A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR NEW RHYTHMS IN GLASGOW
New Rhythms for Glasgow (NRFG) is a small but passionate organisation that has been delivering services for the communities of North Glasgow for over 13 years, operating in an area of the city with high levels of deprivation and poor health and low levels of educational attainment and employment. Working particularly with young people, people in recovery, the unemployed, people with disabilities and disadvantaged families, NRFG aims to enrich the local community through high quality, innovative and challenging music activities that are free to access.
Examples of NRFG projects include a Youth Samba band, Singing Breakfast Club for the elderly, and DASH – a disabilities after school and holiday club for young people with complex needs. NRFG also works closely with other organisations and plays a vital role in local networks, providing outreach events to engage residents throughout the year.
NRFG is an ambitious organisation with many opportunities and ideas for future activity, but growth of the organisation to date has been relatively organic, responding to these opportunities as they arise. Following a referral from The Robertson Trust, the charity therefore approached The Cranfield Trust for support in reviewing more strategically its future direction, facilitating and consolidating their thinking on where they are going with a robust business plan.
Cranfield Trust Project Manager, Jane Whitworth, worked with NRFG Manager Kim Stuyck to clarify how best the Trust could work with the charity, before matching them with volunteer James Muir. Under James’s careful and professional guidance, Kim was able to grow in confidence, finding James’s guidance and insight invaluable, particularly in identifying areas in the business plan that it would not have occurred to her to include, and ensuring that it tied in with the rest of the charity’s plans in areas such as fundraising. As she explains:
“The business plan and some sections that were particularly instigated by the volunteer, like the risk management register, have made the board more aware of certain issues and how we need to have more structure overall.”
This meant that the resulting strategy became an integral part of their planning and review – a useful tool rather than a static document. Having a business plan has also now allowed NRFG to apply to grant-making bodies for funding where a business plan is required as part of the application.
It is easy for organisations to under-estimate how much work can be involved when they have never tackled such a plan before. However, Kim now feels that with a firm structure in place it can be reviewed on an ongoing basis and kept fresh – and that this is a manageable task.
“We now have a clearer idea of where we want to take the organisation and how we best do this so that we can continue to exist for a very long time. Working with The Cranfield Trust has strengthened our organisation and has put us in better stead for a bright future!”