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Leadership support for people in Big Local areas

Call for expressions of interests (EOIs)

Closing date: 16 January 2019

Local Trust, our partners and people in Big Local areas are passionate about what we’re doing. We believe that Big Local has the potential to support residents to increase their skills and confidence and make a lasting difference to where they live. We think Big Local is new, different and exciting; building on previous community-based regeneration programmes and putting power and control in the hands of those who live in the areas.Critically, our ambition is not simply to deliver a programme, but to shape and influence policy and practice through shared learning from the Big Local programme.

We are now looking to support people that volunteer in Big Local areas, who are looking to develop their skills and confidence around leadership.We envisage appointing and working with one provider, who might be leading a joint bid and can deliver on a national scale to work with us to create a new Community Leadership Academy open to residents of Big Local areas looking to develop their leadership skills. It is crucial that the provider has the scope to work on this national scale, but we also welcome interest from regional providers with excellent local knowledge and networks. We would be open to exploring innovative and dynamic ways small organisations could be incorporated into larger joint bids.

The intention is that this should, in time, provide the basis for the development of a wider, commercially sustainable support offer for community leadership that has relevance to people working in other communities across the country, well beyond those areas benefiting from Big Local.

Our expectation is that the support will initially be open to and developed with a focus on people with a range of experience of education and skills in all 150 Big Local areas across England.

The successful contractors will need to understand Big Local, our values, ethos and approach to creating resident-led change. We need high quality and appropriate support, as well as a passion and commitment to our work. More information on Local Trust and Big Local can be accessed here: www.localtrust.org.uk

However, the successful contractors will also be expected to present a vision for leadership development within communities that is capable of extending beyond Big Local, providing a resource for those looking to develop local leadership in other areas, in particular those looking to maximise the impact of any future place-based, resident led approaches to delivering change.

Leadership and Big Local

Leaders are those who inspire, motivate and support others, and at Local Trust we recognise that leaders come in many guises, not just those “at the top” or in “formal positions of power”. Leaders are crucial to the success of Big Local, so Local Trust wants to develop a programme to support community leaders – in all their forms – to enhance the legacy of Big Local and ensure that all areas foster community leaders to bring about change in years to come.

We know the term community leadership can mean different things to different people, so in early autumn we held an event to find out what community leadership means to areas and as a response we want to work in partnership with organisations and areas to design a programme to support new and emerging community leaders in Big Local areas.

While Big Local is often described by those involved as being a learning experience, worth it, satisfying, rewarding, inspiring and enjoyable we also know it is challenging, frustrating and sometimes stressful.

The latter is often mentioned in terms of accountability to the community, the complexity of what areas are trying to achieve, responding to uncertainty caused by external influences, and the fear, anxiety and pressure that comes from doing something new and different. We would therefore welcome approaches to developing leadership that acknowledge and reflect the emotional and personal aspects of taking on leadership responsibilities as much as the practical and process skills associated with leading communities.Through the work we’ve done so far the terms “distributed leadership” and “shared leadership” have been prominent, and we are particularly interested in approaches that best capture this spirit.

To find out more about some of the challenges of leadership in Big Local you can view this film.

Please note that this film is not currently in general public circulation so do not share it widely.

Previous training, and existing learning and networking support

Between 2015 and 2018 we worked with Northern College and Directory of Social Change to deliver a training programme that provided people in Big Local areas with the skills and capacity to affect changes in the places that they live. Some of this was accredited. The training included a mixture of two-day residential courses, half and full day workshops delivered during the week and on weekends. The topics included effective meetings, setting up a community fund, team leading, governance and effective partnerships.

The training was well attended by Big Local areas and highly rated by participants and was a very good introduction to formal learning and training methods that many people hadn’t experienced before. The introduction of the leadership programme that we are seeking expressions of interest for is a reflection of what areas are now asking for and feel that they require at this stage of the programme.

Local Trust currently facilitates and funds a range of learning and networking events for people in Big Local areas, with a particular emphasis on peer-led learning and will continue to provide these. This year we committed to a greater variety of events responding to different and emerging needs across the programme and focussed on:

  • Continued delivery of large-scale events to bring people across the Big Local family together and strengthen the Big Local brand;
  • Action learning for a smaller number of participants over a series of meetings;
  • Proactive clustering of people and areas based on common themes/characteristics/needs;
  • A wider provider/participant base to broaden the networks and ideas that Big Local areas can access and benefit from.

In considering proposals for creating the new Community Leadership Academy, we will welcome ideas about how this work might be integrated into the wider work of the Community Leadership Academy, and in particular any vision around how – over time – the work of the Academy might be extended to provide support, learning and development to areas outside of the 150 Big Local areas.

Purpose of the support

The initial and primary audience for this support will be people in Big Local areas, and in particular residents who are engaged with Big Local in a voluntary capacity. The purpose of the support is to help people recognise and use their existing knowledge, skills and strengths as effectively as possible, as well as empowering people to develop new skills and confidence to create better places.

However, as noted, the successful contractors will also be expected to present a vision for leadership development within communities that is capable of extending beyond Big Local, providing a resource for those looking to develop local leadership in other areas, in particular those looking to maximise the impact of any future place-based, resident led approaches to delivering change.

The style of the support

It is essential that the support is suitable for people with different learning styles and experiences of education, is culturally sensitive, accessible to communities, interactive and fun and friendly for those who participate. We know that the existing skills and competencies of potential participants are quite different and as such, we are interested in support that reflects this.

Any proposal should take in to account the uniqueness of Big Local. For example, as Big Local is a long-term programme recognising that change takes time. We know from other partners that it sometimes takes longer to set-up and deliver support than expected as the people we work with are volunteers with other commitments and interests.

We want the support to recognise existing leaders, who already take on significant roles and responsibilities within their community. We will also look to involve ‘new’ leaders, individuals who are not currently in positions of leadership, but wish to develop into them in the future. Residents often describe their experience of working on Big Local as a journey and we want the support to be accessed by a range of people regardless of where they are on their own personal journey.

We also want to work with providers with a range of delivery styles (for example, action focussed and experiential) with a large range of people from Big Local areas. There are 150 areas and we would like all areas to have the opportunity to participate in the offer. While we don’t have an exact number of people that would be interested, we will look to negotiate and agree this with the preferred provider. We are also interested in proposals that are able to work in areas with a cohort / group of people from that place over a period of time.

Support must be well-organised, which means sessions that run to time, details are publicised in advance, appropriate materials circulated beforehand, written documents proofread and produced in line with the Local Trust style guide, participants supported to attend and treated respectfully.

The contractors commissioned will need to be familiar with Big Local and the other support available, but that doesn’t mean we expect to have worked with you before. The support should complement what is already in place.

We anticipate that the successful contractors, working together, will be experienced in providing this type of support, have worked with communities that are similar to Big Local before and can deliver something on a national scale.

We are flexible on the method and style of delivery that trainers might implement. This includes the period of time that the support might take place over, the frequency of the sessions, the number of people from Big Local areas that might be involved and the number of areas. We are also interested in support that brings together different people from Big Local areas. It is important that the chosen contractors respect the need for flexibility in how and when support is delivered; Big Local is run by volunteers who may not be available for whole days at a time, or only available at weekends or evenings.

We are keen to learn from providing support on community leadership so will be commissioning research alongside the support to assess the impact. The contractors will be expected to work with the researchers and Local Trust on this research.

Commissioning process

The EOI process allows us to explore a range of potential contractors, the consortia partners they may bring with them, and the approaches they might take to delivering the work.

We are therefore inviting potential contractors to submit EOIs. If you would like to submit partnership bids please name one organisation as the lead partner; the other organisation(s) being the sub-contractor(s) to the lead organisation. We’ll hold an information day for prospective contractors on the 8th January at our offices in London where you can meet Local Trust staff and other contractors. Sign up here.

Following this process, we intend to shortlist a small number of potential contractors to invite to submit full tenders during February 2019 in dialogue with us. We intend to confirm contractors by the end of March 2019.

The successful contractors will need to have the capacity to start working with us on project development in March 2019 with a formal launch of the full offer by mid-September 2019.

The contracts will be awarded based on the most responsive service provider whose offer will be the most advantageous in terms of cost, methodology and design relevant to Big Local, experience and reputation.

The assessment criteria we use are related to our ethos and approach;

  • extent to which the proposal chimes with our aspirations (as articulated in this document)
  • extent to which the proposal delivers what is needed
  • extent to which the proposal fits and develops the ethos of Big Local: resident driven, transforms areas, increases skills, open, inclusive
  • extent to which the proposal fits and develops our existing support to Big Local areas.
  • the potential for sustainability beyond the period of the initial contract
  • Your understanding of what is required, a broad description of your intended approach and an outline budget
  • Your previous experience of delivering support for community / shared leadership
  • An overview of your organisation (including your and any other organisation if submitting as a partnership
  • The contact details, including email address, of the person leading the application process from your organisation or partnership

Budget

A total budget of up to £1m has been allocated for April 2019 to March 2022. These amounts include VAT and all delivery costs. A separate fund is available for expenses incurred by residents for attending the sessions which will be managed by Local Trust.

We will review the budget in March 2021 and depending on the success of the initial contract, continued demand from Big Local areas, and agreement between parties, the contract may be varied or extended to run beyond March 2022.

Submission of EOIs

Organisations interested in winning a contract should submit an EOI, including the following:

  • Your understanding of what is required, a broad description of your intended approach and an outline budget
  • Your previous experience of delivering support for community / shared leadership
  • An overview of your organisation (including your and any other organisation if submitting as a partnership
  • The contact details, including email address, of the person leading the application process from your organisation or partnership.

EOIs should be no longer than four sides of A4.

Timeline

An information day for prospective contractors will be held on the 8 January at our offices in London. Sign up here.

EOIs should be clearly marked ‘Big Local leaders 2019’ and be submitted by email on or before 5pm (UK time) on 16 January 2019 to programmes@localtrust.org.uk

Following the EOI process we will ask a shortlist of providers to come to interview on the 29 January 2019. Following this we will ask our two preferred providers to submit full tenders in February 2019.

EOI document

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