Iwona shares her experience as a KTP Associate one year in - marking profound changes, developments, and approaches.

"This year has marked a profound transformation within both the organisation and my personal skills and knowledge development. At Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS), we have implemented foundational changes in marketing, ensuring brand consistency remains a top priority. To enhance operational efficiency, we have introduced templates accessible to all staff, fostering a streamlined approach. We have redesigned our marketing collateral making sure the information is up to date. Our website has undergone significant enhancements, with a more user-friendly and visually appealing design. The successful integration of an electronic ticketing system has enhanced our marketing workflow, providing a systematic approach to handle requests and efficiently manage tasks. This has resulted in a more organised and responsive process, benefiting our overall productivity.

To develop more engagement with marketing across the organisation, we created a 'marketing champions' team, comprising members from various departments. This team approach allows us to collectively tackle challenges and leverage diverse perspectives, contributing to innovative solutions. As we reflect on the achievements of the past year, it is evident that these improvements have positioned us for continued success and growth. We remain dedicated to fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration within LCVS, ensuring that we continue to adapt and thrive in the landscape of community and voluntary services.

Chief Executive Officer, David says: ‘“Comms and marketing was an area where we knew we needed to do things different and better. The KTP helped us to recruit a graduate subject specialist to lead this process and has made us think hard about how we want comms and marketing to work at LCVS. We have made significant changes as a result. A year down the line, we are better organised in how we manage routine comms and support our front-facing teams and we have developed a more strategic and informed approach to marketing and income generation.”’

Business supervisor of KTP Projects, Lee states: '“Working with the KTP has helped us really challenge the way that we look at marketing and communication. It can be difficult at times as it forces us to change, grow and operate out of our comfort zone, but this is what we need if we are to improve the way we work long term and ensure that the knowledge transfer has a lasting impact on the business. We have without doubt, a more professional and structured way of working now that would not have been possible without the skills, knowledge, and commitment of our amazing KTP associate.”'

One of the main project areas (research and engagement with caravan owners on the East Coast of Lincolnshire) has posed considerable challenges. Therefore, the project has shifted in its approach and focused more on expanding the existing services of Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) offered by LCVS. We have been looking at the internal and recovery costing as well as the best ways to penetrate through the market. Despite the challenges, our commitment to navigating these challenges remains steadfast as we work towards the project's objectives.

Within my personal development, I successfully completed Modules 1 and 2 of the KTP Programme, fulfilling the study requirements for CMI Level 5 in Management and Leadership. Additionally, I participated in a digital marketing strategy masterclass with The Chartered Institute of Marketing, delving into advanced techniques for SEO, paid search, social media, email, and display advertising implementation. Attending the KTP conference at Bath Spa University was another highlight and exploring the significance of narrative in shaping a thriving personal brand and business was enlightening. Networking with other associates also added tremendous value.

I am currently halfway through my Senior Leadership Apprenticeship, having covered modules on Risk and Opportunity Management, Finance and Governance, and High-Performance Leadership and Developing Talent. Anticipating the final module in January and end-point assessment, I am eager to apply this knowledge in my professional journey.

Looking ahead, I am excited about completing the Agility in Marketing training and completing my Senior Leadership Apprenticeship, confident that these endeavours will further contribute to my professional growth and the organisation's success. I am also excited about the future of LCVS and the huge benefits this project will bring."

12th December 2023