Our corporate strategy for 2024 – 2029 with Chief Executive, Linda Bryant

I am pleased to share our refreshed corporate strategy for Together which will guide us over the next five years.

You will read that it sets out our ambitions for everyone who experiences mental distress to be valued and able to make their own choices so they can determine their own future. Towards the end of 2023, as we were thinking about this new strategy, we had just re-launched our annual thought leadership lectures named after our founder Reverend Henry Hawkins. The inaugural lecture focused on the positive impact of art on our mental wellbeing, and the hopefulness and joy of the event inspired our thinking about the future.

We are optimistic about the future having weathered the unprecedented disruption and uncertainty experienced over the past few years with the pandemic and cost of living crisis. We do not under-estimate the impact that these significant events have had to people’s daily lives across the world, including for the people we work alongside and for our workforce. During the lifetime of our last strategy, there were also far-reaching changes to the health and social care system, including the creation of the new Health and Social Care Act in 2021, as well as new integrated care systems (ICS) and the community mental health framework (CMHF). At Together, we welcome the fact that at the heart of these changes is the drive to deliver accessible and responsive care predicated on cooperation and collaboration between social care, health and the voluntary community sector.

Together for Mental Wellbeing

This strategy demonstrates that we are a resilient organisation, ambitious for the people we work alongside through the exceptional care, compassion and dedication of our workforce of staff and volunteers. We will continue to respond to the opportunities that are available to us and commit to delivering even better and more successful services for the people who want and need them, now and in the future. We remain confident in our strengths as a Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) provider. This means being adaptable, never giving up and stepping towards the people we work alongside to provide continuous care and support in the most adverse of circumstances.

Together has a reputation as a reliable, responsive and safe provider of mental health social care and we will build on the fantastic services we currently provide through this strategy. Our thinking will continually evolve and improve along with our approaches and practices as they have done over our 140-year history. This will ensure our priorities remain relevant to the people we work alongside, to all our key stakeholders and are reflective of the environment in which we operate. To help us do that, we commit to regularly reviewing this strategy to ensure it remains forward-looking and relevant.

Sustainability of service provision is also dependent on a sustainable workforce and recruiting and retaining people who are motivated by working in mental health social care is a priority for us. This remains an area of challenge across the public, voluntary and independent healthcare sector, but one that Together is meeting through a People Strategy that looks to build capacity and mobilise an inclusive and diverse workforce. This is also reflected in our new strategy and includes members of the workforce who have lived experience of mental distress and the recognition of the value and breadth of their expertise and skills.

Finally, our new strategy reinforces our commitment to realising the potential and positive impacts Service User Leadership has on the people who use our services, on the organisation and wider society. We will continue to replicate the successes of people using Together services by drawing on their unique knowledge and personal insights to effect positive change in the way we support people, local commissioning and the development of national policy.

We can only achieve our ambitions in partnership and collaboration. We look forward to working with a diversity of stakeholders, drawing on each other’s expertise, insights and knowledge for the benefit of people experiencing mental distress who are in need of care and support.

Linda Bryant, Chief Executive