By James Darley, Police Now Trustee
Police Now is proud to be part of the Transform alliance of charities committed to delivering systemic change through collective action.
The Transform Alliance brings together five charities which recruit, train and develop frontline public-sector workers to maximise the impact they can deliver. The specific members are Teach First (primary and secondary school teachers), Frontline (child social work), Unlocked Graduates (prison officers), Think Ahead (adult mental health) and Police Now.
Fostering collaboration across charities is notoriously difficult – particularly when there is perceived competition between these organisations in the graduate marketplace. However, the Transform vision is built around the notion that more can be achieved by working together than working in silos – taking ‘partnership working’ to the next level.
Enthusiasm for social action
Hundreds of thousands of young people are involved in social action activity during their youth, such as through the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, Scouts, National Citizens Service and Voluntary Police Cadets. Channelling this youthful enthusiasm into a future career is a key challenge that an alliance, such as Transform, can tackle by educating universities and students about social inequality.
Universities are increasingly recognising that their responsibilities go beyond teaching degrees and towards also considering the future employability of their students. Transform is assisting universities with this by piloting volunteering schemes that help build student skills whilst familiarising them with the value of public service. Bristol and Leicester have led the way this year and undergraduates are being inspired to join Transform members because of the volunteering opportunities they are completing locally to their university. Not only are they building their softer skills so that they add more impact today, they are also building the skills we all look for in our selection processes!
By working with universities in this way, Transform is educating students about social inequality showing them that it is not simply inevitable for certain communities and inspiring them to take action to correct it – whether in a frontline role or not.
Building this movement for systemic social change, however, requires a holistic approach. Given the increasing competition within the graduate market and the need to attract top talent to frontline public-sector roles, Transform is working with the five charities to build an offer that attracts graduates that think and act differently. Working with central and local government, Transform is starting to explore how to tip the balance in favour of public sector roles.
Transform is also encouraging those working on the frontline of each charity partnered in the alliance to take holistic problem-solving approaches to their day-to-day activities rather than working in silos. We want to see partnership working happening on our streets as we know lasting social change can only be delivered if the whole community is behind it.
To maximise the impact we can have in communities, we must work together.
Transform is currently piloting several ideas across four key pillars:
Harnessing young people’s passion for social action
Increasing graduate interest and capability to deliver in front-line public sector roles
Enabling Transform members to compete on a level playing field with the best graduate employers
Delivering collective impact on the ground in the areas that need us most
If you’re interested in finding out more about the work, please email me at [email protected].