Yellow Door (formerly Southampton Rape Crisis) was founded in 1985 and works across Southampton and western Hampshire in response to, and prevention of, sexual and domestic abuse. Yellow Door offers an array of support services for those affected by interpersonal abuse at any point in their lives, working with beneficiaries across the region of all ages and genders.
Yellow Door approached Cranfield Trust for external support with their merger with Southampton Women’s Aid (SWA). There was a tight timetable in order to mitigate any issues arising from funders or reduced opportunities to bid for funds in the transition period. The two charities had worked in partnership together for many years, and even from the same premises for the previous year. A detailed merger report had been prepared and a small Merger Project Board put together, but the charities wanted a volunteer management consultant to provide expert strategic support for the merged organisation, to assist with change management issues arising from the merger, to take advantage of the opportunity to enhance shared learning and best practices, and to maximise scope for savings and economies of scale.
Cranfield Trust volunteer consultant Chris Thompson put together a project steering group to help focus the teams on the merger itself to ensure that it happened by the end of their financial year, concentrating on communications and helping the two boards become one. meeting with the newly integrated staff team at all levels to complete an organisation review for the Trustees that fed into a proposal for the organisation’s restructure. As CEO Jo Pearce said: “It’s been so helpful to have somebody independent, with his business experience and acumen, taking an overview of what is working well and the areas we need to focus on for improvement. We are grateful to Chris for this invaluable support at a time of internal transition. Our staff fed back that they felt very positive about both the process and outcomes of this ’participation’ exercise. Chris had really thought about the current challenges in our sector and helped us to engage and motivate staff at every level in the next stages of our organisational development.”
In March 2020, Yellow Door found out that they had been named as one of the 10 winners of the 2020 GSK IMPACT Awards for their outstanding work improving health and wellbeing in their communities, out of 400+ applicants. Delighted, Jo commented: “I spoke with our GSK IMPACT Awards assessor about the amazing contribution Cranfield Trust have made over the past year in terms of supporting the merger and organisational redesign and I’m sure that will have contributed to their clearly very positive assessment of Yellow Door.”
Chris and the team at Cranfield Trust are proud to have had the privilege to contribute to Yellow Door’s success this year, and congratulate Yellow Door for such a significant achievement in what has been a very challenging year for the organisation.