Last year, NACCOM was successful in our application to be part of the Design Lab – a programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund to support and develop infrastructure organisations, by providing coaching, expertise and peer-learning over a 12-month period.

The aim of the Design Lab was to support participating organisations with service redesign and delivery, and to create a space to develop and test new ideas. 

As part of the programme, we wanted to focus on improving our service delivery to ensure that we are providing the most relevant, timely and strategic support we can to the 135+ member organisations in the NACCOM network. 

To begin the project, we wanted to understand how members currently engage with NACCOM services and what they value most. We carried out in-depth research through interviews with a sample of members in January 2022, followed by a survey sent out to all members in the Spring. Thanks to the widespread engagement in this process from members, we gathered extensive feedback, which we are using to inform the redesign of some of our key services. 

Tom MacPherson, NACCOM’s Network Development Coordinator and Design Lab project lead, said:

“The Design Lab programme has provided a framework for us to understand what our members value from our services, and what we need to improve and redesign. It’s vital that members’ needs are at the centre of any changes we want to make.” 

He continued: “We went into the Design Lab process with a commitment to retaining the relational nature of NACCOM membership. We feel this is one of the network’s key strengths and this point came back strongly through the research. At the same time, we also recognise that in response to the extensive growth of the network in recent years, as well as changes made to our service delivery during Covid-19, a more formalised network infrastructure is needed to ensure that we can sustain our work and bring more people with us on the journey to end destitution.” 

Building on our strengths 

In addition to providing a catalyst for change to aspects of our service delivery, the research conducted with members through the Design Lab has highlighted which aspects of NACCOM membership our members value the most. 

These include: 

  • Solidarity across the network 

  • The network’s collective voice 

  • Being part of something bigger 

  • Collaboration between members 

  • Learning from and sharing with one another 

  • Connections and friendships 

  • Responsive and relational approach 

  • Responsive and relational approach 

  • Accessibility of resources 

  • NACCOM staff expertise in the areas of:

    • Capacity building and Network Development 
    • Policy, Advocacy and Research 
    • Communications

The top five areas for development revealed during the Design Lab programme: 

As NACCOM develops and evolves, we remain committed to being led by our members in any service redesign we undertake to enhance the capacity, reach and impact of our network.