Meet the Grantees - Top of the Hill 2010
In the second of our series profiling the grantees benefitting from our Collaboration Enabling Fund, we speak to Geraldine Doherty, Top of the Hill 2010, to hear more about how this support has helped their organisation.
Tell me more about Top of the Hill 2010?
Top of the Hill 2010 (TOTH 2010) is a community development organisation based in the Waterside area of Derry that aims to address poverty, social exclusion, inequality and sectarianism.
In recent years TOTH 2010 has been responsible for delivering the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy in the Top of the Hill area.
Our activities are focused on tackling social exclusion through programmes, initiatives and activities that improve the life circumstances of the most deprived and marginalised people in our community.
We respond to the needs of residents and provide solutions to address issues affecting their lives. We work to address problems such as anti-social behaviour and the impact of sectarianism.
As well as this, we work to improve and enhance the physical environment as well as lobbying and fundraising to improve the areas physical assets.
How much money did you receive from the Collaboration Enabling Fund?
What made you apply?
In December 2012, following a series of discussions that involved Collaboration NI, Top of the Hill 2010 became tenants of Hillcrest House and began working in collaboration to deliver a more joined up approach to the services we deliver.
Both are local support and development organisations but with two distinct remits; one is responsible for the physical and economic regeneration of the area and the second is responsible for health and wellbeing whilst both are responsible for social and community renewal.
Both organisations, core salaries and partial running costs are funded by the Department of Social Development however the costs for the services we deliver are sourced and secured from other funders and as such surplus monies are limited.
To date, all staff has been informed of the merger, DSD have given their approval, a small steering group has been established, joint board meetings take place and both organisations have a track record of working well together.
To complete the process, we requested financial help from the Collaboration Enabling Fund to cover the Legal and Human Resource Support needed to oversee the completion of the merger of these two organisations into one new company.
What action have you been able to take with this grant?
With the grant we were able to employ the services of a Human Resource Consultant (£1500.00) and Solicitor & Accountant (£3500.00).
How have you found working in collaboration with another organisation?
The collaborative work between Top of the Hill 2010 and Hillcrest House has been very beneficial to the local community resulting in a more co-ordinated approach in terms of service delivery.
This has enabled the development of a much clearer and more coherent structure which continues to maximise resources.
Although the merger is not yet complete, there is already an improvement in internal and external communications that has brought benefits, not only to staff and other community and voluntary organisations but also residents, however there are still ongoing discussions in relation to job descriptions.
How has your organisation benefited from the Collaboration Enabling Fund?
The Collaboration Enabling Fund will provide both organisations with the financial resources needed to complete the merger process.
When the merger is complete we will continue to develop an organisation for the future that will be more financially sustainable, become more competitive in a new funding environment and be able to better meet the needs of users by joining services together and sharing expertise.
This will increase efficiency through better use of resources; prevent duplication of services; raise public profile and boost income to address the changing needs of end users. It will also alleviate the pressures of some trustees who serve on the boards of both organisations.