As part of Leaders in GM, the Learning Exchange project is a mechanism by which leaders can connect with each other to share their learning and create ongoing relationships across sectors.
Public service leaders are connected to leaders in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector to collaborate and share learning and good practice with one another. The experience is participant-led: both leaders deciding what they’re looking to take away from the exchange, guided by their particular needs and aims.
Now halfway through the project, GMCVO are happy to share some of the benefits reported back by participants following the exchange.
Tina Harrison from the Corrie Gardner’s Community Group met with Helen Chicot from Rochdale Council. Tina told us that “the fact there was no agenda and it was just a free conversation was good, I felt that we both learned things and that there are so many similarities.” Helen and Tina have since gone on to plan further collaboration including links with Oldham Council.
Providing a public service perspective, Thomas Johnson from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority described his meeting as a “really positive experience” and praised the fact that he “was able to make connections which do not come up in ‘formal meetings’.” Thomas met with Michelle Hill – the CEO of Talk, Listen, Change, a relationships charity offering a range of programmes and services for safe, healthy, and happy relationships. Michelle had asked to be paired with someone to help learn about the decision making structures at GM level, and Thomas’ remit relates to Public Service Reform.
Elaine Eland, from the St. John’s Centre, described the project as “an excellent example of ‘grassroots’ empowerment”. She was happy to get the chance to learn more about how her local council – Trafford – functioned and what successes and challenges they face internally.
We look forward to seeing how the learning each leader has taken from this is applied in their practice going forward. GMCVO still have opportunities for leaders to participate and are encouraging anyone interested to contact David Brierley for more information or sign up via this form.