In 2016-17 Clinks faced many of the same challenges as those organisations we exist to support. Our impact assessment showed that our work was essential and well regarded by members and other key stakeholders. But we can’t be complacent – we know that the sector’s needs are changing and we have had to respond appropriately.
Members are juggling reduced or new funding streams, increasing client need, increasing demand for their services, and continued policy and service change. So in 2016-17 we invested in new staff to support our work on the ground with members, to increase our reach into the sector and grow our network, to run more events and training, and to increase our ability to respond to policy. We invested in our staff because they are the key to our success.
We have continued to work with a range of members and partners to maximise our impact. We work with the Young Review and Black Training and Enterprise Group to tackle racism and discrimination, we are members of the Making Every Adult Matter coalition to design better approaches for people with multiple needs, and we are active members of the Transition to Adulthood alliance. We are working with The Monument Trust, who have convened a new fellowship which will challenge the whole sector to think differently about criminal justice reform in years to come. We continue to work alongside key partners such as Agenda, Prison Reform Trust, Criminal Justice Alliance, Centre for Justice Innovation, National Council for Voluntary Organisations, our members across the country both large and small, a diverse range of charitable trusts and foundations, and many more. I would like to thank all our partners for the way they work with us and their commitment to improving the system and supporting the voluntary sector.
We will continue to support our members in good times and in the bad, so that they can do their much needed work and support people in the criminal justice system to turn their lives around.
"Our impact assessment showed that our work was essential and well regarded by members and other key stakeholders."
This has been a difficult year for the voluntary sector working in criminal justice, and for those they support. Issues in prisons are well known and shortfalls in the support that can be provided outside prison are becoming ever more apparent. Our members report that they are dealing with more people, with more complex and immediate needs, and with stretched resources.
Yet the voluntary sector continues to respond creatively to these challenges, focusing on the needs of service users and supporting them to change their lives. Clinks exists to support that work, promote real partnerships, and ensure that the voice of the sector and its users is fed into the thinking of government and statutory services.
These are challenging times – but challenges also carry opportunities to do things differently and better. That is why Clinks, drawing on the experience of its members, continues to put forward a blueprint for change. Our work, and that of the sector we support, has never been more important.
"The voluntary sector continues to respond creatively to these challenges, focusing on the needs of service users and supporting them to change their lives."