Graeme worked with us to design and deliver a year-long organisational sustainability programme. He demonstrated excellent facilitation skills, built rapport, delivered key ideas at an unhurried pace and encouraged interaction. This generated a lot of positive feedback: we were heavily oversubscribed for the two series of workshops that we offered. The workshops allowed space for deep thinking about each facet of organisational sustainability using the Lasting Difference toolkit. Participants expanded their view of what sustainability means. They looked at their organisation’s strategy and operations from a new perspective, used the self-assessment and shared insights with boards and the workforce. Overall, they gained a deeper understanding of the need to balance impact and capacity and were more confident about communicating this. I would highly recommend Graeme’s services.

Chris Wykes Driver

Network Development Manager, HomeStart UK

Thanks in no small part to you, I was able to launch a new strategy for the Foundation earlier this year, which led to creating a new business plan that will enable the organisation to grow in 2024. We have already achieved some growth, we are launching a re-brand and have lots of plans to keep pushing us forward. We have also secured some new corporate partners, using the basis of our strategy to create the initial pitch document. This work is life changing. With your help and support on the development of the strategy and the incredible design work, it gave me the tools I needed to have the right conversations. I really believe in the value of working with talented people, and you are no exception.

Sanjay Singh

Director, ICAS Foundation

Very happy with the service altogether. It’s been a pleasure working together. You managed to take the brief, alongside the feedback from the group, and make sure you delivered something that was really successful for everyone. We wanted organisations to have space to think about these concepts and how they applied to their situations as well as to consider exit strategies before we began delivery. You managed this and more!

Gill Meens

Project Manager, Mental Health Foundation

100% satisfied. I loved the preparatory research you had carried out on the participant organisations, you had tuned in to who they were and why they were there. As a leader of the sessions you showed respect for the individuals, their organisations and their work, and participants themselves recognised and valued this. You brought the best out of people throughout as they felt safe and secure in the learning environment you created online.

Gordon Henry

Development Worker, Cumbria CVS Bedrock Basics project

Despite the challenges of working online, we were able to meet the whole requirements of our plans and develop a fantastic new strategic framework. The process was well managed, Graeme’s facilitation and support were excellent and particularly engaged our board members. He continually checked that we were on course, presenting options and working through possibilities with us: a lot of creative ideas initiated and a really conscientious and active approach to listening to and valuing everyone’s ideas and contribution. We now have a superb strategic framework to be proud of. All delivered in what was a very tight timescale and no surprises or additional costs. I don’t think we could have asked for more.

Annie Mauger-Thompson

Chief Executive, SACRO

We were very satisfied with your service. We worked well together, you were very much on top of everything that needed to be done, you guided us through all the issues we needed to think about prior to the workshop, you made sure we were familiar with the online platform. You were clear, helpful, enthusiastic, it was very reassuring to have you around during the workshop itself. You did a great job for us, and it was much appreciated.

Joanna Gilliat

TEC Project Officer, NHS Highland

We were very satisfied with the level of service at all stages of the process and had very positive feedback from our delegates and board members alike, about the 3 day event. The keynote and workshop were very popular and received very positive feedback. The Lasting Difference team met and surpassed our expectations. They were able to create an online event that felt friendly, approachable and inspiring to our members/delegates. The whole staff team felt very confident throughout the process, knowing they were there, the best safe hands we could have asked for!

Sarah Van Putten

CEO, Befriending Networks

Graeme organised a workshop for our members on the Principles of Sustainability which was especially relevant in the COVID-19 pandemic. The feedback we received from our members was extremely positive. Members felt the session was excellent and that Graeme was engaging and extremely knowledgeable. He ensured group participation which is not always easy to do on virtual platforms and the pacing was really good. The work produced by Graeme allowed us to provide our members with a space to reflect and learn as well as the tools required to sustain impact at a crucial time. It was extremely easy to work with Graeme and the event was delivered seamlessly.

Raveena Sajjan

Policy and Network Development Officer, The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland

Pelican Cancer Foundation is deeply appreciative of the professional and thorough way in which: the brief was initially explored; the stakeholder telephone interviews and subsequent Board Review Session were conducted; the consequent Reports were written. The Chair and CEO of Pelican were delighted to collaborate with Jen Curran on this work and were particularly impressed by her skill in drawing out the salient matters for discussion and encouraging honest and open debate. Equally impressive was Jen’s ability in allowing the debate to turn into significant points of strategic agreement and subsequent action. I would recommend The Lasting Difference without hesitation to any organisation in the public or third sectors as an ethical consultancy firm, living up to its vales and delivering an outstanding service.

James MacBain

Chief Executive, Pelican Cancer Foundation

Thank you so much for your work on the Student Carer Learning Exchange 2020. It was a great experience doing this online event with you. You went above and beyond in terms of facilitation, technical support and organisation of the event. I really appreciated all the calls with Jenny in the run up to the event and found these a great support. Graeme on the day was an excellent facilitator and was great at creating connection with delegates. I also appreciated the support in planning, putting together timelines and brainstorming ideas. I would definitely recommend The Lasting Difference to others looking for support in event facilitation.

Amy Copsey

Development Officer, Carers Trust

Graeme has added exceptional value to our sessions. He was able to take our theme and deliver a relevant and engaging workshop session to our conference delegates. It is clear that Graeme has extensive knowledge on the topic areas. As well as his knowledge Graeme adds innovation and good humour to his delivery which ensures the sessions are enjoyable as well as highly informative.

Jane Adams

Chair, Chief Officers of Citizens Advice Bureaux in Scotland

We have had very positive feedback from those who attended the event. Particular mention was made of the high quality discussions that took place during the workshops, and on how the focus on sustainability led to a slightly different approach to issues that have been around our Network for many years.

Stuart Valentine

Chief Executive, Relationships Scotland

Thanks again for facilitating our away day. It was a really positive day that has given me (and I think others in the team) lots to think about as we continue to evolve. It was lovely to see that real sense of shared understanding and commitment across the staff and board and the acknowledgement of how far we have come. Looking forward to using the toolkit more as we reflect and plan – and the postcards will definitely come in handy for supporting some discussion!

Rhona Matheson

Chief Executive, Starcatchers

(The e-learning programme) fully met our brief and fully achieved our outcomes. Particularly pleased with the careful thought given to preparation and adaptation of normal methodologies to cope with different threats and opportunities of online training delivery.

Jane Salmonson

CEO, Scotland's International Development Alliance

Thanks for facilitating so well yesterday. Everyone gave very, very positive feedback after you left – for yourself, your approach and the skills you demonstrated. The references you made to your own role as a trustee were picked up by our own trustees, and they appreciated the perspective that brought to the conversations. Board members enjoyed the session! I’m looking forward to distilling and reflecting on all the information and discussion, and I know it will help me greatly in moving forward with the Board in a more deliberate/planned way.

Janice Williams

CEO, The Haven

Every one of the sessions was facilitated brilliantly. You have provided us with the models for our partnerships to use going forward and as an understanding of what they are trying to do and achieve. (You were) very engaging and enthusiastic, and extremely respectful, with great ideas about how we can innovate and improve. Great understanding and showed brilliant experience of the area of work.

Cat Young

Assistant Programme Manager, NHS Lothian

We were very satisfied with your service. The event was well planned and I had the confidence that I was in good hands in terms of the how the day would be run.
The event was planned to open up the minds of staff, board, and volunteers regarding the future of the organisation and to have honest conversations regarding sustainability and what the challenges and opportunities we had ahead of us. Many people found the activities helpful, as they were able to look at the bigger picture and be aware of issues that we face. We will have no hesitation in recommending your organisation to partner organisations and also use your services again in the future.

Arun Gopinath

Manager, entral Scotland Regional Equality Council (CSREC)

The service received was of high quality with excellent communication and delivery. The team was always supportive, understanding, responsive and respectful. Graeme’s insight helped to sharpen the focus of the work and shape the plan. Jen’s knowledge, experience and understanding of the work required was impressive. She was also always understanding and supportive to VAF’s time constraints, setting timeframes for information required that were reasonable and achievable. The final report was very well balanced and of high quality, with priority given to capturing contributors’ experiences. The report recommendations were on point, identifying learning for future funding programmes.

Khalida Hussain

Programmes Manager, Voluntary Action Fund

We were extremely satisfied with every aspect of the service provided. We were particularly pleased that Graeme attended our events and gained first-hand experience of the work on the ground which is very important. We were also particularly pleased that he took time to come along and present the findings of the report to all staff involved, which was appreciated by all and really brought the report alive and generated discussion about implementation of recommendations and forward planning. The work met the brief completely and achieved our outcomes. The work was carried out with great efficiency and respect. It was delivered on time and on budget and we would not hesitate to use them again and to recommend the services to others.

Sheena Young

Head of Business Development, Fertility Network Scotland

100% met our objectives. We hoped to have enough information to create a new strategic plan and after the session that is exactly what we had – it all fitted together perfectly and I really appreciated the additional support to map and align our outcomes afterwards. Both the preparation and the workshop itself used new ideas, models and visual representation of concepts we had not encountered before. Graeme is fantastic as a facilitator – keeping us on track and to the point with ease. Thank you for taking so much time to research and learn, this all came across when you were working with us.

Natalie Stevenson

Countryside Trust Manager, Loch Lomond and Trossachs Countryside Trust

Graeme very quickly understood what we were looking for and tailored everything accordingly. He worked incredibly well to bring everyone into discussion and to ensure nothing was missed throughout the sessions.
Certainly met our brief 100%. Absolutely lived up to his stated values.

Jess Wade

Manager, Self Directed Support Scotland

Graeme was brought in as an external consultant to help us develop an outcomes framework for DA and to help us refine our thinking regarding our monitoring of outcomes. The service provided has been extremely flexible and has adapted to meet our changing requirements. As well as the focussed events, Graeme has been available to us via email/telephone and has provided us with valuable tools and suggestions to help us create logical solutions to complex and changing challenges. Graeme’s way of working and his value base is very much in line with DA’s and his approach was enabling, empowering and supportive. This allowed us to get the most out of the time we had with Graeme. I would highly recommend Graeme to other socially minded enterprises who need some space for effective strategic thinking in a constantly changing environment.

Luan Grugeon

Chief Executive, DA (Drugs Action)

The VHS team liked Graeme’s approach when he facilitated workshops for staff and board members on the development of a new three year strategy. Graeme had a light but skilled touch in guiding staff and board members through the development process: he was always empathetic and inclusive whilst maintaining his objectivity and focus on guiding everyone to get through the task in hand. As Chief Officer at VHS I very much appreciated his knowledge and experience of strategy development and presentation and this is reflected in the end result.

Claire Stevens

Chief Officer, Voluntary Health Scotland

Graeme’s work fully met – and also added real value to – our brief. We were delighted with the balance struck between identifying strengths, areas for improvement and also how he brought the real impact of the project to life through user quotes and feedback. We got more than we expected and Graeme’s work on this has provided Barnardo’s with a clear direction to take the work forward

Tommy McDade

Assistant Director, Barnardo’s

Graeme’s whole approach to delivering the required brief was exceptional. Graeme’s own style of facilitating guided the trainee facilitators through the process and when presenting to new students came across as organised, polite, reflective and totally engaged the audience. A real boost for their own confidence all due to Graeme’s expert tuition. I wouldn’t hesitate to utilise Graeme’s vast experience in future delivery of SSE Scotland programmes.

Tracey Muirhead

CEO, School for Social Entrepreneurs Scotland

I found your work and approach to be thorough, clear and consistent. Jen and Graeme took the work on with energy, clarity, warmth and professionalism. We are especially pleased with the end product – from the clear branding through to the accessible format and content – the highest quality of work. I particularly liked the way that our new Toolkit drew in the expertise and knowledge from Lasting Difference, with an international development lens. Working with The Lasting Difference has been a really inspiring experience, with your expertise and enthusiastic ‘can do’ approach and translation of this into an outstanding product which is exactly what we were hoping for.

Philippa Ramsden

Effectiveness and Learning Manager, Scotland's International Development Alliance

Our proposal for continued funding was accepted – thank you once again for your support with this. We now have a model template going forward, taking a clear outcomes approach to proposals in this format. We are delighted to be continuing this programme at a time when families are going to need us most.

Lesley Fox

Chief Executive Officer, Smart Play Network

We invited Graeme to work with us again as he had supported our organisation previously and the learning from that helped us develop as an organisation. As on our previous assignment, we were delighted and impressed with the service again. We found the planning, preparation, content and delivery all excellent. Graeme’s style and approach guided us gently while at the same time he created the space for us as a Board to have safe exploration into difficult and challenging territory. The whole experience was supportive yet he managed to sensitively and effectively challenge us to address complex issues of exit strategies and strategies for recruiting new board members. The Lasting Difference were exceptional in their support to the Board. We found Graeme to be enthusiastic and creative in his engagement with us and at all times he worked and communicated with integrity. All of the work we commissioned was to a very high standard. It was delivered on time, as planned and within the budget we had available.

Anne-Marie Monaghan

Director, Community Brokerage Network CIC

Very happy with all aspects of the service. Excellent! You fully lived up to your stated values and fully achieved our outcomes.

Maddy Halliday

CEO, Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire

Delighted with the service as always. It was great working with Jen as a facilitator – she had enough knowledge to understand our needs but enough distance to truly facilitate. It was great to have someone keeping us on track, you fully lived up to your stated values.

Jennifer Roe

CEO, Carers Link

On behalf of all of us involved in the Glasgow Alliance to End Homelessness Tender process, I would like to say a big thank you for your time and involvement in helping us develop as a leadership team. As a group, we found your skills, support, facilitation and ability to help us prepare extremely worthwhile and helpful. We couldn’t have got through the process without your involvement, which was very much appreciated by the whole group.

Una Munro

Director of Operations, Mungo Foundation

As a result of an extensive consultation exercise, we had gathered a huge amount of information regarding what people wanted to see in the alcohol and drugs strategy for Aberdeenshire. Jen took the myriad of information collected, effectively facilitated a diverse partnership workshop, and managed to distil the key messages and priorities for alcohol and drugs in Aberdeenshire into a concise, easy to understand strategic document which was unanimously approved by the ADP. This required great skill, knowledge, and genuine care and commitment to the subject matter. Thank you Jen!

Luan Grugeon , Wayne Gault

Chair and Lead Officer, Aberdeenshire Alcohol and Drugs Partnership

We were completely satisfied with the service. Colleagues commented specifically on how knowledgeable and engaging Graeme was in facilitating the day. In particular, people were encouraged to contribute fully to the discussions and it was noted that the quieter members of the team were given every opportunity to feed in their views, which was appreciated. Colleagues also commented that the neutral facilitating style enabled an inclusiveness to the discussions with participants feeling that they were equal partners in the process with no notion of hierarchy or seniority of role (eg Trustee, Manager or Staff member). The outcomes agreed before the day were fully met, with staff also commenting on how valued they felt to be a part of the process and in gaining a better understanding of, and respect for, the respective roles between Trustees and Staff. Graeme lives and breathes his values and this was evident in all of his dealings with Youth Scotland.

Ian McLaughlin

Chief Executive, Youth Scotland

The Lasting Difference always provide a first class service. From the initial planning conversation, helping to clarify aims, to the delivery of engaging and creative content, Graeme is highly skilled at ensuring away days are both very productive and enjoyable. One of the things that most impresses me is how Graeme can adapt to where the team is at and adjust the pace and exercises to go with that. That’s why we’ve used him for several years now for our team away days as well as for senior management and board development events. Graeme provides us with the space – and the challenge – we need to move our business forward. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for top quality facilitation focused on delivering improvement. Truly exceptional!

Alison Douglas

Chief Executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland

Jen’s ability to quickly analyse what we needed from only a very short briefing in advance was impressive. The materials she prepared for us set the scene for a high quality session. Her unobtrusive steering of the conversation allowed us to come to our own conclusions in a very natural way. Thank you so much for your work, we would certainly come to you again for facilitation services and I would heartily recommend you to other organisations.
‘I found your session positively provocative and has given us a clear outline of where our sticking points are and what we now need to do. That you were able to pull this together in such a short space of time is testimony to your depth of knowledge and experience and it showed!’

Maire Gallagher

Managing Director and Peter Jung, UK Chair, ARC UK

The work you have done for us exceeded our expectations in meeting our brief and helping us to achieve our outcomes – i.e. to consult with our members, staff and Board on the priorities for the next 3 years with a view to developing a Strategic Plan and visual summary. I have found your guidance and gentle reminders/steer extremely helpful throughout the process and I know that the Board, staff team and the members who attended the consultation events/Members’ Day have greatly appreciated your easygoing, engaging and informal (but clear, productive and constructive) way of working. It is great to have an exciting and visual Strategic Plan in place for the next 3 years.

Cathy Magee

Chief Executive, Dyslexia Scotland

I thought Jen was excellent. Her preparation and research prior to the event was very thorough, including tweaking the format/objectives after she had spoken with our Head of Funding Development. To cover the Board’s role in Income Generation in an hour is an almost impossible task but Jen covered everything we needed to achieve the objectives we had set. She also provided us with a very useful toolkit and a copy of her presentation which we will refer back to in future Board meetings. The lively discussion and ideas which were flowing during the group discussions were testament to Jen’s effectiveness.

Liz Leonard

Vice Chair, Scottish Refugee Council

I was extremely happy with the service, we managed to cover a lot in a short space of time utilising simple and manageable techniques that will be easily replicable for us in the future. Graeme met the brief and helped us to achieve our outcomes, engaging the full team and providing a host of materials and methods that would help us interact with our audience in the future.

Shona Morris

Project Manager, Cycling UK

Working with Graeme throughout the project was an absolute pleasure-everything was well planned and delivered, on time and on budget, with all of our outcomes and expectations fully met. Graeme’s ability to keep things on track whilst working with a range of internal and external stakeholders was very impressive and his clarity of purpose was second to none. He very quickly gained the respect of everyone involved and worked creatively and collaboratively with us throughout the length of the project. We were delighted with the final report which was honest, jargon free and very astute.

Andrea Wood

Chief Executive, Key

Working with Graeme was a delight. Our meetings were always rigorously planned, focused on the needs of our organisation, and productive. Graeme brought insightful questions to each stage of our work, along with creative responses and a reassuring professionalism. As a result of working with Graeme we now have a robust strategic and work plan which will help steer us into the future.

Ruth Harvey

Director, Place for Hope

I can say without any hesitation that we received an excellent service. There is now a shared understanding of the need to define what we mean when we talk about Strategy and Scrutiny and the importance of getting the balance right. We have a diverse board with a range of skills that demonstrate competence in governance. Following the facilitated session we have a board that has just raised the level of their competence in governance and reached a clear position on strategy and scrutiny and the parameters of board and SMT roles and responsibilities.

Isobel Lawson

CEO, Stepping Stones for Families

Thanks again for your work on this strategic review for and with us all at LINK. We’ve valued your advice, your clarity of focus (helping us to get a cohesive set of documents as a product!) and your professionalism. This can’t be a simple process for any organisation – and it certainly has additional complexity for a network where the commitment to the cause and the operations is largely voluntary, and where there is the duality of organisation and network responsibilities. Given that extra challenge, we are all very pleased with the result!

Jen Anderson

Chief Officer, Scottish Environment LINK

We are 100% happy with your services. There can sometimes be difficulties in working with evaluation consultants where evaluation-speak is a barrier and source of frustration between client and consultant. We are delighted to say that our communications were blissfully jargon-free! Graeme worked closely with us to fully understand the project, its aims and objectives. He worked alongside our volunteers, mentors and staff and by doing so was able to understand the context and environment in which the evaluation data was to be gathered. For us this was an unexpected but very welcome and reassuring bonus. The final report reflected Graeme’s honest, common-sense and insightful approach. The report was not simply score-keeping. It provides all stakeholders with a valuable, thought-provoking reflection, record and tool to inform our future work and performance. canal college was a huge, complex and ambitious project and before we began it was feared that the evaluation would impose yet more complexity and effort on a small project team. To our relief, Graeme helped us to distil the essence of the project and designed an evaluation plan which complemented and often improved of processes. All staff were very impressed with Graeme’s creativity and enthusiasm. We felt respected, listened to and understood. Graeme quickly became like one of our team – helping, advising and providing insight, often going the extra mile to assist. Overall very satisfied with service and I would absolutely recommend to other prospective clients.

Alan Forrester

Project Manager and Karen Moore, CEO, Scottish Waterways Trust

We are delighted with the Consultation Toolkit. Thank you for your skill and effort in working with the group to translate our initial vision and their ideas into such a dynamic, practical resource which has exceeded our expectations. It’s always a pleasure to work with you.

Don Williamson

Chief Executive, Shared Care Scotland

This event was excellent, with a real energy amongst participants. This energy was helped both by the structure of the programme but also the manner in which Graeme helped to guide people through the day. Graeme went beyond the brief in providing support and ideas to help shape the day, which was beyond our expectations. The input from Graeme was very good value for money and would be happy to recommend his work and support to any other organisation.

Elaine Wilson

Programme Manager, Partnership Drugs Initiative

All the members were thrilled by the day, saying it was one of the best they had been involved with and how much they got from it. Can you also pass on their thanks to Graeme who, they all thought, was great!

Membership involvement strategy and consultation