One week left to enter the Compact Awards 2014: Here's why you should...

elaine for blogThere’s less than one week until the nomination period for the Compact Awards closes.

The Compact Awards has become the highlight of my working year. This is the 4th year Compact Voice have run them, although it’s the 11th Compact Awards overall. Each year we get more nominations and the awards event is bigger and better – I’m expecting 2014 to be no different. And we’ve already had a real mix of submissions – some very local, some regional and some national.

There is occasionally a shrug of the shoulders and a need to answer the “what’s in for me” question when suggesting that someone should enter.

What I’ve found in the last four years is that there is tremendous value in winning an award, even more than I had initially realised, particularly for those from local groups who get their achievements recognised on a national stage.
 
Feedback we’ve had tells us that winning, getting a highly commended or even just a short-listing nod is a hugely positive thing:

  • The recognition of the work and commitment to the Compact way of working is valued
  • It raises awareness of local Compacts and all the partners who are signed up
  • It helps in demonstrating and evidencing impact and influence
  • Even for those who don’t win, the simple act of drafting a nomination allows you to appreciate how much your organisation has achieved in the past year

Lots of useful things come out of the process for us as well and it is actually a year-round thing. A great deal of the local and regional intelligence and the engagement opportunities we follow up on come out of the nominations process.
 
It’s also a rich seam to mine for case study material, which is of huge value to us and others – our case studies are always among the most downloaded items from our website. All the winning nominations (and the really good short-listed ones) get turned into case studies so we can share success stories and promote good practice as widely as possible.
 
I’ve also noticed that it’s an incredibly useful snap-shot of what’s going on the sector more widely; for example, last year a lot of nominations reflected work being undertaken by the voluntary sector to engage with new potential partners.
 
A lot of the short-listed submissions in 2013 talked about new commissioning relationships and involvement in co-design and how they used Compact principles as a foundation or sometimes a framework for their partnership working.
 
Looking back over the last four years, the wider themes of successful partnership working, as reflected by the winners, seem to be that it often starts so simply.
 
It’s recognition that a strong partnership, preferably guided by Compact principles, is a powerful thing. It’s recognising common goals and common ground, regardless of which sector you’re from. Then building on that, sharing what you know and making the partnership one of ambition and aspiration.
 
That’s where the best examples of becoming more than the sum of their parts come from and where the stories of how a partnership really brings added value to communities are generated.
 
I’ve had a sneaky peek at the nominations we have so far this year and - no spoiler alerts here - the theme from last year continues and I look forward to being able to share more success stories of how voluntary organisations and new commissioners are working well together.

If you haven’t got your nomination in yet, what are you waiting for?


Find out more at www.compactvoice.org.uk/compactawards2014.

 

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