The Vibrancy in Meetings Pilot Programme has explored whether having locally-based staff can help Quaker meetings to thrive as communities, with a vital Quaker ministry, becoming stronger, more connected, more confident, more engaged, and more sustainable.
After the successful evaluation of the pilot programme (full evaluation reports linked to below) the Trustees of Woodbrooke Quaker Centre and Britain Yearly Meeting have agreed a plan which aims to place a Local Development Worker in reach of every Quaker meeting within five years. We are calling this next phase Meeting-Centred Support
When will our meeting get a Local Development Worker?
Decision on how we roll out the programme across Britain have not yet been made. Before that can be agreed we want to listen and talk with Friends to better understand what’s already going on in different parts of the Yearly Meeting and to explore the opportunities that this new approach could bring. We expect by the end of the summer to have a system set up where Quaker communities interested in hosting a Local Development Worker will be able to express their interest. There will then be a number of different factors that will be taken into account, such as transport links, in deciding where staff will be based, and Friends will receive more information on the process soon.
What difference can we expect a Local Development Worker to make?
The Pilot Programme worked with Meetings in lots of different ways. Local Development Worker spent time listening and learning about hopes, challenges and opportunities, in order to support meetings with their own needs and agendas. Therefore it is difficult to be able to predict exactly how the work will coalesce in each area.
How Vibrancy has made a difference
We spoke to Quakers in the four pilot areas to find out how this approach has made a difference.
What did the pilot evaluation find?
The Vibrancy Programme is being independently evaluated by NCVO Charities Evaluation Services which has produced a number of reports at key points in the programme.
The most recent report (March 2019) shows how Local Development Workers are making a difference in their areas. The report goes into detail but some of the top findings include:
- All Friends who took part in the evaluation said the Local Development Workers were approachable.
- 96% of Friends surveyed rated support from their Local Development Worker as “excellent” or “good”.
- Friends highlighted the ability of workers to connect them with other people and meetings; the accessibility of the workers; their personal qualities and skills. They appreciated the workers’ ability to listen to Friends, understand the issues they were facing and provide high-quality support.
- Over half of meetings had made, or were in the process of making, changes as a result of the support received from their Local Development Worker. Examples included work to make meetings more accessible or to reduce the demands on role holders.
The reports below are from NCVO Charites’ Evaluation Services evaluation and have been written at key points over the course of the Vibrancy Programme.
Main Evaluation Report – March 2019
- NCVO CES Vibrancy main evaluation report March 2019 executive summary
- NCVO CES Vibrancy main evaluation report March 2019
Phase 1 & 2 Reports
- Phase 1: Early Findings Report Executive Summary
- Phase 1: Early Findings Report Full Report
- Phase 2: Taking Stock Report
For more information contact:
Rachel Matthews, Vibrancy in Meetings National Co-ordinator
07419 991 638 or 020 7663 1039