Positive Relationships - Innovation Funding in Action

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 A Positive Innovation

3SC were introduced to Trinity Winchester in 2016 at the ‘Women in the Criminal Justice System conference’ and following this the charity expressed an interest in working with 3SC and the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC). 3SC invited Trinity to attend a Grant and Innovation Workshop in July 2016. Following this the CRC worked with Trinity to develop their proposed idea and 3SC completed the due diligence.

The initial application for ‘Positive Relationships’ was submitted for Round 4 of the Grant and Innovation Fund in August 2016. 3SC met to complete the proposal assessment confirming the viability of the proposed project. Trinity were awarded the funding for the project and started delivery in February 2017. 3SC contract managed this project for the CRC via regular monthly contract performance management meetings which charted the progress of the delivery and also supported Trinity in finding solutions to any issues. 

Trinity is a local charity which works with around 600 homeless and vulnerable people in Winchester, Hampshire. Like many similar organisations it had traditionally relied on core grant funding from local authorities and NHS organisations who valued their experience and specialist knowledge but as councils and other statutory providers faced continuing budget cuts themselves they began to move towards commissioning – offering contracts to any provider that could deliver the required outcomes. However, such contracts tend to involve larger numbers of clients and wider geographical areas than local charities like Trinity can realistically bid for.

The opportunity to work with 3SC to offer Transforming Rehabilitation services to Hampshire and Isle of Wight CRC was a real opportunity for Trinity to test the water around tendering and commissioning. They had a strong product in Positive Relationships that they had developed and tested locally in Winchester Prison. They worked with the CRC to roll it out into the community – working with people who were on probation or in danger of a custodial sentence. Premised on Desistance Theory, the idea was that people in a strong, positive relationship with a partner would have a stake in society that would deter them from re-offending. Trinity applied for funding through the Innovation Fund and were successful in securing funding.

Trinity delivered four cycles of the 4 session Positive Relationships Programme in Winchester and then, based on feedback from case officers, took the programme further afield – running a cycle in Aldershot and an evening programme in Basingstoke to cater for people who were in employment. Outcomes were monitored and reported on a monthly basis by 3SC. Everything progressed well and regular monitoring ensured that any issues could be dealt with swiftly. It is too early to report on long-term outcomes, but the feedback from participants has been incredibly encouraging – especially as many people were initially attending the programme as a condition of their probation. Many of the case officers have requested that the programme keeps running, so we are hopeful that it will be re-commissioned once a full evaluation has taken place.

The success of Positive Relationships gave us Trinity confidence to bid for funding for a new programme focussing on mental health and wellbeing. Positive Minds is a group counselling programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with elements of guided mindfulness and opportunities for 1:1 counselling for people deemed most to benefit. Again, Trinity applied for this under the Innovation Fund and after great support from the CRC in designing the programme, they succeeded in securing funding. Positive Minds is currently in its mobilisation phase and it will go live in the Autumn 2017. This will really take Trinity out of its comfort-zone as all of the sessions will be delivered away from their Winchester base, in Basingstoke and Southampton - areas where the CRC perceives a greater need for this service.

The experience of bidding to the Innovation and Grant Funds and succeeding twice has been a constructive learning process for Trinity and a really positive experience for their organisation.

3SC continue to develop and strengthen the relationships with the Trinity Winchester team and the CRC is keeping them informed of upcoming Grant and Innovation Fund rounds and are happy to be working with them again on a new successful bid, ‘ Positive Minds’ which is a CBT focused group and 1;1 work for service users in Southampton and Basingstoke with delivery planned to start in September 2017.