Reaching Communities NI grant holders learn and develop

2 Dec 2014 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 10 Nov 2015

Microsoft Office document icon RCNI Year 6 Annual Report (2014)355.5 KB

The development and support programme for the Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities NI (RCNI) grant holders delivered by NICVA is now in its seventh year.

From the start of the programme until June 2014 the DSP has had 1778 participants from 64 organisations and during the last year May 2013 – June 2014, 111 participants have engaged in the programme. The programme provides training and support to help grant holders more effectively manage and deliver projects and achieve project and programme outcomes.

The RCNI annual evaluation was carried out in summer 2014 and 93% percent of grant holders reported that the programme had helped them to effectively manage and deliver their project while 86% said the programme had built the capacity of their organisation. In the last year we have delivered a range of training and support sessions to RCNI staff, volunteers and board members in a range of topics: Leadership and management, Training skills, Directors duties and running A Charitable Company, Winning contracts and Managing risk. This training and support has impacted the participating organisations in various ways, 86% reported more effective staff and 79% better networking with other organisations. Over half of those surveyed said that it had improved their monitoring and evaluation procedures, resulted in better project management and improved their service to users.

As part of the evaluation we also carried out five interviews to capture the learning journey of some of the organisations involved. Below Patricia Conway from  and Pat Lynch from Aware NI tell their story:

Patricia Conway, Creggan Education and Research Services

"Three of the An Creagan staff participated in the ILM Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and management. They have applied what they learnt and this has resulted in better organisation of the project, more confident staff, managers better able to manage and develop staff and generally helping the organisation to manage change more effectively. Six staff attended winning contracts training from which they have developed a “treasure trove” of templates that are regularly updated. They are now more organised and prepared for tenders, have staff profiles and are in a stronger position. The programme also directed them to where to look for new tenders which has been very useful."

Pat Lynch, Aware NI

"All of the training provided by NICVA was very relevant and practical for staff and they have been able to apply it to their work. Overall the training has helped staff and volunteers to do a better job thus improving the experience for service users. It also means that we are aware of all the relevant legislation and best practice. A large number of staff have participated in the training skills training which has provided a benchmark for delivery of training to a high standard. Training has become a large part of what our organisation does and so it is important that staff delivering training are professional and properly equipped to do so. The Winning contracts training has prepared us for tendering for PHA contracts, as well as developing an excellent resource for the future. It has helped us to be more organised and have all the necessary documentation in place."'s picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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