This is the first of our case studies showing the difference Wellbeing Our Way is making for some of the organisations involved in the programme. Here, a programme participant reflects on how Wellbeing Our Way has enabled him to become a more influential change agent within his organisation – with inspiring results.
“Attending Wellbeing Our Way’s peer support and demonstrating impact POW WOWs (shared learning workshops) has given me the tools and language to overcome the challenges faced by my organisation in providing valuable face to face peer support. By learning from others experience and hearing how they have dealt with certain barriers I have been able to find my own solutions. We are now at an exciting period of development in this area of work and I look forward to the new challenges that lie ahead thanks to the experience, confidence and knowledge I have gained from these meetings.”
S attended Wellbeing Our Way’s peer support and theory of change POW WOWs (shared learning workshops) in the hope that learning from other organisations’ experiences would strengthen his influencing attempts within his organisation. In particular, this was around securing buy-in from senior management and trustees - by effectively mitigating risks - so that the necessary funding and time to arrange a young people’s summer camp could be secured.
S was particularly interested to learn from the Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA) around their experiences of developing their Freedom to Be camp. S was able to hear from a young camp attendee, a young camp leader and a member of staff which provided valuable and varied perspectives to share within his organisation.
S found that the workshop reinforced his own belief in the value of peer support and renewed his energy to try to make this happen within his own organisation. The young facilitators from CHIVA gave clear and persuasive descriptions of the difference a summer camp can make to young people’s lives, which S has been able to share with his senior management team and trustees.
Since the workshop, S has been exploring opportunities to partner with another organisation to minimise the staffing and financial resource needed to deliver a programme of camps. The idea is that S’s organisation will engage the young attendees and volunteers and their partner organisation would provide training for the volunteers and facilitate the camp itself.
Following a meeting with a potential partner, S’s organisation is now in the early stages of planning to re-launch a camp programme. Working in partnership and with a new internal structure should allow for a much greater success. It has been agreed that all costs will be split between the two organisations. S has discussed this with the director of fundraising who is confident that this would be a very attractive activity to external funders. S has also been meeting with others across the organisation to discuss the capacity for promotion and advertising.
Through conversations with the partnership organisation S has also been able to demonstrate the impact of this activity using pre-existing evidence - this includes a study conducted by Yale University. As a result S is now able to demonstrate that this way of working will allow the organisation to undertake this activity with less financial cost and staff resource but still have a higher impact than previous attempts at this form of peer support.
S is planning to work with the volunteers to develop a theory of change showing the difference they would like the summer camp to make to the young people. S hopes that this approach, which he was introduced to in the demonstrating impact POW WOW, will help to engage the volunteers in the development of the camp, ensuring that they develop a sense of owning the project, and helping to overcome any resistance to this change in the way in which the organisation supports young people.
The next case study, demonstrating the change the Wellbeing Our Way programme has caused, will be published tomorrow.