For almost 125 years the Corstorphine Public Hall Company has provided a focal meeting place for the community of this area in Edinburgh. Since 1980 the Corstorphine Youth and Community Centre (CYCC) has leased the hall as a community hub, with 25 different groups catering for all age groups. However, in 2013 a major fire destroyed the old building, forcing these groups to relocate to alternative venues, often outside the area.
The two organisations – landlord and tenant - had always worked together and they therefore continued to cooperate towards rebuilding the Hall after the fire, but it soon became apparent that the two-headed organisational structure was unsuitable for the modern circumstances. It took a lot of effort to bring the two organisations together but eventually the Corstorphine Community Centre (CCC) was formed. Chair of Trustees Tommy McLean, contacted Cranfield Trust for support in developing an inclusive and transparent governance structure which would make use of the skills available to the management committee, ensuring the charity could continue to deliver their valuable service to the local community in a time of great change.
Cranfield Trust Project Manager matched the charity with volunteer Grant MacLeod, who started the project by facilitating a Management Committee Review and assessment session, setting targets that were monitored throughout the consultancy exercise, so that it was possible to identify the considerable progress made. This included conducting a skills gap analysis, which helped each board member to understand their contribution to the organisation, a review of existing policies and procedures, and an assurance audit to ensure that the committee were all aware of the policies they now had and the ones they needed for the future of the charity. Grant said “I’ve really enjoyed working with the organisation and am hopeful my input has been helpful in enabling them to address the key aspects of their initial request to the Cranfield Trust."
Tommy was hugely appreciative of his support, saying “The project allowed us to look at our governance structure from a balanced perspective and identify the strengths and weaknesses and to work on both of these aspects. CCC is now also in a much better position with regard to the policies and procedures that govern the organisation.”
In summing up the charity’s achievements, Tommy said:
“We found this a very useful project and found Grant to be very knowledgeable and helpful (as well as a nice guy). Working with a volunteer from the Cranfield Trust was an extremely useful experience for our organisation and has greatly improved our overall governance. Our beneficiaries have benefitted from the organisation being more effective in our delivery of services.
“We have already had a couple of situations where we have had to refer to policies. Prior to the project, this could have caused us some difficulties, as we did not have a clear written policy. As a result of our evaluation of the work done we have identified that there are further policies we need to adopt, so we will be working on those in the near future.
“Thanks to The Cranfield Trust for working with Corstorphine Community Centre and the progress you have enabled us to make in the Governance of our organisation. It is much appreciated.”