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Guest Blogger Kathy Coe Speaks Of The Culture of Tendering

In this guest blog, Kathy Coe, Director of the Pathway Project, shares some of her thoughts on the process of tendering for funding.


I sit waiting for a belated result in a tendering cycle which has consumed my organisation for the last six months. My head, which used to be buzzing with ideas, focus and motivation, is now drained of all positivity, and I find it difficult to raise sufficent enthusiasm to do more than the most mundane of tasks. In fact, much of the work piled high on my desk is impossible to progress without the long awaited result.

A Chinese proverb says this: ‘A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.’

I contemplate Job, and the losses he suffered without losing faith. I think about the pearl and how it is created in the oyster because of its power to irritate. I know that the Bible tells us that patience is born through trials. But I have to say that I now feel like shouting ‘Enough!‘.

Competition, at some levels, is healthy, and ensures that we continually work to offer the best service / product that we can produce / deliver, so that we maintain our share of the market. However, with services that are people-focused, do we not want to be the best we can for their sake? Why would money motivate us in this sector? Over the last six months, I have seen rivalry, bitterness, lack of co-operation, bullying, and some really deplorable behaviour. Competition does not always bring out the best in people.

I want to publicly commend my team because they have been an inspiration, a source of energy and a shining beacon of hope in an otherwise quite dim world. Their own personal worries and concerns have not impacted on their ability to provide hope to the victims of domestic and sexual abuse that we work to support. I feel a great sense of pride in them. I think that sometimes, when we work with vulnerable people, it is easy to lose sight of our own needs, and I would like my team to be relieved of some of the stress that has been part of our lives for all this time.

I hope and pray that the result, when it arrives, will be a good one. We deserve to carry on delivering our services, and our service users deserve the very high quality support and the really good outcomes that we deliver. In the meantime, I hope that my staff find time to have some moments in the busy days ahead to reflect on their own needs and to care for themselves at this very tense and stressful time. Your prayers for us would be greatly appreciated.