Dingley’s Promise awarded RVA Safe + Sound

Dingley’s Promise were recently awarded RVA’s Safe + Sound governance mark. We spoke to Group Operations Manager, Aimee Knight, and Treasurer, Ian Mackinder, about the charity’s work and the process of applying for Safe + Sound.
Tell us about the work of Dingley’s Promise
Aimee: Dingley’s Promise is a specialist early years provider, working with children with SEND in Ofsted registered sessions, to give them the best start in education, and where possible to enable them to transition to the mainstream. The service aims to ensure that children get the best start in education, with support tailored to their individual needs; that families have access to support and education that reduces their isolation and improves their hopes for the future; and that mainstream providers are given the best information and guidance to support more children with SEND inclusively in their settings.
What encouraged you to apply for Safe + Sound?
Ian: At Dingley’s Promise we pride ourselves on our strong management team and having a set of trustees with a wide range of business skills. Nevertheless we recognise that it is very easy to be complacent about your charity’s own governance, particularly when the Board’s attention can be dominated by the need to secure income and deliver services. We therefore welcomed an opportunity to review ourselves against the Safe + Sound standards, and to show our supporters that we take governance seriously.
What did the process involve for the Dingley’s Promise team?

Ian: We found the self assessment very useful, especially as it was written in clear jargon-free language. However, what was even more valuable was having Herjeet take time to understand our organisation, read our policies and procedures, and assess them from an independent perspective. The outcome was extremely useful to us. Some things, such as certain financial procedures, that many of us took for granted were not actually documented or properly shared. Other policy documents, such as the Governance Handbook, had not been updated to reflect changed circumstances. Herjeet also provided invaluable advice on issues such as GDPR. We are delighted to have to have taken part in the process and brought ourselves up to the Safe + Sound standard.

Aimee, Ian, and Dingley’s Promise Chief Executive, Catherine McLeod, were presented with their Safe + Sound certificate at RVA’s AGM on 10 October 2018. RVA were also delighted to feature Aimee in our AGM publication, Social Action in Reading.

Find out more about the work of Dingley’s promise on their website: www.dingley.org.uk.

Find out more about RVA’s Safe and Sound governance mark here, or get in touch with Herjeet by emailing herjeet.randhawa@rva.org.uk.