Linkage Community Trust (LCT) is a registered charity providing high quality education, care and employment services to over 300 people with learning and other disabilities to realise their full potential.
They believe that for many people with varying degrees of learning difficulty, there is a shortage of appropriate support for them to lead creative and purposeful lives in the community.
LCT has a Care Service department offering college leavers and others with learning disabilities the opportunity to develop their skills to become more independent. They offer a variety of care packages from residential care to community support.
The Trust decided to apply for Committed to Excellence (C2E) to focus and reenergise their staff's attention towards promoting excellence by offering a real framework and progression path for success.
The EFQM Excellence Model has been used to structure the LCT's self assessment process over the last several years. This has led to greater focus on collecting information, which in the past was a little unstructured and had lost the real worth of measuring achievements.
Since implementing the Model, LCT has strengthened many of its processes, increased awareness of the partnerships they've been involved with and seen great improvement in the levels of staff communication.
They've also benefited from the successful recording of benchmarked activities. Previously LCT benchmarked via different departments and often information remained in these areas. Since implementation of the scheme, benchmarking paperwork has improved the sharing of information across the Trust, resulting in noticeable change.
Their corporate approach to energy saving has also gathered speed, with staff joining in on several energy saving initiatives such as the corporate reward programme for reduced electrical consumption.
The biggest challenge for the Trust was undoubtedly the coordination of all the departments' inputs to the C2E application. Aided by the involvement of a cross departmental assessor, the team at LCT worked hard to ensure that everyone in the company felt part of the achievement of this award.
LCT had worked with the Model for a number of years previous to achieving C2E with varying success, but the main purpose (the journey to excellence) has been reignited by using a platform approach to enable the team to be in a position to attain an excellence award as one of the main strategic drivers.
'We are now committed to sign up very shortly for Recognised for Excellence which will ensure we don't lose any momentum on our journey to excellence. The process of continuous improvement continues to be real for all our 800 plus staff.'
David Bradshaw, Human Resources Director, Linkage Community Trust