Who are we?
The 800 Group is a consortium of seven charities all of which have their headquarters in the Merseyside area. The name 800 Group derives from the fact that the seven organisations cumulatively have over 800 years of history of charitable service and work in the social care sector in Merseyside.
The 800 Group members are:
Agreement of Understanding
The 800 group operates under an Agreement of Understanding which states that we will:
- Commit resources and creativity to develop the relationship
- Communicate effectively and consistently internally and externally
- Share responsibility
- Be sensitive to the commercial needs of each another
- And act as a beacon to other VCF organisations, sharing knowledge, experience and resources to build sector capacity
This final bullet point demonstrates that the 800 Group is not a threat to other organisations but a potential source of support for others in the voluntary, community, faith and social care sectors.
As a result of this desire to work positively with other organisations of all sizes, we have attracted a number of associate members (Irish Community Care, Asylum Link, Mary Seacole House and the Merseyside Chinese Association) who benefit from some of the activities of the 800 Group (such as tender alerts and opportunities to participate in tenders with the core 800 Group partners to provide social care services) but do not participate in the management and governance arrangements of the consortium.
What does the 800 Group do?
The 800 Group was formed to provide a platform where partners could:
- Share opportunities and risk
- Provide a foundation for joint work
- Maximise efficiency opportunities
- Identify and develop new markets
- Increase market share & trading capacity
- Raise profile & capacity to influence
- Pool resources & expertise
In pursuing these high level objectives, the 800 Group has provided a number of tangible benefits to its members:
- Successful joint tenders for public sector contracts
- Aggregated purchasing which saved the members over £250,000 on purchases last year
- Opportunities for staff with common interests (e.g. HR, Training, Fund-raising etc.) to share knowledge, expertise and good practice as well as resources so as not to reinvent the wheel
- Shared training opportunities which reduce costs and mix staff from different agencies to broaden perspectives
- A very successful personalisation brokerage pilot which ran in Sefton with the support of Sefton Borough Council
- Fund raising events e.g. the BBC Radio Merseyside Carol Concert at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral
- The development of a recruitment website
Can we join the 800 Group?
We are often asked if the 800 Group will accept new members either as full members or associates. The answer is yes; but the organisation must be a not-for-profit organisation and we will always want to know why the organisation wants to join the 800 Group and what it believes it would contribute to the group. Certainly to be a core member, an organisation would need to demonstrate that not only is it in sympathy with the aims of the 800 Group, but it also adds something which will substantially help us to further our objectives.