What works for setting up cross sector partnerships?
Two voluntary sector leaders taking part in our Building Health Partnerships: Self-care programme share what they think works when setting up cross-sector partnerships.
Dr Simon D Hankins
CEO, BS3 Community Development (formerly Southville Community Development Association)
‘Patience, building trust, respect, recognising the expertise that exists within each partner organisation, identifying and working to achieve mutual benefits, stumbling across people with the appropriate mind-sets and attitudes and people that you feel that you can work with and, overlaid with a huge dose of realism are, for me, all key components in establishing partnership working between the voluntary and public sectors.
From my experience at BS3 Community Development charity, to achieve a targeted, short-lived or enduring working relationship with parts of the public sector, it takes time, lots of time; it requires patience from all involved as we get to know one-another and build trust and confidence in each other, after all, why would you work with someone you don’t know or with an organisation that you have no idea how good a quality their services are? However, the rewards can be immense for all parties and particularly the people that you are setting-out to work with, support, help or whatever it is that is being developed; so it can be worth the effort as long as the statutory sector and VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) sector partners approach the development of the working relationship on an equal-voice and mutual respect basis.’
‘I think true partnership working is when you know that you both work as hard for your partner to succeed in the joint venture, as you do for your own organisation, because you know that failing impacts on you both!!’