We are excited to be launching phase three of the Stronger Voice training programme, ‘Strengthening your voice’.
Stronger Voice is a three-year project that Clinks is running to empower the voluntary sector working in criminal justice to develop a unified and influential voice, at both a national and regional level. The project is funded by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, as part of its Criminal Justice Grant Programme. We are excited to update you about what we have done so far, what resources are available for organisations, and what is on the horizon.
Empowering voluntary sector organisations to strengthen their voice
So far, Clinks has launched the first two phases of the Stronger Voice project, ‘Finding your voice’ and ‘Using your voice’. Throughout 2021 and 2022, we ran a programme of training and events designed to reflect the diversity and specific challenges of the voluntary sector working in criminal justice. We have aimed to provide content suitable for organisations at all stages of their influencing journey, from those just starting out to those who have been campaigning for years.
In phases one and two of the programme, we held 14 training sessions in total, with topics including ‘Power, participation and lived experience’, ‘Evaluating and measuring impact’, and ‘Writing an effective policy paper’. These two phases saw233 individuals take part in the training programme, with many attending multiple training sessions. At the beginning and end of every session, we asked attendees how confident they felt in their ability to campaign and/or influence. We are pleased to report that 80% of attendees said their confidence improved after attending the training.
“It's definitely been very useful, mainly for me in having some of the theory and tools to be able to plan for influencing.” – Stronger Voice attendee
Expert seminars focussed on achieving change in the criminal justice system
As part of the Stronger Voice programme, Clinks has hosted six expert seminars in which voluntary sector leaders shared how they have influenced policy or campaigned on issues impacting the people they support, and tips and ideas for how others can too. These sessions were recorded and are available to watch or to download as a case study on our website. We will continue updating this page with more resources as the project progresses.
Funded communications coaching for voluntary organisations
Clinks has been working with charity communications expert Liz Kearsley, to provide free coaching for six voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice system. The one-to-one coaching offer has supported these organisations to develop language and tools to help them more effectively communicate their work to a wider audience and to speak out on issues that matter to them.
Clinks will continue to offer this exciting opportunity in phase three. We will offer one-to-one, tailored communications and influencing coaching for voluntary organisations, to help you build support for your work and your ideas for policy.
We will be releasing more information on this offer in the coming months, so keep an eye out on our website and in Light Lunch.
Following the success of two sets of expert seminars and phases one and two of our training programme, we are moving on to phase three, ‘Strengthening your voice’. After guiding participants to find their voice and use their voice, we now want to support organisations to go the extra mile to get their message across. The next series of training sessions will empower organisations to mobilise their campaigns and finesse their influencing skills, to bring about change.
The sessions include:
- Digital campaigning | Sheila McKechnie Foundation | 06 October
- Shaping personal stories for those with lived experience | Liz Kearsley | 11 October
- Involving people in policy change | Ayaz Manji | 18 October
- Using the legal system to achieve change | Sheila McKechnie Foundation | 03 November
- Introducing metaphors into influencing work [in person] | Liz Kearsley | 08 November
- Influencing select committees | Ayaz Manji | 15 November
This quote from an attendee illustrates the value of the Stronger Voice programme to small charities:
“The Stronger Voice programme was hugely useful to us as a small charity. When you work in a small policy and campaigns team, it's so valuable to hear from seasoned campaigners from other organisations and get their top tips on influencing. Hearing real life examples of successful campaigns and being able to ask questions taught us so much about different influencing and campaign strategies. Plus, Clinks shared all the materials from the workshops after the sessions. This collaborative and open approach to influencing makes us all stronger.” – Stronger Voice attendee
We hope to see you at one of the sessions over the coming months. If you have any questions about the project or would like to learn more, please get in touch with Olivia Dehnavi, Senior Policy Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.