By Richard Groden
AS many of you know, we’ve been thinking about our future here at Jewish Care Scotland, which has led us to begin the process of developing a strategy which will outline how we meet the needs of the Jewish community, both in the short term and for many years to come.
This work involved us commissioning the help of Thrive Consultancy to ascertain what you as the community felt about JCS, what your wishes were and, most importantly, what you felt was important for us to consider in the future.
Since November, 2018, Thrive has been consulting with and listening to members of the community from across Scotland, including those who use our services and their families, and gathering the key messages that have come from this work.
The themes that came from this work were very welcomed and will be used to inform our future strategic direction.
We learned that there is tremendous affection for JCS and that people who received support really valued this. Comments made often indicated that JCS was a lifeline proving help and advice in times of need and that it could provide a much-needed opportunity for connection and support.
The spirit of the organisation was seen as a positive, especially noticeable in the extent to which members of the community support and help the organisation.
Your feedback however also highlighted some areas that we need to consider moving forward. It was mentioned that, perhaps, support for those living with poor mental health could be considered as well as an acknowledgement that possibly what JCS currently offers, is not always appealing to younger age groups.
There was, however, recognition that the organisation would struggle to be everything to everyone and that regardless of what people would like, this had to be on balance with ensuring the charity was financially stable in the future, especially in the face of current funding cuts and a move to individually paid for services.
It is therefore clear that we have some challenging and exciting times ahead in thinking through our next steps and making plans for our future.
This work however will be instrumental in ensuring that we fully explore and make decisions based on how we will provide excellent care and support to as many people as possible, in ways that have the greatest positive impact.
Despite our challenges, a real strength of the consultation was that most people identified that what we have currently, is not necessarily all we need for the future — which means we have a real opportunity to be creative and shape our futures together.
At the moment we are reviewing the input and feedback provided by Thrive and hope that once this has been fully digested, we can start to shape and share our thoughts for the future.
We are keen that we continue our dialogue with our community and will talk a little bit more about this at our annual meeting.
Mr Groden is chairman of the board, JCS
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