We had our Away Day on Friday – an everyone away day – staff and trustees. I must admit I was a little apprehensive, we haven’t had an everyone get together since pre-merger when we came together to plan vision, mission, name, objectives and so on.

Obviously we couldn’t accommodate everyone’s needs and so it wasn’t a ‘full house’, but we did have a good spread of staff and trustees with 22 of us attending. We booked a room at the Friends’ Meeting House which was a great setting, and we had outside facilitation of the session.

I have to admit, I was apprehensive. This was intended to be the next step in our organisational strengths review process – all staff and trustees and been through a detailed interview with one of our consultants, the findings of this comprehensive exercise were analysed and a number of recommendations derived from the analysis. The interview process had found that we are a happy bunch, supportive of colleagues, and committed to our work, but there were some areas of further development in relation to communication – both internal and external – planning and governance.

The day would therefore be focused on those areas.

I’m not sure that we achieved that level of reach or analysis on the day – we barely touched upon planning and governance and external communications – but we did demonstrate to one another that we are able to communicate, to work together and to listen to suggestions and ideas. I am not sure that we ended the day with a shared understanding of what CaVCA is or where we’re going, but we did come away with a strong sense of camaraderie and team – we are all part of this one ‘thing’ that is CaVCA, and whilst we might not have a clearly articulated view of what we are, we all believe in it!

That’s a pretty powerful message to come out of an away day and I’m happy with that as an outcome.