I should probably introduce myself, my name is Rebecca and I have recently been appointed to the position of Business Development Manager for Enable. My role looks at the development of Enable as a whole and more specifically the development of our Apprenticeship provision. Before this I worked in the Economic Development Team at Gedling Borough Council. I studied Economics, Politics and International Relations at University and have a want to help individuals fulfil their potential.

So, I am coming to the end of my second month here at Enable and a noticeable trend in the work I have been doing seems to be the importance of taking a ‘joined up’ approach with our work in communities. I have worked closely with both public and third sector organisations, and it seems whilst we have the same aims we may not always be aware of referral routes to facilitate development. There are however ways and means of encouraging this.

Having not had much exposure to voluntary and community organisations, it really is positive to see just how many organisations there are all wanting to help and support people. Looking through Enable’s membership there are over 500 organisations across the region that support their local community in some way, no wonder it’s difficult to keep track! I recently had a meeting with one of our member organisations who support care leavers. We discovered that there were a number of ways Enable and our members can support them to do their work. So it’s not an impossible task.

Changes are being made in a number of other areas to support the initiative of a more joined up approach. Ofsted guidelines are now reflecting the importance of tracking to ensure learners are not disappearing off the radar. The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has local priority development areas to better understand where the support is needed. This, as always, is taking time to filter down in to the delivery of support.

Whilst it is important that we use a joined up approach we so often compete for funding to support current or new projects that this can be difficult. It isn’t however, impossible; with the ability to sub-contract support and work with project delivery partners there are many ways organisations can work better together in support of the end user. The ability to do this has the potential to offer better, more specialist support in a more concentrated location.

This where Enable, and our membership come in. I hope in my role as business development manager I can support our members and non-members to work collectively and use their specialism to better support individuals and communities. The people and communities we strive to help through the voluntary and community sector deserve the best service we can give them, which means working effectively together to deliver this.