Shetland Partnership
Monthly e-Update - February 2019

Welcome to the fourth monthly e-update for the Shetland Partnership.  Each month we aim to give you a brief update on the progress of the Partnership, news, and opportunities to get involved.
In this edition:

Delivery Planning

A timeline and approach to delivery planning is in place. An update on progress with each priority is outlined below.
  • Participation - workshops with Cormac Russell, Nurture Development (see below), have helped to shape thinking about how this priority can be delivered 
  • People - the Anchor project has had further funding released by the Big Lottery Fund and a workshop was held on 25 January 2019 to discuss implementation
  • Place - a Lead Officer is now in place - Tommy Coutts (Team Leader, Economic Development, Shetland Islands Council) 
  • Money - a small working group has continued to meet and has prepared logic models, which have been used in the development of change ideas
A 'decomposition of outcomes' exercise has now been completed for each priority and change ideas to improve outcomes are beginning to emerge. These were among the topics for discussion at the 'drop-in' on Shetland's Partnership Plan held on 23 January 2019. This gave partner agency representatives and members of the community a chance to share their ideas and help to fill any gaps in knowledge. A report of the outputs from these discussions will be published by the end of February. 

Partnership Network 

The first meeting of the Network took place on the 13th December 2018. The Network is designed to provide opportunities by which community planning partners can get together to share best practice, learn more about key projects and build a shared ownership, identity and the sense of being a community planning partner.

This meeting covered the establishment of the Network and agreeing the role, function and underlying principles of the group. Initial feedback from the partner representatives in attendance has been positive. The Community Planning team are looking to organise four further meetings for 2019, dates for which will be issued in February. 

Partnership Discussions

  • Workshops with Cormac Russell, Nurture Development, were held on the 21st of February to explore Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) as an approach to thinking differently about how service providers work with and for the communitires they serve.
  • A drop-in session on Shetland's Partnership Plan was held on the 23rd January at Islesburgh Community Centre. About 70 participants took part in conversations around delivering Shetland's Partnership Plan, contributing ideas and providing insight. Feedback has been extremely positive and a report will be issued by the end of February. 
  • A meeting of the Project Team and Lead Officers for SPP Priorities was held on the 16th of January to prepare for the drop-in event on the 23rd of January
  • The Interim Management and Leadership Team will next meet on the 21st of February

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is an approach to sustainable community-driven development. It is based on the premise that communities can drive the development process themselves by identifying and mobilising existing, but often unrecognised assets. Thereby responding to challenges and creating local social improvement and economic development.

ABCD seeks to 'build community' and encourages communities to think about three main questions:

      1.  What can we do ourselves?
      2.  What can we do with the help of service providers?
      3.  What do we need service providers to do for us?

The ABCD approach has been developed by Nurture Development. Their Managing Director, Cormac Russell, visited Shetland on 21 January 2019 to lead two workshops on ABCD. Around 120 people from across the Shetland Partnership and Shetland communities attended to take part in conversations about what we could learn from the ABCD approach and some of the examples from around the world that Cormac spoke about. 

These conversations will have particular relevance to how the 'Participation' Priority is delivered. If you would like to know more, please contact June Porter ( or Peter McDonnell (

Scottish Improvement Foundation Skills (SIFS)

SIFS is a training programme open to all public and third sector partners who have an interest in improvement. The course aims to support learners in developing their skills, knowledge and confidence in using improvement methodology, allowing them to contribute as part of an improvement team - testing, measuring and reporting on changes made. 

Currently, the training is delivered through Staff Development, NHS Shetland. Three 'waves' of learners have so far signed up to the training, another two waves are scheduled to be run later this year. Details of when places are available will be included in a future e-update.

If you are interested in SIFS, or have any queries, please contact Sally Hall ( or Bruce MuCulloch (


Over the next four years this project will bring about changes in service delivery through improved participation by families. Often families feel that they are no longer in control of their own destiny when they become linked to additional services, and without their positive engagement situations can often spiral out of control or continue for longer than required. 

The need for this project has been driven by the process of developing Shetland’s Partnership Plan and where it will have the most impact is through the drive to put families and front-line staff at the centre of designing services for the future.  

This project has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund, which has allowed for the appointment of a Project Officer. Their role will be to liaise with everyone involved to ensure that a new approach can be adopted to enhance people's experiences of living in Shetland, allowing families to thrive and participate in Shetland’s great quality of life. 

Over the last few months, detailed discussions have been held with parents as well as services. The findings from these are informing the next stages of development. Regular updates will be provided by the project team. If you would like to receive these, please contact Emma Perring (

Upcoming Events

Each month we will provide a list of any upcoming events and opportunities to get involved
  • Workshop on Scottish Government National Islands Plan - 13th Feb
  • Interim Management and Leadership Team - 21st February
  • Partnership Network - tbc
Featured Project: Voices for Equity

This two-year project aims to reduce inequalities in Shetland through participation, bringing forward public voices and uncovering the different aspects of inequality. It links strongly to the 'Participation' priority in Shetland's Partnership Plan as it seeks to improve the ways in which people who experience disadvantage can be more involved in community planning. 

The project is based on two-way learning (or 'Mutual Mentoring') - the sharing of experiences and perspectives between members of the community and people who are involved in decision-making about services. People who would like their voice to be heard through the process are recruited and then paired with a person from a partner agency. Support and facilitation is provided through Shetland Islands Council's Community Planning and Development team and confidentiality is assured.

To date, eight pairings have been made with more in line to be completed soon.  

If you would like to know more, please contact Nina Elisabeth Høgmo 


We are all part of the Shetland Partnership so we want to hear from you.  What do you think of this newsletter? How can we improve it? What could we include? Do you have ideas, topics, issues you want to discuss with the team or Partnership as a whole? Let us know - email us here.
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