PARTNERSHIP – AN ESSENTIAL DYNAMIC FOR ACTS TRUST
“Partnership is a relationship in which two or more people, organisations or countries work together as partners” Collins English Dictionary
Partnership is central and fundamental to how Acts Trust works in all aspects of project delivery. From the very beginning Acts Trust sought to develop strong partnerships with key organisations, with similar aims and objectives, to plan and work together to achieve our vision to see Empowered People Living in Thriving Communities. There are many different types of partnerships evident in the work of Acts.
Firstly Acts Trust has a Foundational partnership with Alive Church in Lincoln. Acts Trust was founded by Alive Church (formerly New Life Church) in 2006 to empower Alive Church members to reach out in social action to the city of Lincoln and remains instrumental in providing strategic guidance and core funding. As Acts Trust has developed to become a significant player in the terms of social action within the city it has also developed further Foundational Partnerships with other key organisations such as Greater Lincoln Active Faith Network, Lincolnshire Food Partnership and Lincoln Against Poverty.
Secondly Acts Trust has Primary partnerships with several national and local organisations to deliver specific types of projects. These include the Trussell Trust in the provision of Foodbank, Christians Against Poverty in the provision Money Management and Job Clubs and our recently launched partnership with the Message Trust to provide a Community Grocery. Our Primary Partners provide training, funding and guidance to assist us to deliver successful projects to serve the people of Lincoln.
Thirdly Acts Trust has several Local Delivery Partnerships with a wide range of organisations in Lincoln to resource and deliver project activities in local communities within the city. These include our partnerships with Bridge Church, Central Methodist Church, Life Church, Moorland Methodist Church and Provisions Foodbank Centre, to provide five Foodbank Distribution Centres in the central and south area of the city. Acts Trust has also developed further Local Delivery Partnerships during the last two years with the establishment of Night Light Cafes across the city, available on each evening of the week, to provide support for people experiencing ‘mental health crisis’. Night Light Cafes are based in local churches who provide a volunteer team, who have been trained and developed to provide timely support. These churches include Alive Church, Bailgate Methodist Church, Bridge Church, Ignite Church, Life Church, St Columba’s Church, St Giles Methodist, St John the Baptist and St Swithins Church.
Fourthly Acts Trust has both national and local Funding Partnerships to provide the necessary financial resources to fund the work. Over the years national organisations such as BBC Children in Need, Comic Relief, and People’s Health Trust have supported the Energize Project to provide core activities such as Holiday Schemes and Youth Clubs in the city. In addition the Trussell Trust has been a major benefactor in providing funding to maintain a sustainable Foodbank provision in the city. Currently local NHS trusts are fully funding the provision of the Night Light Cafes and also partially funding aspects of our Restore Programme. Acts Trust also has benefitted from partnerships with other funding organisations such as Lincolnshire Community Foundation, Bishops Social Justice Fund and Local Council funding initiatives to maintain projects aimed at empowering people to overcome poverty in their lives. Several local businesses have also been regular supporters of Acts Trust, especially during the recent coronavirus pandemic. These include Lincolnshire Co-operative Ltd, Rockstar and Platform Housing.
Finally, but definitely not leastly, we have many individuals who partner with us either by giving regular financial support or investing their time and skills as volunteers to practically deliver our projects on the ground. Our greatest asset as an organisation are our staff team and team of over 100 volunteers who tirelessly work to ensure that our projects are delivered well and our projects remain focused on satisfying the needs of those we support. We view their involvement more as a partnership, than as team workers.
As you can see partnership is a core aspect of Acts Trust and is an essential dynamic in how we work.
Author: Nigel Woodcock, Acts Trust Vice Chair