Something which never ceases to amaze me in developing projects for the company is the power of collaboration. Many of the organisations I work with are social enterprises or businesses with an ethos of 'profit for social purpose', but key partners in nearly everything I do are sports organisations, voluntary organisations, local writers' and artists' groups and increasingly schools. Without exception, when I meet these different entities, they are happy to share ideas and to talk about how to support joint projects.
Take yesterday as an example - a Bank Holiday Saturday. First up is a free writing workshop run by the fabulous Emma Purshouse as part of an arts & music festival in Audlem. I share some ideas about writing for children and get really useful feedback from Emma and other participants in the workshop. I have to leave the workshop early to dash across to Hanley (Stoke on Trent) to give a short presentation to a local writing group celebrating their 10th anniversary.
My pitch to them is to get them to contribute writing about sport to my Sporting Stories project. I'm blown away by their enthusiasm for the project and willingness to engage.
Then on to the INTU shopping centre ten minutes away, to drop in on a Stoke on Trent City of Sport stand there and chat about getting volunteers to write about a volunteer's perspective of marshalling or otherwise helping out at a sporting event - the member of staff manning the stand turns out to be a writer and offers to contribute to the project, as well as helping me engage with volunteers.
And finally off to a local football competition to see if the event director will help garner stories from the participants for Sporting Stories. Another really useful conversation and positive engagement. I'm nearly home before I remember I was supposed to be doing the food shopping while I was in town...