On the 21st November 2019 we held our second annual event, this year focussed on front-line workers using SIGNAL. Thank you to the fabulous speakers and all of you who attended.

The day created a lot of very useful discussion and a strong interest in more opportunities for peer-group support and the sharing of good practice. We are therefore planning a series of local events on a regular basis. We will be starting with a Masterclass for facilitators which will focus on Building Rapport, Taking Second Surveys, how to get the best out of new features such as ‘Add a Priority’ and many more. We will circulate details of dates and venues so that you can select a Masterclass in your area.  

14 organisations attended:  Springboard Sunderland Trust, Broadacres Housing Association, First Network, Newcastle Futures, JET, The Millin Charity, Building Futures East, Riverside Community Health Project, Newcastle City Council, Reviving the Heart of the West End, Karbon Homes, Citizens Advice Newcastle, Newcastle YMCA and Northern Learning Trust.

Once again we are indebted to Muckle LLP for sponsoring the event.

In the course of the day, several key themes emerged based on facilitators’ experiences of using SIGNAL with their clients:

1)    Rapport between the facilitator and client is vital.  We are clear that  SIGNAL does not replace good rapport, but it can enhance it because it helps to open conversations that can lead to practical solutions.
2)    Signal is most effective where both facilitator and client approach the survey with an open mind.  Many facilitators talked about how even when a client was well-known to them, SIGNAL drew out more information.  They described how it could lead to ‘unexpected conversations’ which could open the door to opportunities outside of the organisation’s traditional reach.
3)    Facilitators shared how they recognised that SIGNAL really stopped them making assumptions.  Furthermore, they said they quickly became confident that they could rely on the survey to cover all the bases so that they didn’t have to worry about missing anything that might be important to the client.
4)    SIGNAL identifies where people are not getting their basic human rights
5)    Organisations had quickly discovered that SIGNAL adds value to their work and that this is most quickly achieved when it is integrated into service delivery by ensuring the purpose of using it is made clear at the outset, that there is whole organisation buy-in including the CEO, managers, frontline staff and, where appropriate, volunteers.

The Annual Event was a culmination of a series of feedback sessions we have conducted over the course of the last 12 months.  This has enabled us to develop a Good Practice Guide that will focus on how SIGNAL can contribute to building good rapport.  This will be circulated in due course but in the meantime here is a brief taster of what the Guide will be covering: