We are here to support, promote and develop voluntary and community action in Middlesbrough

Collaborate – why should we?

Collaborate: two or more people working together towards shared goals”

At a time when resources are limited and need is increasing, we need to work differently if we hope to make a reasonable impact on the society we exist to serve.

Money is in short supply; people with energy, ideas, skills and empathy are not. We can work differently together to make the best use of what is available – but we can only achieve that if we share what we have with others.

We must share generously because it’s obviously the right thing to do. People are struggling to cope and we, the Voluntary and Community Sector exist to ease the pain, secure better outcomes and to prevent crises occurring. What else are our resources for?

I know this is a huge challenge for trustees and Chief Officers who have a duty to protect the assets of their respective organisations, but this can be done in ways that enhance your resources rather than deplete them.

What do we have resources for anyway? We have buildings, employees, volunteers, kitchens, minibuses, computers, printers, furniture, tools, information, land and many other useful valuable things – almost universally underused. We have a duty not only to protect our assets – but to make the best use of them. To make the best of what we have, we must share appropriately, collaborate, trust each other and give generously.

There are risks; there have been organisations that have taken more than they should, that even now compete for resources rather than share them.

I know many of us can identify other people/organisations with shared goals; every one of us could reach out and invite others to talk about ways we can collaborate. There are some big well-resourced organisations operating in and around Middlesbrough – all of them have space or equipment that could help individuals or smaller organisations to make their contribution to a better Middlesbrough

If I have something you can use to help others, please ask me for it.

John Atkinson


Community Action and Development Officer at MVDA.