Tonight we’re holding our annual Gateway Gala, celebrating the organisation’s achievements during the last financial year.
The Gala, which will again be held at the beautiful Highbury Hall, is a chance for us to say a formal “thank you” and “well done” – both to ourselves and the people we work with! The main part of the evening will be the award ceremony where staff, learners, clients and volunteers will receive awards for their achievements over the year.
But it’s also an opportunity for us to showcase our work. This year we’re asking staff and clients to tell their personal stories so that commissioners and decision makers can see, first hand, the difference Gateway’s services make to people’s lives.
So what’s changed in the 2014-2015 year?
Well, it’s been a year of ups and downs.
We’re proud to say that our established services continue consistently to achieve, and in many cases exceed, their targets. Overall, Gateway supported 9434 people, 77% of whom were from the city’s most deprived wards.
You can see more of our stats (including the number of Bullring Bulls our Lighten Up clients lost in weight!) on our “What a difference a year makes” PDF – click here to see it.
Our staff team – including volunteers – remains relatively stable, which is brilliant as it means we hang onto valuable experience and wide-ranging skills.
There have been some difficult times during this year. Thankfully, after some uncertainty around its future, the Pregnancy Outreach Worker Service remains, but it has sustained a cut of a third.
And we were sorry to see the Training to Care service end after just one year. Fortunately we were able to help every one of the Trainees who wished to remain in Health and Social care into jobs after their training year.
There has been a lot of good news too. In early 2015 we were reassessed for our Investors in People status and we received a glowing report. We have also been recognised with new accreditations, such as becoming one of the first centres in the West Midlands to provide Dementia Awareness qualifications.
And we have received awards: Social Enterprise Mark recognised us nationally as their Business with Heart Champion 2015 and we were named Organisation of the Year for Supporting Volunteers at BVSC’s Volunteer Awards.
Our Board continues to steer the organisation wisely. We enlarged the Board’s membership just over a year ago and the increased range of knowledge and skills has stood us in good stead, particularly when it has come to making some complex decisions.
Into the future
The 2015-16 year is already looking very promising. Gateway has secured much-needed new business: in early October we’ll start delivering a new piece of work focusing on reducing the prevalence of diabetes.
Also we have gained funding, via the My Healthcare Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund pilot, to roll out our proposal to increase GP access and reduce unnecessary A&E attendances. We’re particularly happy with this opportunity as it allows us to put into practice an approach we have been keen to trial for months.
We are proud of what we do… but we are only able to do these things because of a few key ingredients: strong partnerships, the trust of our commissioners, a capable and supportive Board and, most importantly, a team of staff and volunteers who never cease to amaze us with their dedication, ingenuity and enthusiasm.
Thank you to everyone who’s supported us this year, and here’s to next year.
(The pictures and stats in circles are from our Annual Review: What A Difference A Year Makes PDF, which you can view in full here.)
Working in Gateway, with our clients, can be tough sometimes, thankless sometimes, heartbreaking sometimes. But when I get to go home at the end of the day knowing I made Birmingham just a tiny bit better than it was when I came in that morning it’s all worth it.
It’s kind of like being a superhero.
What a great comment from Jamie. If more of the population had this motivation, Birmingham would be a different city.
Well done, Gateway, another good