It’s been another really busy year here at Step Together; with a number of changes in the team. We have said goodbye to some long-standing members of staff, but also welcomed new people to the organisation.
What hasn’t changed, however, is our focus on supporting our clients to achieve positive outcomes, and the determination of our incredible Volunteer Project Managers (VPMs) to make our clients’ aspirations a reality, even when they doubt themselves. Our VPMs are such an asset and this year they have actively supported almost 600 clients towards many meaningful volunteer placements as well as other positive outcomes such as places at college or university, or paid employment and apprenticeships.
As an organisation we have also begun to understand and recognise that many of our clients benefit from an improved sense of wellbeing and other positive outcomes thanks particularly to the intensive one-to-one support we give our clients and our person-centred way of working. With this in mind we are excited to share that over the coming year we are working towards improved ways to capture these wonderful outcomes; we hope in turn this will better inform the service we offer so we can continue to support many more clients.
There have been new developments across all of our programmes; alongside our one-to-one work we have begun develop a peer mentoring project for young people in Bristol and for our Manchester clients with criminal convictions, next year we start a new 6 week group course called “For My Future”, aimed at supporting individuals with their future goals and building a life away from the criminal justice system. We have also added to our WIS & Veteran Programme with a new VPM post in the East of England regions to support veterans in this area with more direct one-to-one support and improving our coverage across England and Scotland.
In July we bade farewell to Josie Stewart, who had been Head of Programmes and contributed so much to the organisation; she left with heartfelt thanks and best wishes for her future endeavours. In August Steve Welsher joined us to take up the Head of Programmes post and has already made a significant impact, notably in improving operational processes and procedures, as well as identifying development opportunities for each programme.
To ensure our staff team is appropriately qualified, and to thank everyone for their efforts throughout the year, a full staff training session was held in Manchester at the end of November covering Mental Health First Aid. This topic is extremely relevant to our clients and our work, and it is important that our staff team is equipped to support clients. We also took the opportunity to have an early Christmas celebration as a full team!
We have ambitious plans for the next few years, all of which will be consolidated in a new strategy for the organisation in early 2020. The charitable sector continues to face challenging and uncertain times and now, more than ever, our supporters can, and do, make a difference to how many people we are able to support. We are incredibly grateful for your ongoing commitment to supporting Step Together and look forward to bringing you further news of our developments and impact as we go through 2020. If you would like any further information on our programmes or our work and fundraising, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
We wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas and New Year.