Well, what a difference a year makes!

blog author cathThis time last year, after our 2012 survey of local Compacts was published, I wrote the blog ‘In defence of the North East'. There had been a noticeable lack of responses to the survey from the North East, with only 5 of the 12 local Compacts in the region represented.

The North East was also one of two regions to have the most negative indicators - according to the figures; respondents felt that the voluntary and community and public sectors weren’t engaged with their local Compact.

Well, what a difference a year makes!

This year, all twelve local Compact areas in the North East were represented and perceptions around Compact implementation and effectiveness have increased considerably.

Last year, 63% of respondents to the survey agreed that the Compact was important. This year, that figure had risen to 94%.

Again, in 2012, 28% of respondents from the North East felt that implementation of the Compact was improving - compared to 61% of this year’s respondents from the region.

Regarding levels of engagement with the Compact, last year only 21% of respondents felt that the voluntary sector in the North East were actively engaged with their local Compact, and 28% of respondents thought the Public Sector were actively engaged. This year those figures are 44% and 49% respectively.

The North East Compact Network allows representatives from the different local Compacts across the region to come together and share their experiences. The Network has been meeting quarterly with regular email exchanges in between, and all 12 areas are represented. This has provided a great opportunity to network, share ideas and gather information.

A document compiling some of the Compact and partnership working activities across the region was produced and published to showcase some of the excellent work being done in the North East.

There are some great examples in our case study library of how the increased awareness and commitment to the Compact in the region has had a positive impact locally.

We have published 2 case studies about projects in Sunderland – one explored their e-learning programme, which teaches new staff about their local Compact. This project was also shortlisted for a Compact Award in 2012 for its innovative approach to raising the profile of the Sunderland Compact.

Another case study from the area explored the benefits of encouraging partnership working for funding applications. Darlington also provided a case study on advancing equality in health and social care. I’m aware of lots of other examples of good practice from across the North East that are still to be shared, and with time I’m sure they will be.

If the last 12 months have proven anything, it is that perseverance, determination and partnership working have been central to the improvements made across the region.

We have worked together, learnt together and encouraged each other to be more proactive in promoting and implementing the Compact. There is still room for improvement in some of the areas, and Compact Voice will continue to offer support where needed.

I am really pleased about the positive changes taking place across the North East and the increased responses and perceptions in this year’s survey. It really highlights the tremendous amount of work and effort put into the Compact across the region by people determined to raise awareness of it and increase its implementation.

I was right to be confident in my last blog that with the right people on board and their willingness to succeed, perceptions and responses would be very different this year.


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