Trust awards Social Innovation grant

Trust awards Social Innovation grant

25 April 2012

The Building Change Trust is delighted to announce a new study into Social Innovation in the Northern Ireland Community and Voluntary Sector.

Following a public tender, the contract to carry out the study has been awarded to RSM McClure Watters and The Young Foundation.

RSM McClure Watters is a leading provider of accountancy and business advisory services to clients in the public, private and community/voluntary sectors, with extensive experience of carrying out social and economic research and analysis.

The Young Foundation is an organisation bringing together insights, innovation and entrepreneurship to meet social needs.

Widely regarded as a leader in the area of Social Innovation, they are linked to a number of Social Innovation researchers across Europe.

They have a track record of over fifty years of success with ventures such as the Open University, Which?, the School for Social Entrepreneurs and the precursor to NHS Direct, Health Line.

Work will begin in April and will continue to the end of October incorporating a literature review, interviews with key policy and support organisations as well as a study of the community and voluntary sector, using a sample of the 1,600 organisations making up the sector in Northern Ireland.

In addition to this, there will be a number of participative stakeholder workshops held and in depth case studies produced, all concluding with the production of a final report for wider dissemination.

Developing a working understanding of, and determining what is understood by, social innovation in Northern Ireland and demonstrating, by way of case study, practical examples of innovative practice across a range of themes and settings are among the main aims of the work.

The study will also try to identify and consider frameworks and existing structures that support, as well as barriers to, Social Innovation in Northern Ireland.

These findings will all lead to a set of initial recommendations and suggestions to take forward Social Innovation.

Vicki Sellick from the Young Foundation said: ““The Young Foundation is excited to participate in this work.

“We know that across Northern Ireland people are creating new and more effective answers to some of the biggest challenges of our times: how to cut our carbon footprint; how to keep people healthy; and how to end poverty.

“We are proud to be involved in finding and showcasing these social innovations.”

Declan Macklin from RSM McClure Watters said: “It’s widely recognised that Social Innovation plays an extremely important role in the delivery of economic growth and societal well-being.

“RSM McClure Watters is delighted to be working with the Building Change Trust and the Young Foundation in researching how Social Innovation can be best supported and developed in Northern Ireland, so that our society’s capacity to address future challenges is enhanced.”

Trust Chairperson Bill Osborne said: “We are excited about this piece of work and very pleased that the leading pioneers in the field of social innovation, both within the UK and Internationally – The Young Foundation are involved.

“The Trust is essentially about supporting change and transformation in the Northern Ireland Community and Voluntary sector and we feel this new study is a major part of that.

“We recognise the sector is social innovators already but in changing times we want to identify what needs to be done to nurture and facilitate innovation into the future.

“Sustainability is not only about money but also about development of new ideas to meet unmet needs but it is clear form research elsewhere that this is something that shouldn’t be left to chance”.