Six years ago, at the launch of the Go Play fund, Parent Action For Safe Play (PASP) were elated to be successful in being awarded a fund that allowed us to provide play for plays sake and not hide it under another umbrella. This had an immediate impact on our organisation, not just in receiving the money for play, but the fund being administered by Inspiring Scotland and the support given by them and their Performance Advisors.
At the beginning we found it hard to embrace Inspiring Scotland’s approach to working with organisations which they support as it was completely alien to us. We had wrongly assumed Inspiring Scotland were like any other funder.
For the for the first month or so we found the situation trying as we felt like Inspiring Scotland were sitting on our shoulders through everything we did – and we were not used to that from a funder. Over time we realised that Inspiring Scotland were in fact guiding, supporting and strengthening our organisation, helping us to fully achieve our outcomes.
Over the last six years this has had a huge impact on every element of our work including:
Evaluation – We thought we were evaluating well but the training through Inspiring Scotland and Evaluation Support Scotland for senior staff and play team, showed us how to capture it and analyse it better. Through participating in this we identified diverse techniques, a better understanding of why we do things, what works and what we would change.
Organisational – Providing training, support and advice to make operational changes including: structural change, business planning, networking opportunities, and help to produce databases and deployment and marketing plans.
Profile – Providing training, support, advice and tools to enhance our confidence to enable us to raise our profile and deliver presentations – but this couldn’t be done without the evaluation to prove what we do works. We now have the confidence to raise the profile of play and the benefits it has for children, young people and our community.
Marketing – Inspiring Scotland has given us the skills to work well on social media and the web to spread our message to others.
Training and Pro Bono Support – Inspiring Scotland’s Pro Bono network has helped staff development in ways too numerous to mention but includes evaluation, play training, IT, as well as the additional support and funding to provide SVQ Level 3 in Play Work.
Performance Advisers – We have been lucky to have had a few advisors over our time with Inspiring Scotland all of which have gone above and beyond to support, guide and strengthen our project and individual staff. Their encouragement has been invaluable to us on a project and personal level, which could never be measured.
Sustainability – Through all of the above support and guidance we are now in a better position to be more confident in what we do and its value, and have more income generation strands from our play provision.
Of all these things, two stand above anything else:
- Firstly, our Performance Advisors, without whom none of our successes over the last six years could have been achieved; we have friends for life.
- Secondly, developing our Evaluation, has given us a greater understanding of our impact and how to prove it, which has given us more confidence as practitioners and as an organisation.
The grant we received from Inspiring Scotland would not have had the level of impact on our children and young people, our community, our staff or our organisation without the ongoing support, guidance, and training. (And whinging about deadlines, and constant emails from Inspiring Scotland Performance Advisors to whom we will be eternally grateful!)
Having now embraced this unfamiliar approach from a funder, we only wish there were more of the same.
Parent Action For Safe Play (PASP) is a community charity based in Coatbridge improving play, youth and sport services for local children and young people. PASP is funded through Go2Play, a fund run by Inspiring Scotland in partnership with Scottish Government.