This week’s guest blog is from Marie Clare Tully. As Chief Executive of Columba 1400, Marie Clare is responsible for driving the organisation’s developments and focusing on building strategic partnerships. Marie Clare was previously head of development at Columba 1400 and has been part of the Columban journey from the initial concept to the inspirational organisation that it is today.
During a planned growth phase, the team at Cyrenians recognised that it was vital to ensure that the organisation’s values held true both in terms of the services delivered and in how colleagues interacted with each other.
Columba 1400 helped to design a tailored, residential Values and Leadership Academy for Cyrenians, that aimed to look at how Cyrenians organisational values of Compassion, Respect, Integrity and Innovation resonated with the values of each individual member of staff.
In October 2014, I was invited to attend a breakfast hosted by Cyrenians, which focused on enhancing cross-sector partnership working. Cyrenians’ CEO, Ewan Aitken shared his vision for how, as third sector organisations, we can come together to support those who are in need of the vital work which so many like us are delivering across Scotland every day.
At our first meeting, Ewan and I committed to exploring ways in which Columba 1400 and Cyrenians could work together. As an organisation, they have a clear purpose which maintains their ethos to “never give up on anyone”. With that view on supporting his team directly, Ewan asked Columba 1400 to deliver value-based Leadership Academies for all Cyrenians staff.
At Columba 1400, we use our core values of awareness, focus, creativity, integrity, perseverance and service to allow participants to discover their own key skills and qualities.
We have now worked with the majority of Cyrenians staff and since their Columban experience, participants reported a sense of togetherness, belonging and increased self-awareness in how to best serve others. Cyrenians staff actively participate in organisational development and growth and have a clear sense of their own values and how this aligns with what they discovered at Columba 1400.
It is important that as third sector organisations we have the courage to know the difference in what it is we can do and when it is necessary to work in partnership to allow those to discover their full potential.
Third sector organisations can often be asked to be ‘all things to all people’, however cross-sector partnerships when managed well encourage organisations to focus on what it is they do, and what it is they do really well.
This affords the opportunity to identify where additional support is needed and to find key partners who can deliver the best additional support. These successful partnerships can only work if they are founded on strong and trusting relationships.
Marie Clare Tully
|Lucy Holroyd, Programme Development Manager for the Royal Edinburgh Community Gardens and Midlothian Community Hospital Gardens said this after her Columba experience at Ardoch:
“It’s a magical place – away from everything and seemingly designed to enable what was for me a transformative experience. The structure and pace of the programme allowed time to get acquainted more deeply with my own values, and to learn more about my colleagues across the organisation, discovering things in common and a feeling of knowing each person a little better.
It’s clear to me that those of us working at Cyrenians share a common sense of purpose, and are willing to bring a little bit of ourselves and our values into our work, which helps to shape the different environments we work in and better support the people we work with.”