Disabled Asian man playing pool

Disablement Association Hillingdon (DASH) challenges peoples’ perceptions and encourages disabled people of all ages to reach their full potential. It provides advice, support and activities that allow disabled people to take control of their lives and become more independent, confident and part of the community.

Vanessa Bonner, CEO of DASH, described her motivation to apply for Pilotlight Insight as one out of necessity.

She said: “As an organisation, we recognised that tracking the journey of our beneficiaries through our projects and services, and having the ability to measure our social impact, was an essential part of implementing our new strategic plan. Tracking these metrics would enable us to constantly improve service delivery, flex our work to community needs, and communicate effectively with our external stakeholders (such as funders). Our CRM system, at the time, did not allow us to do this and we recognised that we needed support to research our options.”

Six Barclays Pilotlighters were presented with a challenge from Vanessa and her team at DASH - How can DASH most effectively track its service user journey and the impact of its work?

Over ten weeks, the Pilotlighters worked to come up with recommendations and tools for DASH to implement. This commitment was greatly appreciated by Vanessa: “For a small organisation like ours, this is invaluable. Without this programme it would have been impossible for us to access this level of support.”

Apart from getting input from Pilotlighters, the programme also allowed Vanessa to step back and assess the challenge she had set them herself.

She said: “Working with the Pilotlighters was a great experience not only for our organisation, but for me personally, as it provided me with the time and opportunity to sit back and look at the issue from a different perspective.”

At the end of the programme, the Pilotlighters presented Vanessa with recommendations on tool optimisation, capturing softer metrics and a funding application strategy and a corporate partnership pitch template.

As a result of the programme, DASH has secured funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and implemented all the Pilotlighters’ recommendations.

Vanessa noted: “Without this project and the support from the Pilotlighters, I am certain that we would not have been able to demonstrate the need and obtain this funding.”