Accelerating progress for YoungDementia UK Homes

Strategy development for a new dementia charity

Following the appointment of a new chairman, YoungDementia UK Homes wanted to accelerate progress toward the establishment of a care home for people with young onset dementia.

YoungDementia UK Homes is an Oxfordshire-based charity established in 2009, by YoungDementia UK, to focus on the delivery of a residential home offering long-term accommodation and support for people with young onset dementia.

Geoff Shepherd was appointed Chairman of YoungDementia UK Homes in May 2012. Prior to Geoff’s appointment the charity had been exploring various options for developing the home, without much success. Such an undertaking is a complex and ambitious capital project and, without full-time resources, progress had been slow. Geoff recognised that the charity needed to change the way it was working for the project to succeed.

Verve Consulting was appointed by YoungDementia UK Homes to work with the charity on the vision for the Home and on development of the strategy. Chairman, Geoff Shepherd explains: “We engaged Verve, following a recommendation by one of our Trustees, based on Verve’s reputation for strategy development and track record in improving the commercial efficiency of not-for-profit organizations.”

Working closely with Geoff and the Board of Trustees, Verve managed the strategy process, preparing and facilitating a workshop that covered discussion and agreement on the vision for the Home, the action plan that would enable the tight deadlines to be met, and a business case.

Geoff continues: “Verve Consulting’s facilitation of the strategy session, with their action-oriented approach, empathy for the charity’s cause and great sense of humour, meant that all the Trustees felt able to contribute to reviewing progress and agreeing a plan on the way forward. Verve helped us identify the activities that were critical to achieving our aim and then kept us focused on those key action points.”

The charity has made impressive progress since Verve’s involvement and, although Geoff recognizes that he and the Trustees still have much work to do, he is pleased with the results so far: “We have 2 key positive outcomes as a result of the work with Verve. We have appointed a full-time Director with responsibility for delivering the project and, thanks to Verve’s commercial expertise, we have produced an up-to-date business case for the Home.”

Summing up Verve Consulting’s overall contribution, Geoff said, “Working with Verve was a very, very invigorating experience. They have a sound commercial approach and are results oriented, which was a winning combination for us. We would not have made the progress we did without Verve and overall I rate Verve’s involvement a 5-star contribution.”