How Our Services Can Benefit You: Bristol Together Interview

If you're thinking about using our services but you're unsure about how much of a difference it could make to your impact: this is essential reading!  We sat down for a chat with Matt Gutteridge, acting CEO/COO and project manager of Bristol Together, an organisation with whom we've been working recently.

Tell us briefly about what Bristol Together do:
Bristol Together work with ex-offenders to upskill them so that they can be equipped for work, and to prepare them for normal working life.  We take them from being fairly irresponsible and relatively unhelpful in a working environment to realising that if they put in some hard work, they can make it just like anybody else.

Why did you look to Core Insights for help?
Core Insights’ involvement was commissioned by the Board and myself as project manager and acting COO/CEO to capture solid data which could be used to showcase our impact to potential investors in Bristol Together. If we don’t have data, then the day-to-day running of our community interest company can feel a little bit more like “making it up as we go along”.  Core Insights have been able to collect and analyse some really good, solid data to prove that our vision is working, which makes us a viable option for investors who want to make social impact investment.

What challenges did you come across in your work with Core Insights?
One of the challenges is how we make use of the data that Core Insights provide us with. You can come across facts and data which can be a bit disappointing to look at, for example, we found that we were running a lower rate of effectivity than other companies like ours. That’s a bit hard to hear because we want our lads to be the best. 

How did Core Insights help in this situation?
The most helpful thing was that the work from Core Insights enabled us to focus our efforts in the right places. When you don’t know all the data around your different areas of business, it is impossible to know where to put the most effort, when actually there’s certain things you don’t need to put effort into, and some things you need to put lots of energy into. Core Insights enabled us to put to a bullet point what we’re trying to do and where to put our energy and resources, which has been extremely helpful.

What action has this led to, and how has it affected you?
We realised that our attendance levels are lower than the national average, I can’t quite remember, but something like 30 odd percent below, maybe more than that. It made me realise that the thing you get used to becomes the norm. When you find out that that’s not normal at all, it can feel quite uncomfortable. This realisation enabled us to put some healthy pressure on the lads. We told them that this isn’t normal, and if they wanted to succeed in another job outside of Bristol Together, this behaviour needs to be sorted out here and now.

Would you recommend Core Insights?
I definitely would. Core Insights ask the right questions.  When you’re mixed up in the day to day busyness of running a project, dealing with people being sick, sorting out budgets, sorting out resources, you don’t have the time to sit down and ask the uncomfortable yet important questions.  Anyone can ask these questions but what you don’t have is the time to process the data properly and the time to make actioned points off the back of that.  Most companies do not have time to do that, unless they get someone in.  Having good data and the resulting action points can save you thousands of pounds, so I would totally recommend this kind of insight work to any small or medium sized business or charity.