Partnership and Mediation

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Working with other groups and organisations can bring huge benefits to all involved. The development and management of these relationships can also sometimes bring its own challenges! Community Action Norfolk can work through these alongside you.

We are available to offer advice and guidance at every stage, from the initial idea to helping you develop partnerships and providing advice on how to structure and build on them.

As an organisation our aim is to build a stronger, fairer Norfolk through support, empowerment and strategic partnership with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. Through our work on VCS Engage alongside our partner Momentum(Norfolk) we are working to support collaboration within the wider voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. There is an appetite within the sector to work more closely together to reduce costs, provide a wider range of activities or offer more joined-up services for beneficiaries. Funders are also increasingly looking for evidence of partnership working when making decisions about funding.  

Top tips for partnership working:

  • Set clear expectations
  • Be upfront about what each side is getting out of the partnership
  • Identify, manage and share the risks
  • Have clear lines of communication
  • Maintain honest, open, continuing dialogue

To put our commitment to partnership into practice we are putting ourselves forward as a potential lead partner under the Big Lottery’s Building Better Opportunities programme.

We also recognise that occasionally things can go wrong, whether that is at a community level or between larger service providers. We know this can be difficult for all involved, particularly when people are passionate about the issues and the work that they do. As part of the national ACRE network we have access to resources, expertise and advice which can be especially helpful when dealing with any particularly knotty issues. Tackling difficulties early and sensitively is crucial; we have a track record of providing mediation support between organisations and can act as an impartial chair to help groups find a way forward together.