Findings: How does longer term funding help to sustain self management?

There were four main areas in which having secured, long term funding enhanced the sustainability of self management practice and delivery, and, therefore positively supported both the operation of organisations and individuals’ lives. These areas are time, trust, scope and delivery.

Time

Having longer term funding as opposed to the more common one to two years has brought several benefits. Knowing that funding is available for five years allowed organisations to better expand, to further embed and to create even more sustainable self management engagements. For example, across a wider geographical and socio-economic reach, while, simultaneously building up meaningful connections at both individual and community levels as a result of the longer time available.

Having more time allowed projects to respond to challenges in a reflective way. When issues arose, organisations had the capacity to evaluate the best strategy of action and to change course as required to respond to demands and opportunities. This resulted in even better opportunities for participants to self manage and helped projects to adapt and continue delivering services when, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Trust

Longer, secure funding supported projects to drive a sustained change in attitudes and culture, which in turn allowed individuals to learn more about self management. Projects were able to support people to build up extended engagements and deeper trust not only towards the organisations they received support from but towards themselves as well as to gain acceptance that they are in the driving seat and can have control through self management.

Scope

Due to the characteristics of the Self Management Transforming Fund, organisations offered a wider variety of support as part of their projects. This meant even more diverse self management courses and opportunities, and therefore a better chance for individuals to find engagements that would suit them. Geographical and socio-economic expansion of projects brought self management to previously unreached communities and allowed individuals to feel better able to self manage on their terms.

Continuation of delivery

Across all the nine projects, people’s individual stories expressed joy at having had engagements that they could rely on an ongoing basis. This peace of mind extended to the organisations as well, as, having secure long term funding, they did not need to worry about otherwise annually reoccurring issues such as how they would be able to support individuals should they not secure funding for the year to come.

Having consistency also allowed people to explore their skills and, for example, take on elements of delivery to improve and expand the projects run, enhancing its sustainability and reach, taking self management to people not involved before.

Resources

The ALLIANCE published a podcast discussing the learnings from the Self Management Fund: Transforming Self Management in Scotland – you can learn more by visiting the ALLIANCE Live Roundtable post, or listening directly from our Anchor.FM page (this link will take you away from our website).