Background

Richmond Carers Centre (RCC) was established in 2002. RCC works with unpaid carers of

any age living and caring in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. They provide a range of services to adult, young adults and young carers. Including advice, informal emotional support, mentoring, leisure and social activities, wellbeing services such as counselling and complimentary therapies, as well as training and learning opportunities.
 
Issue

RCC has worked with Cranfield Trust before; benefiting from the specialised business expertise in communication planning, mentoring and governance we provide. In September 2018, RCC completed a project reviewing their internal & external communications planning.

“This work has influenced a culture change which has been successfully adopted. There needed to be an internal culture change, ensuring the charity’s brand is consistently communicated externally.” - Melissa Wilks, CEO

Following this piece of work Cranfield Trust’s Project Manager and Melissa Wilks CEO jointly identified a need to improve governance/organisational risk management processes. There was a recognised need for the board of trustees to identify and respond to the most impactful risks, enabling them to manage the charity at a strategic level. The current risk management needed to highlight the key risks. It needed to be relevant to Trustees, enabling them to actively manage the real business risks and integrate this risk management into governance discussions and day to day operational activity.   

Solution

Melissa had an intense, one-off session with a Cranfield Trust volunteer. They worked through ideas to change the approach and organisational, in particular the Trustee’s, mind-set to assessing risk. The process was simplified and Melissa was upskilled and felt

empowered to lead the process herself. 
 
“I felt much clearer about a way forward and felt very comfortable talking to the board about proposing a shift in our approach, getting their ownership, and integrating risk and solutions into our operational practice” - Melissa Wilks, CEO

Impact

RCC gained tools to support the board to change its approach. This led to ensuring the identification and reduction of risk was fit for purpose within the organisation.  Creating a much simpler and integrated approach to risk management has ensured organisational health and ultimately the longevity of the organisation.
 
The trustees agreed a new risk assessment process. As a group, including staff, the top 5

organisational risks have been identified, together with actions to manage, control and reduce that risk. An assessment of impact and probability also integrated into discussion around risk. A process of deep diving into each risk at board meetings has also been implemented. The first of these discussions is scheduled for January 2019.

‘Change has happened and trustees feel ownership of it.’ - Melissa Wilks, CEO

"The key to this project was to Keep It Simple and intuitive and not become a slave to process. This meant valuable saved time could be spent on actually mitigating the key risks rather than defining them in any more detail" - Peter Whiting, Cranfield Volunteer Consultant

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Registered Charity No: 800072 | Scottish Charity No: SCO40299 | Company No: 2290789 | Telephone No: 01794 830338
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