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Cta Man

HIE Support

When your business is people

FACT operations manager in Forres Town Hall

Building communities on fair work principles

Forres Area Community Trust (FACT) is a local development trust in Moray. They have three priorities for the Forres area: developing citizenship and the community by involving residents and organisations in rural regeneration; protecting their environment, culture and heritage; and advancing local people’s opportunities in independence, employability and lifelong learning.

HIE and FACT have worked together for a long time, with FACT a vital organisation in shaping and delivering a wide range of sustainable development projects identified by local people. Current projects include the re-development of the Town Hall, the Pop-Up Larder, and a number of employability and social inclusion initiatives including Forres Online and The Cameron Project. Their Operations Manager Nick Clark tells us why fair work is important to them:

Why are the people who work with you so important to you and your business?
Everything we do is about people - if it wasn't for our local staff, the contractors who deliver so many of our wonderful sessions, and all the volunteers who give their time, we simply wouldn't exist. Having the right people in place is so important given the type of work we do.

What was your main motivation in taking part in the Fair Work Support Programme?
We've had a number of staffing changes recently at FACT, and we have grown in size a fair bit - with a mix of full and part-time staff - so it felt like the perfect time for a review. 

We are already committed to paying our staff the living wage, but there's more to fair work than salary, and the opportunity to look at what we do, and how we do it, with an expert was brilliant. Everyone who works with us is so committed to what FACT does - we want do as much as we can to ensure everyone feels fully valued as part of our organisation.

What kinds of areas did your 1-2-1 session focus on?
One of our main priorities is stability. Funding for third sector organisations can be a challenge. Obviously we have to attract the funds to deliver the services, and there's also an implication for staff - as we usually work on a year to year contract. 

FACT has a really committed team, who love what they do and want to work for the community - so we looked at how we can ensure everyone has an effective voice in how we deliver our services. We also looked at our paperwork and processes -  including thinking about where we store documents to be GDPR compliant.

What was in your customised report?
Our report covered all of the topics we discussed in the 1-2-1. It takes a useful format - giving us a practical plan of action. it's organised into things to start, stop and continue doing. It gives additional advice on how to go about it - with useful links to relevant topics and exploring options like low cost HR information management systems.

For others maybe thinking of taking part – what would you say is the most useful aspect from your experience?
The best thing is being able to speak openly and honestly to someone independent to the business about the practicalities of how it's running. We were able to talk through what works and what doesn't, and tap into their expertise to explore new ideas.

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