On 21st June, we invited partners from both the Glasgow and Falkirk sites to meet us to celebrate our work together so far, but also to discuss the potential for collaboration in the future. In advance we asked each partner to provide some thoughts in writing. Here are some of the thoughts and reflections that were presented:
Reflecting on the role of Iriss:
As alluded to throughout this report, working with Iriss has been a rewarding and positive experience for everyone involved. From the initial development of the project ideas, to identification of methods and development of questions Iriss have proven to be professional, driven and experienced. They have enabled the progress of the project from day one, providing a strategic overview which has perfectly matched with the local knowledge and outlooks of the working group (Falkirk).
Without the input from IRISS the process will be much slower due to the historical divisions and problems encountered by this community. Independent facilitation will bring a neutral approach and encourage people to speak their views more comfortably. Our experience of working with IRISS has been very positive indeed. It has supported us: (1) By guiding discussions and giving us the space to talk openly and honestly (2) By supporting us to believe in our vision for the future of Milton (Glasgow).
Reflecting on changes in relationships with each other:
The working group has drawn together a wealth of specialist knowledge from the public, private, third sectors alongside people in the community, with the members and their key partners having experience in connecting and effecting transformational collaboration between people, organisations and systems….We would seek to combine their local knowledge with external knowledge of the systems that affect their areas, sharing the constraints, whether they are technical, financial or otherwise, that could affect the plans whilst working together to find the best solutions to the identified issues. By drawing together the working group, we feel we have already taken a big step towards achieving transformational change. Despite the issues that have emerged through different stages of the project to date, there has continued to be a commitment from those involved to work together and try and help Maddiston and Rumford. Through these connections, we feel transformational change is more than possible (Falkirk).
There is now a stronger connection between local residents and service providers in terms of better understanding local issues and concerns, and an increased opportunity to share ideas and opinions and discuss how problems might be addressed…. This process has changed the way that organisations respond to the needs and issues being faced by local residents. There is now perhaps an increased awareness and a greater level of trust established (Glasgow).
We had a great chat on the day and we were impressed by the strength of each partnership. It was a difficult decision to make, but we used the written submissions, the discussion on the day as well as our experience of partnership working thus far to come to an agreement about which area afforded the greatest potential for us to meet both local outcomes and our organisational outcomes together.
We’re delighted to say that we will be working with the Falkirk site until March 2017. We’ve also agreed to provide light touch support to the partnership in Glasgow.
More updates soon.