Trevor Civval, Corra Foundation Chair
Looking back on the last year for Corra Foundation, I have pride in becoming the Chair of an organisation that’s made positive changes – a new name and a new strategy – while holding to our mission and values. Our roots lie in supporting communities and that is even more important as people have continued to experience complex challenges and uncertainty. This can seem overwhelming at times, but the work that we have the privilege of supporting reminds us constantly of the capacity of people, communities and charities to respond.
At our Change Convention in October, Julia Unwin spoke of civil society as being “how we show our best selves” and talked of the ability of people to connect, organize and respond quickly to practical and emotional needs.
We see this every day, whether in the crucial grass roots activity supported by the Henry Duncan Grants, the highly skilled work of charities funded by PDI (Partnership Drugs Initiative) or the real change being created by communities engaged in People in Place.
This year for the first time we tried a new approach to supporting people to create change through very small amounts of money accessed through a simple film-based social media competition. #LetsChangeThat (run in collaboration with Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need) shone a light on the ability of people to come together with energy and ideas and make things happen, often with a small amount of support.
A belief in the power of civil society to create positive change lies at the heart of the strategy Change for Good, which we launched in August, alongside our new name and brand.
Our move to become Corra Foundation marked an important milestone for an organisation that has been in existence for over three decades and reflected a clear vision of a forward-thinking, independent foundation, driven by its mission to make a difference to people and communities by encouraging positive change, opportunities, fairness and growth of aspirations, all of which seek to improve quality of life.
We have learned that working in partnership is the most powerful way to create change, and greater collaboration will be fundamental to the way we work. This includes continuing to strengthen our commitment to working directly with people who have expertise that comes from their own lives and experiences, exploring how we can help enable people to be heard and to be central to the decisions that impact their lives. Much of this work has focused on Everyone Has a Story, and we were delighted to be joined by so many children and young people at our Parliamentary reception in December. We look forward to building on this initiative and contributing to the aims of the Year of Young People in 2018.
We are deeply appreciative of the many individuals and organisations with whom we have worked over the past year.
These include charities, other funders, local and national government, and individuals. We greatly value our longstanding partnership with The Robertson Trust and the Scottish Government in relation to PDI, as well as the enormous contribution made by the co-investors in People in Place: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Lankelly Chase, and the Tudor Trust. These relationships reflect a shared determination to create deep and lasting change and lie at the heart of our ability to make a difference.
We look forward to continuing our existing collaborations, to developing new ones and to working together to contribute to a fairer society in which everyone is able to enjoy a fulfilling life.
Photos with kind permission of: Coo Park United UFC, Hollies Day Centre, Whale Arts and the community in Castlehill