Collaborators sent to the Tower

Nineteen potential collaborators from a range of voluntary and community groups in the North-West were confined to the Tower Museum, Derry, on 29 June to share and develop their experiences of working across organisational boundaries.

The Tower Museum event was organised by PESP (the Participation, Engagement and Skills Project), a community development project of North-West Community Network.

The workshop was delivered by CollaborationNI, a new programme to support partnerships and collaborative working in the voluntary and community sector. Funded by the Building Change Trust, CollaborationNI is itself a partnership between NICVA, CO3 and Stellar Leadership.

During the morning session of the workshop, delegates explored the different ways voluntary and community groups work together and considered the opportunities and challenges of collaborative working.

A wide range of options for working together was considered - from informal co-operation between groups to more formal partnership arrangements like sharing buildings, forming group structures and full mergers. 

After a lunchtime break in the sun, participants heard from Grace Henry, former director of Help the Aged in Northern Ireland, on planning for collaboration. Sharing her own experiences of the merger between Help the Aged and Age Concern, Grace focused on relationships and the vital importance of effective communication in any collaborative venture.

CollaborationNI has delivered a number of training events since its launch conference in March, including workshops on Scenario Planning, Negotiation Skills and Leading Beyond Authority.

There will be a Collaborative Excellence workshop in Belfast on 28 September 2011.

Upon request, training can also be developed and tailored to meet the specific needs of individual groups - and delivered to a group’s staff and/or board members as required.

To find out more about CollaborationNI contact Leeann Kelly, Programme Co-ordinator, or Andrew Talbot, Legal Adviser.

collaborationni partners

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