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Sunshine Coast: Finding Clarity & Commitment

The Sunshine Coast is a gorgeous collection of coastal communities just north of Vancouver. The 180km stretch of land is home to three municipalities and many tiny villages full of character and charm. The area is accessible only by ferry.

The region had received some project funding for an Early Years Centre and was required to submit a 3 year action plan for which they would ecstatically be receiving four more years of funding. The Early Years Centre is guided by a multi-agency partnership and the group was proud of the changes occurring in the community and excitement grew around seeing how the process of creating a plan (and the plan itself) could open up further possibilities and opportunities across the region.

The coordinator connected with Ready to Raise.

We were drawn to working with Ready to Raise for a variety of reasons. We had heard of amazing work done by Tracy and Tammy in the field of Early Years Community Development. We had also been given the task of creating a 3 year strategic plan involving many partners, all who have a passion for Early Years, with many equally compelling ideas and wishes for the plan. The task at hand seemed somewhat daunting. We wanted to do a good job, but how?”

With a deeply felt commitment to growth, the coordinator worked behind the scenes with Ready to Raise over seven months. The work began with foundation building and a focus on relationship strengthening. This built up to a stakeholder gathering to solidify a common vision among all stakeholders. While Ready to Raise participated in the gathering (co-planning and leading parts of the agenda), it was the committee that worked together to unearth the shared priorities across multiple organizations…ones that were best met collaboratively.

The coordinator consistently used Ready to Raise tools and resources at every steering committee meeting and adapted key activities for the stakeholder gathering agenda. They mapped, they struggled with hard choices, they engaged in dialogue and they built on their successes. The coordinator also used time with Ready to Raise to reflect and consider every step moving forward in order to be intentional and grounded in positive engagement principles. Other session were best used to provide an objective eye to “edit for clarity” in the creation of the plan itself.

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“We understood that Ready to Raise would work with us to increase our own ability to create a meaningful plan, giving us more ownership and confidence in seeing it through. They delivered in every way we had hoped. We are now in the final stages of a wonderfully exciting and manageable plan that has a strong foundation in community development.”

The coordinator viewed the process as much more than just creating a solid plan, it was also considered rich professional development that resulted in new skills and confidence to work together effectively. The plan is submitted, the funding renewed, the community engaged and excited about the projects and initiatives that are already moving forward strongly.

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