How can Sheffield’s most urgent and complex problems be solved?


What’s clear is that they can’t be tackled by organisations working alone. We need new forms of collaborative working – and even new thinking and behaviours.


This was the central theme of a knowledge transfer event that we hosted in November. The event was closely aligned with Sheffield Hallam University’s strategic aims to transform lives through sharing knowledge and civic engagement.


What did the event aim to achieve?

  1. Develop a common understanding of the Stanford Innovation Review Collective Impact Framework.
  2. Raise awareness of the role and ambitions of the Sheffield Children Youth and Families Consortium.
  3. Share experiences of collaborative working in a variety of settings.
  4. Encourage enhanced approaches to collaborative working in Sheffield for the future.

What the Collective Impact Framework could achieve

Dave Hembrough (Senior Sport Science Officer) and Chris Cutforth (Senior Lecturer) from Sheffield Hallam University, introduced delegates to the Collective Impact Framework. The framework is designed to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems. It does this by providing an innovative and structured approach to making collaborations work. These could be collaborations between government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organisations and citizens – all with the aim to achieve significant and lasting social change.


Dave and Chris presented evidence from Collective Impact projects implemented as far afield as America, Canada, Australia, India, South Korea and the UK. The projects covered educational attainment, child obesity, poverty reduction, children and youth services, maternal and childcare provision, climate, conservation and environmental protection. Dave and Chris also described how the framework is being applied to the work of the Sheffield Children Youth and Families Consortium in key areas.


Sheffield Children, Youth and Families Consortium – making a real difference

Established in 2021, the Consortium has a shared vision. Its members want to create a city that provides equal access to cultural, creative, sporting and physical activities which enrich the lives of children, youth and families living in under-served communities.


The Consortium provides support, advocacy, leadership and a collective voice for local service providers to enable children, youth and families to make sporting, physical, cultural and creative activities a lifestyle choice which enriches their lives and enhances their communities.


Impact of the event

Delegates from a range of public, private and voluntary/charitable organisations spent time during the event discussing the Collective Impact Framework as well as sharing their experiences of collaborative working.


During the evening a clear consensus emerged on the value of the framework in helping to tackle some of Sheffield’s most complex and urgent problems.


Following the success of this event, a variety of follow-up activities are now being planned to capitalise on the enthusiasm and shared learning gained from the event.


Find out more

Collective impact

Collective Impact Forum

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