By executing this strategy within the guardrails set out below and staying true to our values, we can achieve the positive impact on our service users and staff and therefore achieve our mission and overall vision.
Our last business strategy (2019-2022) was written on the eve of the COVID-19 outbreak, a pandemic that none of us could have predicted. We weathered that storm, with many of our colleagues and services continuing undeterred throughout, and redoubling efforts in some areas such as schools or prisons in order to maintain support for some of the most vulnerable communities.
In many ways, the world will never be the same after that experience. We are faced with the long tail of the collective trauma our communities have lived through, the damage to mental and physical health (especially among the most vulnerable in society), and the acceleration of trends in the use of technology and the future of work.
This strategy is being written at a profoundly challenging time, with the shockwaves of war being felt across the European continent and the world, with ever-febrile domestic and international politics, and some of the most challenging economic conditions faced in a generation. Skyrocketing inflation, stagnant growth and the rising cost of living are set to feature over the next period. But times are always ‘uncertain’.
These pressures will place enormous strain on our already creaking public systems over the coming years. Many of them have suffered through years of underinvestment. We have seen just how deeply COVID-19 affected children’s social care, where thresholds for intervention were already rising; or how it impacted the children from poorer families who were digitally excluded or already behind on their education; or how it normalised locking down prisoners for 23 hours a day, inhibiting the prospects for purposeful activity and rehabilitation.
As we stare down the next horizon, we do so with foresight and awareness of the challenges people and communities will face, and the threats that we might encounter as an organisation. But our resolve is stronger than ever, with the organisation in a solid position, well placed to deliver the mission of building resilience and aspiration in people and communities. Now, perhaps more than ever, Catch22 must use its platform to improve the life chances for people across the country.
– Naomi Hulston, CEO