Case studies > Group support > Management - The facilitator & Charities perspective

Robyn Peel's Action Learning Set

Image from the African Prisons Project
Logo of Merton and Sutton Mediation
Image from the HemiHelp

          African Prisons Project                   Merton and Sutton Mediation                            HemiHelp 

In 2012, as part of our Group Support service, we set up a series of Action Learning meetings for charity managers. The Action Learning sets focused on management issues and gave charity participants a chance to learn from the experience of others and find new ways of resolving problems in their own workplaces.

Robyn Peel, a trained coach, skilled facilitator and freelance consultant facilitated the meetings. We caught up with Robyn to find out why she was interested in taking part initially, this is what she said:

As someone with a background in charity management and currently a charity trustee I understand the challenges that many charities face. Many people work in small teams and are looking for different perspectives and ideas on their day-to-day challenges and concerns. The action learning process is a fantastic way for individuals to get clarity and input from supportive set members.

Once the series had come to an end, Robyn explained how she had found the experience:

It was great to work with such a committed and receptive bunch of individuals who were open and willing to share their challenges and take action to move forward between meetings.

Amongst the participants were: Alexander Mclean from African Prisons Project, a charity which aims to provide dignity and hope for men, women and children in African prisons through education, heathcare, justice and reintegration; Alice Doyle from HemiHelp, the national charity providing information and support for children and families affected by hemiplegia; and Anne Jones from  Merton and Sutton Mediation, a charity offering a community mediation service. Here is what they had to say about the Action Learning set.

Alexander found:

It was a good opportunity to gain feedback on issues affecting me from others in a similar position to me. The support in relation to fundraising and managing staff was particularly helpful.

Alice found:

The small group format worked well, allowing everyone to get their voice heard.

Similarly, Anne felt:

The continuity of those committed to all 3 meetings meant we built relationships of trust. As a result the Action Learning meetings created space to share experiences and receive support and ideas from people in similar situations.

We are delighted that this group of charities has decided to continue the relationships they have built and has plans to meet up again in the future.

All participating charities thought Robyn was an excellent facilitator and we would like to thank her in particular for her hard work in coordinating the meetings and supporting the charity participants throughout.

All four of the charities which responded to our evaluation survey, have said they would recommend the service to fellow small charities, so we may well be holding more of these meetings in the future.

Keep an eye out for details of future Group Support services in our monthly bulletins and on our Upcoming Events pages.

Group completed in February 2013

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