Compact in action: Haringey

The London borough is educating council staff to make the most of the Compact.

Haringey was a slow starter on the Compact, formulating an agreement only in June last year. Since then, it has attracted 79 signatories from the voluntary and public sectors.

However, the London borough's voluntary sector consists of 800 organisations, many of which remain unaware of the document.

On the public sector side, many of the borough's major organisations, including the Metropolitan Police, have signed up. So has Haringey Council, which has committed £60,000 over the next three years towards the cost of employing a Compact project worker.

Despite the progress that has been made recently, many middle and junior council managers still don't know about the Compact.

"The Compact tends to get lost in middle management," says Stephanie Rowland, grants and project officer at Haringey Council. "It's something we've been trying to overcome."

The council organised two events to spread the word about the Compact and to ensure that awareness seeps down through the local authority.

The first event, which was attended by 14 council staff, looked into ways of implementing the Compact in council departments. The half-day event informed middle-management delegates about what the Compact is and how their teams could use it. "The message was that it is about good communication and knowledge," says Rowland.

At the second event, 15 people employed in different council departments were named as 'Compact champions'. "It is their responsibility to make sure the Compact gets taken forward within their own areas," says Rowland.

It's difficult to say what impact the events have had on relations between the voluntary and public sectors in the borough, but most charities would agree it isn't a bad thing to have council staff educated about the Compact. Rowland says the next target is to include Compact principles in job descriptions and to refer to the Compact in policy documents.

"We have a lot of enthusiasm for the Compact, but now we need to make sure it is turned into action," she says.

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