be using our assets and networks for the ‘greater good’.

Sometimes that might mean stepping back from the spotlight and into a more supportive role – nurturing or building a platform for others who share our vision but perhaps not our resources. Smaller scale charities, for example, might have great ideas and scalable models but lack the capacity to bid competitively, or lack the networks and resources to be seen and heard in the right places. They should not be left to sink or swim. Sometimes they just need a ‘leg-up’.

Catch22 takes its responsibility seriously. In 2015 we brought Only Connect, the criminal justice charity, into our group. In 2017 we brought community charity Community Links into our group. Both organisations were established charities, but just needed a ‘leg-up.’ Both remain independent charities with their own boards, but are part of the Catch22 group.

We also support and incubate start up organisations or individuals with the ambition to build a strong society and reform the system. In 2016 we sponsored Charlie Howard as our first Catch22 Fellow. We are currently incubating three organisations:

Unlocked Graduates: a unique two-year leadership development programme aimed at training graduates to become inspirational and supportive leaders.

The Lighthouse: The Lighthouse will be a children’s home with an additional education provision designed to improve attainment and address the complex needs of children who grow up in care.

The Difference: a leadership development programme connecting exceptional teachers to schools for excluded children and create a community of leaders to drive change throughout Britain’s education system.