Training & Consultancy

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St Mary’s has developed substantial experience in a range of skills

These skills are required by social enterprises, churches and charities and they include:

  • Strategy development
  • Business Planning
  • Fund-raising
  • Project Management
  • Financial management

Unlike many consultancy firms we are also practitioners: immersed every day in the challenges of running a social enterprise and so our work is earthed in the real world. Take a look at some of the work we’ve done and please feel free to call Graham Duncan for an informal conversation if you think we might be helpful.

Our recent projects include:

St Matthews House

St Matthews House - Front
St Matthews House - Side
St Matthews House - Courtyard

Our most recent project has been the project design, business planning, fundraising and project management of a £1.5m refurbishment of St Matthews House in Sheffield’s city centre. The project has attracted both ERDF capital funding and loan finance as well as grants from a range of charitable trusts. The new St Matthews House will be a bespoke facility for art and creativity. It will have a café, a community pottery, 2 large purpose designed workshop spaces, exhibition space and 3 small studio spaces and meeting rooms.

The idea at the heart of St Matthews House is that “creativity is the immune system of the mind”. Everyone needs an immune system so the facilities will be open to everyone, but with a particular focus on people with mental health and learning difficulties, providing a high quality and inclusive location in the city centre.

The refurbished House will open at the end of 2014.

St Matthews House - New Side

Appreciative Inquiry training

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a method of organisational development that helps people to think differently about the challenges they face in the workplace.

It reverses the normal management thinking: instead of looking for problems and trying to fix them, AI looks for strengths: for the things that are working and are life-giving and builds upon them. This approach creates a new set of thought processes and generates a different quality of conversation in which participants are energised and motivated, realising that the solutions to their problems already exist within the organisation.

There are many advantages of this approach. It helps people to identify and build on organisational strengths. This means that participants become increasingly energised and motivated as they discover that the solutions to their problems already exist within the organisation.


Yorkshire and Humber Libraries

We have conducted Appreciative Inquiry training with 80 managers and staff of the library services in Yorkshire and Humber. The purpose of this training was to help staff to design their library services to engage more effectively with their communities.


Financial Management

We also provide management accountancy services as a cost effective way of keeping your accounts up to date and getting the accurate monthly reports that are critical for survival and growth. We are proficient with both Sage and Quickbooks software. We have worked with small charities and businesses to provide both regular and one-off financial management support.

Feedback from our Training Days

“Excellent training, really novel approach that made me think differently about my job.”

“Very good course.  I liked the fact that there was no wasted time.  Plenty of content and food for thought.”

“Energised to face the challenge, new ideas to tackle things, focus on the positive.”

“Really good challenge and daunting but some good groundwork.  Glad I was here with a colleague.”

“A very good worthwhile day.”

“Fab really enjoyed the day.  Thank you.”

“Liked the pace, loads to think about, really helpful for what I am working on.”