Grandparents Plus was founded in 2002 by Jean Stogdon and Michael Young to campaign for the role of the wider family in children’s lives. In particular, the charity wanted to support better recognition of kinship care, where family members (usually grandparents) assume full time child care responsibilities in cases where parents are not able to do this themselves. It now provides support to kinship carers via its advice service, support network, including peer support and befriending.
In 2015, the organisation merged with the Grandparents Association, becoming the only grandparents charity in England and Wales.
Grandparents Plus came to Pilotlight looking for support around business planning and refining its vision for the future, and a key priority for CEO Lucy Peake was also creating a financially stable organisation with a sustainable income. The charity knew that the advice, support and challenge from a group of senior business leaders would be invaluable as it worked to achieve these goals.
What we did
Over 11 project meetings, the team concentrated primarily on resolving one central question: should Grandparents Plus’ core purpose be to support kinship carers, support all grandparents regardless of their circumstances, or a combination of both?
The Pilotlight team also supported Lucy, staff and trustees to better understand the environment through an external ‘PEST’ and competitor analysis, a review of the financial position of the charity, and a look at refining the organisation’s programmatic priorities for the coming three years.
The meetings gave Lucy and her team space to think about their work at a different pace: the external input and challenge, along with the diversity of perspective, was hugely valuable. The process also strengthened the leadership team, providing clarity around its strengths and how to refine the presentation of its ideas.
As Lucy said at the end of the engagement, “We’re now there in terms of our purpose: the Pilotlight process helped us get to a decision.”