CEO Blog – The Power of Stories

CEO’s Blog November 2022

In Vibrance we struggle with the question ‘How do we know if we are achieving our charitable purpose?’ Our Rules have a rather broad and vague statement of what our purpose is, but I would translate this as….

  • To support people to have enjoyable and fulfilling lives and to be in control of their own destiny

So, how on earth do we measure how effective we are being? Measuring our financial performance is easy, measuring human outcomes is much more difficult.

To help our Trustees to better understand if we are being effective we tried something new recently; we invited a number of our Service Users to join our Trustees to talk about their lives and to share their stories, and it was amazing. There is simply nothing to compare with hearing someone’s story face to face, uncensored, warts and all, and the session was incredibly powerful. We heard how people have been supported to:

  • Deal with close bereavement
  • Gain voluntary opportunities and paid employment
  • Deal with abuse in their own home
  • Move home and settle well
  • Deal with family pressures

The pride in their lives and their achievements was wonderful, but what we hadn’t anticipated was the staff taking the opportunity to share their stories as well…we heard:

  • How staff with little experience had initially been nervous, but had blossomed and were loving their job
  • From staff who had made enormous sacrifices in their private lives to support and protect residents during Covid
  • From staff were passionate and energetic about supporting residents to get out and enjoy wonderful social lives in their communities

In the two hour session our Trustees gained a priceless insight into the lives of people we support and people we employ and were left reassured that we are making a real difference.