Balance for Better

As part of International Women’s Day 2019, Pay Plan published a series of blog posts with the theme ‘think equal, build smart, innovate for change’.

Below is the post written by Advice NI Head of Money, Debt & Quality.

Balance for Better Through Partnership Working

Advice NI has been involved in money and debt advice now for about 15 years, and we’ve evolved quite a lot during that time.

As a membership organisation, we aim to ensure access to quality advice through providing leadership, support and services to the Independent Advice Network.

The International Women’s Day campaign theme, #BalanceforBetter, made me think about how, with ever decreasing funding for public and voluntary sector services, it’s now more important than ever to partner and work together to achieve the most effective outcomes for our community.  

Be proud of your results, and keep pushing for innovation

In the advice sector, we have accomplished great achievements, both by increasing our cohesion and collaboration to maximise effectiveness of our services.

International Women’s Day has moved beyond physical representation; it’s about truly empowering people and their organisations to share their views, experiences and skills to create something that is far more powerful than someone could have ever created on their own.

It’s about connecting with people and seeking out those who can complement your organisation.

Try things differently

Northern Ireland is small and unique, which allows us to do things differently. We can offer more supported, intense services, as we don’t have the same economy of scale that you’d see in England. Therefore, we can spend more time with people to support them through the advice process. By working with other organisations that specialise in different solutions, we can increase our capacity and focus on helping more people.

What can we learn from International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day reminds me to consider different points of view. I think it’s moved on from just being a gender topic – and we’re now all thinking about role models, balance of experiences and stereotypes.

It is important to be a role model and to make the best of your team and their talents to continually develop and improve services. One person can’t do it all, just as one organisation can’t do everything. If you want to serve the whole of the community we need to look at what others are offering, to learn from them and work together.

Organisations need to become dynamic to cope with change and ever increasing demands. Balance for me is making sure that we can provide holistic, sustainable, quality services while being able to quickly adapt to changing needs and environments.

In the end, by working together we can ensure that the client is supported throughout their journey; we can reduce their stress levels, increase their confidence and get the outcome they need to get on with their lives.