In 2015, Cripplegate Foundation launched its 5-year Development Partner Programme to explore how a funder, together with some of its funded partners, could work more closely together to make a deeper impact in improving lives for Islington residents.
Initially the Development Partners involved five organisations, Claremont Project, Company Three, Cripplegate Foundation, Help on Your Doorstep and The Parent House. Later in the process, a sixth (unfunded) partner, the London Borough of Islington’s Homes and Communities Team, joined us.
The early part of the programme was spent getting to know one another and our different areas of work. This was invaluable in building trust and understanding. It also meant we were quickly able to discover a common passion for improving the way people are treated by voluntary and public services so that individuals feel they matter and have a voice in the support they receive and decisions that affect them.
“We wanted to co-develop an approach in which people matter” – Anne | Programme Director | Cripplegate Foundation
By having the space to think and learn together we were able to identify shared priorities in our way of working which we described in an approach called “How Not What”, the legacy of which has been assets and training which was offered across Islington services and sectors, with an aim to increase the quality of relationship and engagement experienced by those who use public services. This experience was fruitful for partners and proved valuable in output, so we were keen to build on this.
How Not What
After five years of working together, we put together a website sharing our journey and learning as a free resource for anyone who believes it’s time to put quality relationships at the heart of our services.
How Not What, a key outcome of our Development Partner programme, involves six organisations in Islington, who believe it’s not just what we do that really matters, but HOW we do it. We try to put relationships at the heart of everything we do. We call this ‘relational practice’, or How Not What.’
In addition to Cripplegate Foundation, these organisations are Claremont Project, Company Three, Help on Your Doorstep, The Parent House, and the London Borough of Islington’s Homes and Communities Team.
The website offers a wealth of resources, including ideas, films, training resources and conversation-starters with anyone who wants to embed this practice in their own work.
If you would like to have a conversation about this work please get in touch!