I wanted to let you know about the funds that we hve managed to raise so far and the lessons we have learned on the way,
+ One of the first small grants we received came about because of an interesting 'transformation' process in my home town. Kendal as part of Morecambe Bay ran some public meetings asking the community what they wanted the new NHS led Integrated Care Community Structures to focus on. At that time most of the focus of the ICC's was on keeping the friail elderly out of hospital. However in Kendal some people spoke up and said that if the focus was to be community we had to think about the needs of children and families too as this area as this area of need was very poorly underresourced. So with that clear mandate the new Kendal Lead GP for the ICC Dr Amy Lee. Someone had told Amy about I Matter and I was very touched when she decided to take one of her days off to drive us both up to meet with the local Cumbria wide ntegrated children's commissioning group. Our short presentation led to a small grant that allowed us to run our first pilot project with the local primary school supporting 5 families. And so those little seeds have grown to become a network that now includes 5 schools and a newly designed training course for lead proactitioners. So these little start up funds helped encourage us on
+ A second small but key step was a collaboration between the school leadership of our first primary school , Ghyllside School and the PTA. The school liked what they saw and made a decision to relocated a key staff member Gill Mason to the reception year where she was supported in taking forward an I Matter training option for parents of children in the reception year. This next step went really well and we were able to invest in the skills building of both staff and parents - and what a difference that made!
+ One of the next small grants we received came from the local community development fund. The south lakes community development lead had attended the ICC meetings and heard us talking about the work with our Ghyllside school. She invited me to a meeting and encouraged me to make an application and the committee specified that they would like us to use the grant to fund the training of professionals and parents connected to some other local schools. This project went ahead and we were delighted to have 4 staff members completing their I Matter Training at Settlebeck and Old Hutton primary schools
+ In order to go to the next stage, what we wanted to do was to work with the schools over a longer period on a development process so that we could build our own confidence and share the ideas with tthe wider staff communities. We were delighted to be successful in a small grants application to the John Horniman Quaker Trust who have helped us engage 5 local schools on the next stages of an I Matter Journey.
So we are starting to grasp this process and are discovering that what feels good about small grants is that we build a lot of good relationships on the way - and as that is what I Matter is all about this seems to us to be a key way forward.
Thanks for your encouragement
Hope you have a good weekend
" If I had understood these ideas before I could have been a lot more effective. In previous jobs I have usually been left to get on with it. Now I have a framework that helps me know what I am doing and why in my work with complex young people and their families" Jenny, Family support worker