LAST SUMMER WE ASKED OUR GOOD PRACTICE PARTNERS FOR FEEDBACK ON OUR TEAM’S APPROACH, WHAT THEY HAVE ACHIEVED THROUGH OUR SUPPORT, OUR IMPACT AREAS, AND HOW WE CAN IMPROVE OUR SUPPORT OFFER. WE ARE REALLY GRATEFUL TO THE PEOPLE WHO PROVIDED FEEDBACK. HERE WE SET OUT WHAT YOU TOLD US AND WHAT WE PLAN TO DO NEXT.
We received 46 individual responses from 43 organisations, most of whom are engaged in more than one of our seven projects. Most organisations through our support felt they had built knowledge around an area of work through training and networking events; over half felt connected with others; and organisations felt enabled to develop, deliver and design services.
Over 93% of those surveyed said that we supported them well or really well to adapt/develop their work to meet beneficiaries’ needs.
“Being a part of this project has been a game changer for us and has come at a very opportune moment. Thank you so much for all the wisdom your team share with us so freely and willingly.” Survey participant
From the survey we pulled out common threads and themes to group the feedback into concise findings.
WHAT WE DO WELL…
We have learnt that our 5 key impact areas are:
Immigration advice: Developing an immigration service and obtaining OISC accreditation, resulting in offering more efficient, effective and higher quality advice.
Experts by Experience: Growing in confidence and establishing EBE groups to ensure those with lived experience are at the heart of the work.
Design & adapting services: Adapting service provision during Covid through developing digital legal advice services, space for face to face services, user-led design, and increased access to food, data and interpreters for clients.
Organisational support: Strengthening resilience and stabilising governance.
Community building: Creating networks in the sector across the country and utilising online spaces for peer support.
“You are an essential part of the entire country’s support system and long may that continue.” Survey participant
WHERE WE CAN IMPROVE…
We have learnt that our 5 key improvement areas are:
Immigration advice: Increase the frequency of OISC training courses, expand capacity, and hold more courses around immigration advice and advocacy.
Service support: Offer more support with developing services and referral routes, creating a single referral form for partners.
Community building: Strengthen networking further by instigating more collaboration opportunities, developing Slack further, and bringing in more solicitors and immigration advisers for sharing best practice via sessions/a forum.
Communication: Reduce the jargon, reduce the reliance on IT skills such as Slack and Meet Up, curate the newsletter, and clarify what we do, how we help organisations, and how they can stay connected with us.
Internal operations: Reduce training access restrictions, diversify the team, and reduce the delay in responding to partners.
What is the action we have taken so far, and what is in the pipeline?
Immigration advice: We have been running additional courses and in collaboration with other sector organisations, covering subjects such as Human Trafficking (ATLEU), Labour Migration Law (Migrants At Work), Family Reunion (Islington Law Centre), and Country of Origin (Asylos & ARC Foundation). We have also set up new events called ‘Ask Us Anything’ where staff from the sector can meet our FIAP team and receive support and advice around giving immigration advice. Some of these sessions have been open, whilst others have focused on particular topics and have included talks from those in the sector, including the OISC.
Service support: There will be more opportunities to engage with Shifting Power work including an evolution of the Expert by Experience Groups Pilots which will run in April and May – this work aims to support organisations to set up Expert by Experience groups to improve services/ campaigning and advocacy and to support the development of facilitation skills. We will also be running a Design Hop (support to learn more about how to redesign your own services) with CAST later on in the year and are particularly interested in working with leaders with lived experience. Please get in touch with Lora Evans or Lizzie Hobbs for more information about these programmes.
Community building: We’re in the process of setting up a Hampshire Immigration Advice Group, which will allow organisations in Hampshire to connect, strengthen local networks, and learn more about the OISC and develop immigration advice services.
Communication: We continue to develop and send out our newsletter, trying to work on the use of jargon. We will continue to use Slack and Meet Up but we know some of these require skilling people up and would like people to get in touch with us if they need support to develop digital skills.
Internal operations: We have recruited two Experts by Experience into the team since the last survey. We are also really excited to be developing fixed-term work placements in the team for Experts by Experience (EBEs). We will co-design the roles which will be recruited for later in the year. Please get in touch with Pascale Gayford for more information. This will help to continue to diversify the team and support EBEs to develop skills relevant to the work of the GPP team.
Generally: From the five improvement areas, we have focused on how we can develop each area and what the tasks would look like. We’re currently in the process of developing workplans and actions to focus on developing our immigration training, streamlining service support, bridging community gaps, improving internal operations, and bringing clarity to communications.
We will share these findings and plans as we progress.
This month we have sent out the survey to more partners so that we can gather even more feedback and steer ourselves in the right direction.
Thanks to all respondents once again for finding the time to give us such valuable feedback – we look forward to developing our team’s work with you to help make an even better and more effective impact collectively in the sector.