LeedsACTS! Event Offers ‘Warm Contact’ for Purple Patch Arts

Through a 'warm contact' made at a LeedsACTS! event, Purple Patch Arts was able to take advantage of a new funding opportunity.

Purple Patch Arts are a provider of education services which target people with learning disabilities. During 2016 they were commissioned by Leeds CCG to deliver a pilot project of accessible health education which was externally evaluated by the University of Leeds.

Purple Patch Arts was invited to present at the LeedsACTS! ‘Demystifying Data’ (7 June 2016) event alongside University of Leeds colleagues as an example of successful collaboration and alternative data collection methods. Conference delegates were active on social media throughout the event and afterwards. Purple Patch made a connection via twitter with Dr James Woodhall at Leeds Beckett University (a delegate who had commented on and responded to the presentation via social media). They arranged a face to face meeting to discuss areas of interest which took place a couple of weeks after the event. During the face to face meeting it was established that there were many common interests between Purple Patch Arts’ work and past and present research interests within the department that Dr Woodhall managed, though there were no immediate opportunities for collaboration.

Three months later, Purple Patch was invited by a different CCG to apply for funds to replicate the pilot in a different locality – but with a two week turn around. Their original academic partner had relocated abroad so they had no remaining contacts within the University of Leeds. They approached Dr Woodhall and his colleague Dr Kris Southby, a learning disability specialist, who on the basis of previous conversations were able to determine quickly that this was a project they could collaborate on.

Business Director Gilly Bryerley commented:

If we hadn’t had an existing relationship with Leeds Beckett I’m certain we would have returned to the CCG and asked whether we could undertake the second pilot without the evaluation. It would have been a significant missed opportunity to not build on the data – but finding the right academic partner with shared values and appropriate expertise within two weeks would have been impossible. I’m so glad we presented at the LeedsACTS! event and made that informal connection. Without that ‘warm contact’ we wouldn’t have been in a position to respond quickly and make the most of funding opportunities.

For more information about LeedsACTS! events contact Sonja.woodcock@val.org.uk