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Partnering for Impact

Four panellists discussing impact

Partnership working is at the heart of what we do at Catch22 – whether that’s working with programme participants, funders, commissioners or delivery partners. Whoever we’re working with, the aim is to build and deliver high quality, impactful services.

This week we hosted an event at the Microsoft Experience Centre to bring together current partners, potential future partners and others within the sector to explore what partnering for impact actually means.

We’ll be sharing thoughts from the event and workshops over the coming weeks, but to give a flavour:

  • Our Chair, Terry Duddy, opened the event, sharing his experience of working in senior roles in retail sector. He spoke about the Catch22 ethos of ‘heart of a charity, mindset of a business’, allowing us to deliver both efficiently and effectively.
  • Microsoft UK’s Social Impact lead, Charles Eales, spoke about the long-standing partnership we have with Microsoft and how we’ve iterated the Digital Edge programme together to ensure it’s relevant and impactful. Charles praised the creativity and adaptability of Catch22 colleagues, which is key to the partnership’s success. Nearly 1000 people have now completed Digital Edge!
  • Clare Dove CBE, VCSE Lead for the Crown Commercial Service gave a powerful speech about the vital role voluntary and community sector organisations play in public procurement; and how no sector – whether that be public, private or voluntary – has a monopoly on delivering impactful services.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was the panel of Catch22 programme participants – Blessing, Reece, Brandon, Willow and Rishi – who talked eloquently and passionately about the support they received from Catch22 and their ambitions for the future.

Attendees were put to work for our three workshop that took place, exploring some of the key aspects of partnerships:

  • Social Value: how can social value be effectively embedded within organisations so that initiatives have lasting impact? What can corporates do to build the capacity of the VCSE sector to deliver even great social value?
  • Data and Insights: how do we measure impact effectively? How can data be visualised and used to not only demonstrate impact, but also shape the programmes of the future?
  • Designing for Impact: how can programmes be designed with the user at the heart to make them as impactful as possible?

Thank you to our partners at Deloitte and PwC for co-chairing the workshops. We’ll be pulling together the key themes into thought pieces – so look out for those in the coming weeks!

Post-workshops, we heard from our Senior Venture Lead, Dave Hinton, alongside Ufi VocTech and two inspiring entrepreneurs who are part of our first GoodTech Ventures cohort. Supporting emerging ‘tech for good’ businesses is something we’re incredibly proud of at Catch22.

The final panel of the day was with three current partners – Shell UK, National Grid and Nominet – discussing what makes an impactful partnership and how they go about ensuring social impact programmes are meeting business goals alongside delivering the best outcome of participants. Lots of food for thought, including how truly effective partnerships are just that – with input from both sides, realistic expectations and a share sense of purpose.

Our CEO, Naomi Hulston, closed the event with a call to arms – let’s work together, be creative and do things different – but most importantly, let’s give the microphone those people who use our services and programmes and whose lives we try to positively impact.