#EngageIs10 - Staff Insights
15/04/2021 (Anniversary Post )
For this week’s staff recollection we’re turning to the management team and hearing from Karen McIntyre, who leads the CAVA team as the Community and Partnership Manager and Jacqueline Carroll, Head of Finance.
Both have lead their teams through challenging times and noted changes to their roles and the sector. Karen explains how the role differed from her initial expectations when she joined Engage in 2017, “very quickly it became obvious that the focus for my collaborative work would include financial inclusion, health, and young people; 3 quite different areas of work but all interconnected and equally important.” Karen is now chair of Renfrewshire Affordable Credit Alliance, co-chairs Renfrewshire HSCP Strategic Planning Group (SPG) and is on the steering group for Our Children and is proud of the way in which the planning groups have been able to develop transparently and openly amongst members.
Jacqueline is also proud of the development she has seen, though it is in a different strand of Engage’s work. Her greatest achievement over her time with Engage, its whole 10 years, has been the development of the Payroll Services. As we saw last week with Amy, Jacqueline has invested in her team in terms of skills development and support, and the payroll services have gone from strength to strength as a result.
As has been a theme with our recollections thus far it is the people that leave an impact on our team. For Jacqueline the best part of the work is “listening to people’s or organisations’ problems and finding solutions to help. Finance/ payroll jargon can overwhelm people, I like to simplify it so it’s understandable for all.”
Karen noted that the most challenging element of the CAVA work can be the changes to funding, and the impact that has on the people who deliver these services. She explained that changes in funding streams “bring a lot of uncertainty to the sector. This can often be exhausting for our members; especially if projects or service delivery which were making good progress, suddenly have to change and adapt. It’s that fleet of foot approach that sets the voluntary sector apart and it can be a blessing and burden all at the same time.”
Despite these challenges Engage have maintained support for the sector and, as we mentioned in our first blog, have supported groups to secure well over £3.7 million in small local and national funds over our 10 years!
And we have adapted and risen to the challenges! In terms of funding we have recently updated the way in which we source funders for our members. We will still be running our 1-2-1 funding searches but will be using a range of resource to discover appropriate funders for projects and will now also be launching a monthly Zoom drop-in funding session. For Karen, this adaptability, and being open to learning new strategies and ways of working, is the best thing about the work with Engage and the sector. She explained that "my favourite element in my role with Engage is that I am constantly learning. Be it challenges faced by a particular community group, or best practice, or developing new ideas and interventions, I pick up something new every day. And that’s incredibly enriching for me."
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To see an overview of the funding and financing successes over the years click here and look out for information on funding sources in our e-alerts and social media, or book a free session now firstname.lastname@example.org