- Excellent strategy, well communicated.
- Excellent and trusted leadership.
- Excellent coaching and mentoring across the organisation.
These are just three of the positive statements used to describe Leicestershire AIDS Support Services by Investors in People after our recent assessment. We are proud to announce that we are now officially recognised as an investor in people organisation.
Three years ago, LASS underwent a diagnostic review against the Investors in People Standard. The findings have been used to help shape a series of changes in support of a strategic review, implemented by our Chief Executive Officer, Jenny Hand.
The revised strategy has made a significant difference to LASS, both in direction and culturally. Work has been done to create robust performance measures and to improve communications. As a result there is clear understanding amongst staff and volunteers of the strategic direction of LASS and there is close co-operation and support between departments.
Within the past three years, we have also set up Well For Living, a Social Enterprise in order to expand beyond our current boundaries and to generate income that is not dependent on Government or local authority funding streams.
In order to achieve Investors in People accreditation, LASS was required to meet 39 mandatory evidence requirements which we did and three more in addition.
We are committed to Investors in People because people are at the heart of everything that we do, our success depends on employees, volunteers, service users and members alike. We chose Investors in People because the framework for accreditation is focused on engagement with people, training and development, and communication.
We are keen to maintain a high standard of work and ensure our employees and volunteers continually work toward professional development. Investors in People have national credibility and their revised standard really reflects the needs of a charity such as LASS.
During the last three years the changes to the organisation have meant a significant investment in people development. Our strategy has laid down a clear direction and focus for us and, with the training and development, has enabled staff and volunteers to be confident in influencing how our services are delivered. For example In 2009 LASS successfully introduced a rapid HIV testing programme that can be administered confidentially on site at The Michael Wood Centre, or via our mobile testing which is taken out to communities.
Many of our staff and volunteers are involved in helping people rebuild their lives once they have been diagnosed as HIV positive. This requires a great deal of positive thinking and encouragement and the same skills are utilised in supporting each other.
We have become a top performing voluntary organisation and were recently shortlisted for “National Charity of the Year 2011” competing against large national charities. We were recognised by the Charities Aid Foundation as:
“One of the best charities in the Country; a small charity punching well above its weight.”
Investment in staff and volunteer development has been a crucial factor in helping the organisation become so successful. We still have to resolve difficulties in getting to those `hard to reach` areas, but we are very creative and recently held a football tournament where we were able to provide rapid HIV tests to people who would not normally come forward for testing.
Our volunteers have also created an advert promoting the value of knowing your HIV status and this informs the audience using 15 languages. It’s this work that got us nominated to the Charity Awards this year and a lasting “Highly Commended” status from them. We always look for opportunities to improve, and welcome ideas and feedback.
Investors in People is an assessment to good standards and working practice. We believe we can continue to “punch above our weight” and we welcome the opportunity to do so, right now and in the future.
We thank our many volunteers, service users and partner organisations who had a part to play in ensuring we continually improve and perform well.
- LASS Football Tournament (lass.org.uk)
- Get a HIV Test & Sexual Health Screening / Information at the Summer Sundae This Weekend (lass.org.uk)
- Door-To-Door Compulsory HIV Testing on the Table (lass.org.uk)
- Today is World Hepatitis Day & Find Out What LASS is Doing To Help (lass.org.uk)
- July Round Up (lass.org.uk)
- How Does Criminalisation Affect The Lives Of HIV Positive People? (lass.org.uk)