Theory of Change Case Study : Bugz & Bunnies
By Aoife Middlemass - CVS Sector Development Lead
Claire contacted CVS for support in setting up a forestry school. Her daughter Daisy had autism and her parents struggled to find activities she could enjoy. Mainstream venues were too noisy and bright and not inclusive or adaptive enough. Other parents of children with autism had similar difficulties finding appropriate activities so Claire decided to set up a forestry school at the end of her garden.
With CVS support over the next four months, Claire registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC), set up a Facebook page and started running activity classes for mums and toddlers and children, using an indoor space specially created, as well as the outdoor garden area. In order not to spread herself too thinly and lose focus, she worked with CVS to produce an organisational strategy that would enable her and her colleagues to focus on core activities in order to deliver the outcomes set out in their strategy, in line with their overall vision. They also developed their governance over this period of time, ensuring they had appropriate policies in place, and developed a volunteering policy as the groups got busier and they needed to recruit additional support. They also looked at marketing and communications and used contacts at the Council and specialist schools, statutory services and other Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) organisations to advertise their activities. Clare went on local radio to promote her organisation and has attracted support and donations. The Theory of Change that was produced meant she was able to successfully apply for Awards for All Funding for activities that had clear outcomes and would have positive benefits for participants. The sessions are popular and busy and founder Claire can now give up her day job in order to focus completely on her organisation.
“Claire has done an amazing job in a relatively short space of time, putting a plan together for her organisation, using social media to build awareness and gain valuable feedback, which has given her a solid foundation to apply for funding and further progress her cause.” – Aoife Middlemass (Sector Development Lead, CVS Cheshire East)
"When we first started to seek advice from CVS we were very new to it all. CVS really helped us with what we had to put in place to get the project up and running, especially with putting a strategy together to help us stay on track. With their support we did our first grant application and secured funding for 5 different groups to be able to access the sessions we provide for children and adults with additional needs. Thank you CVS ". - Claire (Bugz & Bunnies)
Bugz and Bunnies is a great example of an organisation with lots of ideas but which concentrated on just a few, identifying a need for a particular service and producing a viable plan which has a vision and clearly outlined objectives. There is clear evidence of need and Claire and her colleagues have provided a service that is looked-for and delivers great outcomes.