Be our partner in change

Work with us in 2024/25

Over the last year we have supported organisations and individuals to innovate in social work and social care support. We’ve worked across the sector, from creating a cultural competency toolkit for social workers; to building peer support for care survivors. Read the stories of these projects on the Current Work page of our website.

Now, we are looking for new partners for 2024/25.

Share your issue, problem or idea with us and we will develop a project with you. You will work with an Iriss Development Lead, using our innovation model to shape and do the work; and our wider team of specialists in research and evidence, design and communication will be on hand to help as well. We will keep things practical and achievable, recognising the pressure you are under and the complexities of your work. There will be no financial cost to you for this support.

What we need from you:

  • Commitment from your organisation for a minimum of six months, with potential to work with you for longer
  • Your time to explore, imagine and shape the work with us, and attend workshops or events 
  • Your support to tell the story of the work and see what difference it makes
  • Attendance from you (or members of your wider team) and our Idea Design Lab on the 6th March 2024

We aim to begin new work in April 2024, but can be flexible about start dates if needed. 


Process to partner

There are incredible ideas of how to work better and differently out there in the sector. As a small charity, we can’t work with everyone! This year we are taking on 4-6 new partnerships, decided through a simple two stage process: Expression of Interest, followed by an Idea Design Lab.

  1. Expression of interest

    We welcome expressions of interest from organisations, teams, services, or a partnership of organisations.

    If you would like to work with us in 2024-25 please complete this short online form by the 9th of February. We ask some important things about what issue or problem it is you want to tackle; what difference you want to make; and why you hope working with us will help. 

    We are flexible. We can work with you towards specific ideas; but we are also open to work with partners who want to create conditions for change, exploring how to make that happen and how to sustain change over the longer term. 

    Following your Expression of Interest, we will get in touch by the 16th of February and send you details about the event.

  2. Idea Design Lab

    Before we start working with partners we are keen to help you explore and develop your problem and/or idea, discuss how we work in innovation and change, and for you to have the opportunity to connect with others who are looking to work in the same way. 

    To do that, we are hosting an event in Glasgow on the 6th March. We will lead sessions around innovation and change, share some of what we have learnt through our existing work, and work with you to shape up your idea. 

    Following the event we will be in touch to let you know if we can partner with you in 2024/25.

Our priority areas

This year, we worked within distinct priority areas. The priority areas align with our strategy to build projects that keep people who receive care and support at the forefront of the work; acknowledge and tackle the workforce challenge of being able to do innovation and improvement amongst hugely busy schedules; and addressing wider systems that can get in the way of great care and support.

We are happy if you have an idea that aligns with these areas, but we are also flexible to hear what else you’re interested in doing!

We learned this year that sometimes work needs to focus on building readiness to be able to make change. If that sounds more like you, we are up for working with organisations to help develop the conditions needed for change, alongside making progress on changing practice.

  • Day-to-day dignity

    We will help you put the person and their dignity at the centre of how your care and support is provided. 

    We know that’s why you work in this sector, and how important dignity is to those who receive care and support. Dignity is one of five core human rights principles – fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy. These principles get entangled and it is often hard to distinguish dignity from the others. We will explore this with you to make day-to-day dignity happen.

    We also know the constraints and pressures you’re under – workloads, expectations, processes and paperwork. This noise pulls you away from core values and motivation, and leaves you feeling dissatisfied and overwhelmed.

  • Space to practice

    We will help you create space for your team to practice effectively.

    You have told us about the many pressures that make it difficult to prioritise learning, relationships, reflection and career development. We will support you to recognise and shift the conditions that hold these pressures in place. 

    Want to develop a culture of reflection, learning, and curiosity.

  • Foundations for Change 

    We will help you identify and tackle what gets in the way of good work in social care at the system scale.

    You tell us that some changes can’t be made alone. The processes, cultures and environments that we work in, they shape what we do, and how we do it. And sometimes we just don’t notice them because that’s ‘just how we do things’.

Talk to us!

If you want an informal chat, please contact:

Find out more about the Iriss team and our services.

Or, if you feel you're ready now, you can go ahead and…

Submit an expression of interest