Adrian Ashton logo

Provider: Adrian Ashton

Location:
  • North West

Website: http://www.adrianashton.co.uk/

Contact:adrian.ashton2@gmail.com

Sector experience:

Areas of expertise:

Organisation overview:

After reading business in Cambridge, I worked with one of the top 100 PR consultancies in the UK before taking on various management roles within a wide variety of social enterprises, community organisations and more ‘traditional’ enterprise support bodies.
These experiences enabled me to ‘turn around’ an ailing specialist social enterprise support agency into a nationally recognised body and gained me recognition as an authority on social enterprises from local, regional and national organisations including government departments and Bank of England.
I have used this position, along with my knowledge of the changing environment and policy context in which social enterprises operate, to deliver support to local groups and national projects to high acclaim. This appreciation has been not only from the direct individuals and communities my work has impacted upon, but others, including support agencies and international governments. It has also led to my being invited to be an occasional writer for national and regional publications and having opportunity to influence national policy and legislation.

Case study 1: SAFE Regeneration

Sector:

  • Citizenship & community

Focus of project:

  • Programme design / theory of change facilitation
  • Developing impact plans
  • Performance management
  • Developing new products and services
  • Leadership development
  • Building impact measurement tools
  • Reviewing external evidence

Previous impact work around SROI and similar were initially reviewed to identify key learning in how the organisation might best present its case for investment and commissioning externally. This led to resources being secured to deliver a co-produced programme that allowed this regeneration charity to design and launch a range of local services.
Support offered engaged all the charity’s delivery partners and associates throughout the process to ensure that the approaches to creating and capturing impact were relevant to all and could be readily engaged with by the wider organisation. This process included reviews of governance, external reference to changing market conditions and commissioner preferences (particularly with regards to types of impact being prioritised and how these should be reported), and how the clients preferred approach might be best pursued within these. As well as generating initial offers of investment, it also includes an ongoing scanning for opportunities for the client to continue to be able to invest in resourcing new planned services and developments beyond the short-term time frame of these programmes.

Case study 2: Supporters Direct

Sector:

  • Arts, heritage, sports & faith

Focus of project:

  • Programme design / theory of change facilitation
  • Developing impact plans
  • Performance management
  • Developing new products and services
  • Building impact measurement tools
  • Reviewing external evidence

This national infrastructure body needed to support members realise the potential that their model of social enterprise can create and be able to capture and collate their impacts to better represent their interests to policy makers.
I created a reporting framework that would enable any trust to be able to capture their impact consistently and in ways aggregatable with others. I spent time researching how other sports industries report on their impact, and also with several supporters trusts to understand the ways and reasons in which they were currently approaching impact.
This led to a management reporting framework mapped against supporters trusts shared values, and their common areas of operations and activity.
Through its piloting, individual Supporters Trusts were directly supported to consider their respective motivations and circumstances in light of those of SD who had commissioned the creation of the framework. This meant that each trust was able to more easily and readily reflect on the findings captured and review their current operations and practices accordingly. Several also used this enhanced management reporting to strengthen their credibility and relationship with local statutory bodies in pursuit of their respective communities' interests and needs.
SD subsequently shared the resources and learning created through the process through their website.

Case study 3: St Lukes Cares

Sector:

  • Employment, training & education

Focus of project:

  • Programme design / theory of change facilitation
  • Developing impact plans
  • Performance management
  • Leadership development
  • Culture change
  • Building impact measurement tools

Previous impact reporting undertaken on charity projects was largely limited to monitoring and evaluation, rather than considering how delivery models developed and used were contributing to longer term impact in the lives of people and communities.
It was agreed that commissioners should be targeted to help sustain current grant funded projects. This led to the facilitation of theory of change models with staff teams so that they might better articulate the value of services. Following this, action learning sessions identified and developed appropriate models and frameworks through which impact might be best reported internally and externally.
To best ensure that these models and new approaches could adopted and sustained, they were co-designed around existing management practices and systems, and support offered to management and the Board with regards to how these new reporting might be best used within performance management approaches.
This approach not only strengthened approaches to creating impact, but also enhanced staff and volunteer engagement. The new frameworks being created, although designed primarily to strengthen the charity's relationship with commissioners, has also been able to be directly used to support initial applications for investment from the Esmee Fairbairn loan fund.