Choosing the right partner

Given the recent, and quite justifiable furore about the quality of care provision in England, it was a privilege to visit an organisation that gets it absolutely right.

Erskine has been caring for veterans since 1916, providing nursing care for elderly veterans in specialist homes across Scotland, but also offering support, housing and employment opportunities to veterans of all ages.

Two years ago TimeBank brought together a group of all the key players providing or commissioning support for veterans across the central belt – the first time many of them had been in the same room. We wanted to discuss the possibility of delivering Shoulder to Shoulder in Scotland, but to make sure that we did not tread on any toes or duplicate existing services.

Just as important was to find a delivery partner that was the leading provider in its field and shared something of TimeBank’s vision and values. Immediately after the meeting Erskine came back to us, keen to pursue the idea and develop a working partnership. Two years on and we are now recruiting a Project Co-ordinator to deliver our Shoulder to Shoulder programme in Erskine.

From the outset the partnership has been sustained not only by openness, honesty and communication, but also a good understanding of the two organisation’s culture, vision and values. Surprisingly, to me at least, was how close the two very different organisations are in those terms – like TimeBank, beneficiaries are at the heart of what Erskine deliver, and they, like TimeBank, are happy to be held to account for the work they do – doing what they say they will do.

On every visit to Erskine l’ve been impressed by the friendliness, the team work and commitment to get things done to the highest possible standard from everyone you meet – from the porters to the Chief Executive. The new TimeBank Project Co-ordinator will be based in Erskine and will benefit from having a fantastic working environment and culture around them – and hopefully they will be able to impart a little of the TimeBank culture too!

As you will notice from the picture, Erskine offers something of the best of the old with forward-looking innovation - this amazing building is apparently the oldest gothic piggery in Europe and to the rear is Erskine's state of the art conference and training facility. 

You can read more about our new project, supporting ex-servicemen and women and their families in Scotland, at Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine.