Every new project is different. Therefore, we develop an individual programme of support in conjunction with the commissioning body. Here’s a few case studies showcasing some of our work with organisations at different places on their journey to spinning out.
”Stepping Out offered a very high level expert advice. They went beyond their call of duty. They spent so much time guiding mentoring and nurturing us. We are very happy with their continued communication and support.Heather Riley, Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust
”Stepping Out has been a boon to our efforts. Your consultant has made himself both respected and integral to us as I had hoped. Your consultancy has been fascinating, yet very focused and has helped greatly in getting people organised. Your consultant has quite literally been worth his weight in gold and it is difficult to imagine how we would have been able to respond to all need without him.Kevin Bond, CEO, NAViGO CIC
”Very knowledgeable, innovative organisation. enthusiastic and supportive as well as putting us onto some good contacts to learn about their experiences in setting up social enterprises.Dwayne Johnson, Director Adult Services, Halton Council
”Having been inspired by some of Craig's writing in Third Sector, we got in touch with Stepping Out to see if they'd be interested in carrying out our strategic review. They delivered an incredibly insightful piece of work and did so within a very tight timeframe. The team they put together was first class and well tailored to our work and circumstances; sharp, good humoured and able to strike the right balance between constructive criticism and supportive challenge, I can recommend Stepping Out most highly to other organisations.Rob Parkinson - Home-Start UK
”Stepping Out found us the right people for our assignment, were quick to grasp the subject matter and completed on time. As such I’m happy to recommend them and would certainly use them again.Simon Bell, Head of Marketing, CECS
“Stepping Out came in and listened to what we wanted to do. They quickly gained an excellent understanding of our business idea and set about helping assess the commercial viability and ultimately helped to realise that dream.” John Shaw.
Today, John Shaw is the Managing Director of Chiltern Rangers CIC. With his colleagues and an ever expanding group of volunteers and local people, they manage the woodlands owned by the Council.
John used to be a Council officer, managing a service which had been under review for 18 months. The Council had a difficult decision – woodland management was a discretionary spend, and whilst the woodland space was highly valued by the community, justifying the cost of the team of rangers was becoming increasingly difficult.
The Council could have cut the in-house service and tendered for woodland management services in the market. However the skills and passion of the team would be lost; the woodlands maintained without any activity to engage the community.
Head of Community Services, Elaine Jewell, had the foresight to consider an alternative option – supporting the team to develop a case for setting up as an independent social business.
Elaine says: “The Stepping Out team was excellent and helped us make a detailed and robust case for staff as entrepreneurs, fully capable of running social businesses with commitment and enthusiasm. This will enable us to ensure services continue outside of the Council in the true spirit of Localism.”
The direct cost of the service to the Council needed cutting, whilst maintaining quality, long term sustainable woodland management.
The council have granted a five year tapered contract as the basis for this new enterprise. The year on year reductions mean by Year 5 the Council will be spending close to 50% less on woodland management.
Chiltern Rangers supplement the lost income through increased team efficiency, generating new income streams including selling their services elsewhere, and by drawing in local people to contribute. Volunteers, social care clients and local businesses are all being offered exciting opportunities to cut, clear and construct. As a social enterprise involved in conservation and volunteering, there are a range of additional grants that Chiltern Rangers can access.
It’s a great model for a threatened Council service: Better value for money, highly motivated staff and an engaged community.