The Power of Partnerships
Health:Pitch performers share the joy of 'The Audition' with customers at One Housing Group's Protheroe House, in Tottenham, London.
Health:Pitch has grown incredibly quickly, and we believe that our partners are instrumental to this success, and to our continued development.
As we innovate in health and social care through music, we connect with people who can help us achieve our vision.
Why are partnerships so important?
“You cannot achieve this on your own,” explains Health:Pitch co-founder and director Camilla Vickers. “In so many ways, it is such a fight. You have to grow your strength through solid partnerships to grow the energy together.”
Since Camilla set up Davina’s Fund, the precursor to Health:Pitch in 2015, in honour of her mother, she has partnered with people who share her generosity of spirit, who are keen to try anything to share high-quality arts with diverse audiences in different settings.
Today, we celebrate one of those partnerships, with Linda Kelly, the One Housing Group's customer partnerships manager.
As with many Health:Pitch partnerships, it started quite by chance…
"In 2017, we offered an activity co-ordinator in a One Housing service an afternoon of free opera," says Camilla. "Her response was, 'I'm not interested in opera, but as it's free – yes'. Obviously, we blew their socks off!"
Linda's colleague was wowed by 6 Characters in Search of an Opera, one of Health:Pitch’s first performances, Linda got in touch.
What makes a great partnership?
“For us, a good partner understands our customers and is approachable,” says Linda Kelly. “We want to work with a partner who has the same ethos, who is flexible and collaborative. As we are so limited in our funding the value-added projects cannot be accessed, so we also need a partner who can bring their own funding.”
Linda, and One Housing, offered very practical support to Health:Pitch from the start. To save on the cost of hiring rehearsal space, Linda invited the performers to rehearse in One Housing services. In return, One Housing customers at a senior living centre were treated to the final dress rehearsal.
"We had lovely reactions from the people, including staff, who heard us rehearse," says Camilla. "There was one lady who never really spoke. She would sit outside the door as we rehearsed, and we could hear her humming, which was incredibly moving."
“Our customers and staff are still talking about the performances and wanting Health:Pitch to come back,” continues Linda. “The most important part of Health:Pitch is the smiles on customers faces.”
Forging strong, long-lasting partnerships, as with One Housing, helps on a more strategic level too. As we develop our mission to integrate opera and health and social care, our team benefits from working with partners who are open to trying new things, who are full of ideas and willing to share.
We work with partners who share our ethos and values. We also seek partners with different skills sets, knowledge of diverse environments and a willingness to navigate between sectors.
"Understandably, some organisations are protectionist, guarding their patch and wary of sharing the limited funding available," says Camilla. "We don't seek to compete; we work collaboratively to grow ourselves and to amplify the work of our partners."
“The most important part of Health:Pitch is the smiles on customers faces.” Linda Kelly, customer partnerships manager at One Housing.
The value of partnerships
For Linda Kelly and One Housing, the right partnerships are vital on many levels. “Partners are invaluable in a sector like ours,” Linda explains. “They bring value-added projects that enrich the lives of our customers. Not only our customers but also our staff; for a short while it takes them out of the mundane, and they see our customers in a different light.”
“Beyond the immediate, working with a partner like Health:Pitch inspires and supports us, it also opens doors to other partners and, like the branches of a tree, partnerships grow and develop.”
Would you like to find out more about becoming a Health:Pitch partner? Please get in touch.