BVSC Research are keen to hear from senior leaders in the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector in Birmingham to capture examples of how organisations have used a strengths-based approach to work over the past year and how this impacts their organisation, their staff & volunteers and the communities and individuals they serve.

Our aim is to produce and disseminate a report that brings together a cross-section of organisational reflections. We are hoping for between 10-15 individual pieces, written by leaders who want to share their experiences of 2021-2022, the highs and lows of the year and their hopes and fears for the future.

BVSC Research will take on an editing role, to create a single published report that will be widely disseminated to a range of key stakeholders.

We are looking for written reflections of around 500-1000 words each. We do not want to be too prescriptive, but some suggested areas of reflection include:  

  1. How has your organisation focused on strengths rather than deficits over the past year?
  2. Have you worked with other organisations, either from within the VCFSE, or from the public/private sectors? If so, what have you learnt from this?
  3. How does your organisation use a strengths-based approach to benefit the communities you seek to serve; what have been the key challenges for you in addressing this need and how have you overcome this?
  4. How have your staff and services ensured a focus on strengths? – how have you overcome the challenges and embraced the opportunities?
  5. What have you learnt as a leader? Have there been any particular highs or lows that you can look back on now?
  6. What are your hopes and fears for the future?

In terms of a writing style, we are hoping for personal reflections, written from you as a leader of your organisation. You are welcome to also provide brief examples or case studies if you think that will help to illustrate your story.

Some hints and tips if you need them, here are seven steps for how to present an effective story. It should:

  1. Tell a “real” and engaging story.
  2. Make the reader think about what’s happened.
  3. Promote understanding of the situation
  4. Encourage the reader to think and take a position.
  5. Portray actors in moments of decision or decisive action.
  6. Provide data about character, location, context, actions.
  7. Be relatively concise.

Alongside your written piece, we will also need:

  1. Your organisation's logo
  2. A good quality photograph of you that you are happy to be included in the publication
  3. Where possible photographs that illustrate the story

All submissions need to be received by the May 31st. We will aim to have the report published by June 30th.

Email submissions to [email protected]