Gambia blog – Taking time out to work hard

Recently Just Ideas Director Helen Garforth travelled to the Gambia with charity Caplor Horizons to facilitate training with two different local organisations. In this first blog from the trip, Helen describes the motivation behind the journey and some of the stories that have inspired her from this project.

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What we did in 2019!

This year Just Ideas turns twelve years old! As we celebrate heading into our teenage years, we’re glad of this opportunity to take stock of where we are and where we want to be. We have been exploring how Just Ideas grows and evolves, and have worked with a number of new clients and partners as well as continued to develop existing partnerships and relationships. We’ve invested in some really helpful business coaching (thank you Charly Cox) to reflect on how we work as a team, and on what the future might hold. It’s a work in progress but has reinforced the value of carving out space to reflect and enter into this next phase consciously with our newly expanded team and freshly articulated mission:

We believe in supporting people to realise their power and voice. We value connecting people so they can create positive change locally and globally.

We are still a small core staff team but excitingly have begun to develop the Just Ideas Collaborative: working with a team of associates who are taking more of a developmental role – contributing to seeking out opportunities and taking a lead on projects. We’re working hard to consolidate this ‘offer’, making it a fun, fulfilling, flexible and nurturing space to be in while expanding the Just Ideas team and capacity. We are still all about working in partnership – currently working with WSA Community Consultants developing our health engagement and patient voice offer, and with IVAR supporting learning about community leadership. Watch this space! If you are interested in working with us, get in touch.

At the beginning of 2019 the team (with the support of partners, clients, associates and friends and family) coped amazingly with the challenge of Helen being out of action for a while following a brain haemorrhage. Helen is pretty much back to full capacity now but we think the experience has had a positive impact on the way we work – as individuals and a team, with people stepping into new and developing roles, and stepping back from others! The experience reinforced the benefits of the way Just Ideas works and the way this attracts clients and partners with shared values – working in partnership, strengths based, grounded in reality, valuing the people at the heart of everything.

 

A big thank you to Natalie Ganpatsingh (Nature Nurture) for the amazing artwork summing up our year.

Click here for a full summary of some of the things we’ve been up to.

Wild Workout at Countryfile Live!

Just Ideas’ Director Helen was delighted to lend her support – and sporting prowess – to our friends at Nature Nurture for the launch of their Wild Workout at Countryfile Live 2019 at Blenheim Palace!

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Co-creating an evaluation framework with UCL Centre for Co-production in Health Research

The UCL Centre for Co-production in Health Research exists to support health professionals, researchers and patients to unlock new ways to address long-standing health issues. Here Just Ideas’ Associate Leila Baker describes a recent blog by Centre co-creator Lizzie Cain summarises what the Centre has learned and gained from Just Ideas’ support.

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Reading Means Business on Climate Change – so do we!

Over 50 organisations including Just Ideas participated in the launch of Reading Business Climate Action Network on October 2nd, which will shape the development of the Reading Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2020-25.

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Understanding Measuring Change: a new blog by Local Trust

Local Trust recently published a blog featuring the recent series of events that they commissioned Just Ideas and WSA Community Consultants to develop and deliver.  We worked with participants from Big Local areas to demystify ‘evaluation’ by sharing experience of measuring change, and exploring a theory of change.

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