Bendrigg Engagement Day
On Thursday 9th January 2020 Bendrigg Trust held it’s very first Engagement Day, and sorry to disappoint but it was not the down on one knee, she said yes kind of engagement day. It was however an absolutely brilliant gathering of our stakeholders including participants, group leaders, supporters, trustees and staff. The aim of the day was to bring all of these people together, who have a different perspective of Bendrigg to brainstorm, share feedback and come up with ideas which will help us to shape our vision for Bendrigg moving forwards.
We kept our Mission and Values at the core of the discussions and had break out groups to focus on the following areas :
- Keeping The Magic Alive
- Financial Sustainability
- Who Are We For
- Community Engagement
- Cultural Journey
By focusing our discussions around these key areas for development, we are now able to develop future plans, both short and long term, based on all of the collaborative feedback.
Feedback from the day
Over the years I have attended many, many events similar to the one you held yesterday, however I have to say, I have never attended one with such passion, such commitment or such enthusiasm. The fact that people had travelled from so far and wide to be there showed how committed people are to supporting you and the organisation moving forward. The facilitator, John, was excellent, I really felt that he understood what you were trying to achieve and his passion to get the most from everyone was clear from the outset.
Over the many years of bringing groups to Bendrigg (sometimes 2 or 3 times per year), we have brought some children and young people so poorly, so severely disabled that their time at Bendrigg truly was a “once in a lifetime experience”. Sadly, some of those children / young people are no longer with us. I have felt privileged to have been able to offer a break to those young people at Bendrigg with support from our team. It has been a real gift knowing that we helped to shape those memories and experiences for that child / young person and their family and that even when that child has passed away the family have those photos and DVD’s of our stays showing their child with huge smiles across their faces and their eyes lit up as they flew across the sports hall on the big swing, took a leap of faith on the zip wire or quietly relaxed in the multi-sensory room. Truly priceless.
Yesterday for me showed the true “magic” of Bendrigg, from the huge hug from Rex as we arrived in the (somewhat soggy) car park, him remembering our names and asking about my son! Walking is us to main door under his umbrella. Bumping into Jo in the dining room to be hugged again (a real hug because someone wants you to know they mean it) and the conversation between us flowing so immediately and so easily that I was left feeling like it was only a day since we last spoke. Seeing many members of staff – Ed, Mel, Vic, Jennifer, Libby and Val and all of them remembering my name, chatting like people I see daily and remembering details of young people or activities etc when we have been at Bendrigg.
Bendrigg for me always feels magical.
Kelly Piper, Leisure For All Manager
We’d like to say a great big thank you to all those who attended, some who travelled a considerable distance and took time out of their working week to come and be a part of the day.
A fantastic day was had by all and the love for Bendrigg and passion shown by everyone who attended is what made it very special. Our management team and trustees will be meeting to move the ideas forward and we will be sharing updates on this in the coming months.
A huge thank you also to the wonderful John Matthews from Impact International for facilitating an exceptional day, which will no doubt play a huge part in shaping the future of our Charity.
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