Documenting operational best practice with Place2Be

01 June 2017

The Charity

Place2Be is the UK’s leading children’s mental health charity. It is supported by our NGO partner Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation (Impetus-PEF). Place2Be provides in-school support and expert training in over 280 schools across the UK to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and school staff

The Challenge

Whilst Place2Be’s initial focus was on primary schools, it has over time established a significant presence in secondary schools, adapting its service and operational model to suit the different needs of older children and secondary schools. Place2Be, through Impetus-PEF, approached Eden McCallum for help in documenting key elements of the operational delivery of Place2Be in secondary schools, with the aim to ensure that secondary school partnerships would be delivered consistently and to the highest standard; and that the charity could measure and track the  performance of those partnerships.

The Project

Eden McCallum consultant Lynn Woods Strang spent some 10 days over a 5-month period on this project. She worked in close collaboration with the management team to review existing documentation of key processes, interview key staff members and test the high-level, end-to-end process map she was putting together for accuracy. The team used this to highlight areas where further clarifications or improvements were required. The Place2Be team has now taken over the map for use in onboarding of new staff as well as ongoing programme management in the field.

This was Lynn’s eighth pro bono project with Eden McCallum, and so she was able to bring to bear both her commercial consulting skills and considerable experience of working with charities.

The Impact

After finishing the project, Lynn commented: “This was a really fun and interesting project to do because of the critical nature of the work Place2Be does, the depth of exposure to their operation, and the high level of contact and engagement with the management team. I really felt like they needed what I was producing, and would have struggled to put the resources in place to do it themselves. It did not matter that I didn’t have a background in counselling or mental health or education, as the consulting skill set (framing, structuring, making sense of reams of information, communicating, etc.) was complementary and valuable enough to make a difference. For me, being able to do this kind of work from time to time is one of the biggest advantages of working on a freelance basis.”

Catherine Roche, CEO of Place2Be added: “Lynn has provided such professional support, expertise, insight and constructive critical challenge to help us with codification of our secondary school model. This has involved working with our Clinical Director and staff at all levels across the organisation to sensitively and clearly set out a consistent model and underpinning processes – invaluable to assist with further refinement, development and scaling of our model and practice. Lynn has been thoughtful, sensitive, so generous with her time and expertise, and always helping us to reach the desired goal. We are truly grateful for her utterly professional support all provided pro bono, her understanding and sensitivity and unrivalled commitment.”