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University boost for Charnwood Connect project

Dr Gillian Ragsdell

A project designed to promote joint working between voluntary and public sector organisations across Charnwood has been boosted by support from Loughborough University.

Charnwood Connect was launched earlier this year with the objective of encouraging joint working between agencies to achieve more for service users and service providers.

Organisations taking part in the two-year Big Lottery funded project include: Human Rights and Equalities Charnwood, Charnwood Borough Council, Living without Abuse, Youth Shelter and The Bridge.

Senior Lecturer, Dr Gillian Ragsdell from the University’s School of Business and Economics has joined the project as an advisor. Gillian is Coordinator of the Knowledge Management Research Group at the University, a member of the Centre for Information Management, and a leading academic in the field of knowledge management.

Gillian comments: “We are designing and implementing different ways of making advice available to people, and sharing best practice amongst voluntary organisations. The project is based on collaboration. This ‘joined-up’ way of thinking about knowledge and information will provide lessons and benefits to a host of agencies. I am very pleased that Loughborough University was invited to engage with the Charnwood voluntary sector on this project.”

Leading the project is Moya Hoult, Manager of the Charnwood Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), who has collaborated with Gillian in the past on similar projects. Charnwood CAB is one of the oldest in the country and Charnwood itself has a higher than average number of voluntary sector organisations.

Moya says: “Charnwood Connect represents a quantum leap in the provision of knowledge. It is an example of genuine engagement and will break new ground.”

With five new posts secured for the project, including a funded PhD Studentship in the School of Business and Economics, and a very positive first steering group meeting held recently, confidence is high among the project members.