Transforming public services
Mondrem CIC is a not-for-profit public service transformation company based in the Smart Innovation Hub in Keele University’s Science and Innovation Park in Staffordshire.
We are all people with lived experiences of public services – both good and bad. We want to help make public services brilliant, everywhere and all the time. They are often brilliant, but it’s not everywhere and it’s not all the time. And that’s when people who rely on public services can feel let down or be let down. We want to help stop that.
We also believe that helping public servants feel good about coming to work is the first step in making public services brilliant. So we start with their wellbeing and the things that stop them being the brilliant, passionate public servants they want to be. We listen deeply, unconditionally and without judgement. We make human connections. And we help build the shared understanding that is the foundation of every successful change.
Changing the planning sector
Planners often have a tough time. We’d like to make their lives better.
DM Planners are guardians and shapers of the way the world around us looks, feels, and functions. They do exceptional work to create environments which enhance the lives and futures of local people. But they’re human too, mistakes happen, and often they don’t have all they need to do their job as quickly or as well as their customers would want. That leaves planners open to harsh, often highly personal criticism.
This criticism can shape how people view planners.
Our work supporting council planning applications teams shows us that much can be done to improve the lives of planners. Councils can tackle excess caseload, improve leadership behaviour, and improve the wellbeing and satisfaction of planners themselves to help create great places where planners want to work and stay. This also delivers a better, faster customer experience and better outcomes.
Why 'Mondrem CIC'?
Mondrem is named after the ancient forests of Mondrem and Mara in Cheshire. The word ‘Mondrem’ has connotations of joy, humanity and happiness. As Margaret Nixon writes in A Happy Place: The History of a Cheshire Parish, regardless of the circumstances in which the forest existed, it continued to thrive as a place of happiness – and this is exactly the doctrine that Mondrem CIC aspire to. In a time which can be taxing on public bodies, we are determined to continue the legacy that public services can be places of happiness, for everyone, no matter what.
Being a Community Interest Company (CIC) means we can support and bring together our communities through different community interest projects and activities, and work with local undergraduates and graduates from our office on Keele University campus. We want to showcase the difference that CICs can make by creating professionally rewarding and community driven places of happiness.
The story that inspired us
When she was 10 years old, Katy was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer that would be difficult to remove. She was given only a few months to live. From that moment until the end of her life 37 years later, Katy received outstanding care and support from great people and great public services. It gave her a life she might never have had. And it gave her family joy they might never have known. But in that time, without intent, some otherwise great public services also caused Katy and her family unnecessary pain and anguish.
Motivated by stories like Katy's, Mondrem CIC aim to make sure that public services are not just great sometimes in some places, but always in all places. Secondly, we aim to bust the myth that reducing public service funding always means poorer public services. This paradigm closes the door to opportunities that exist whatever the economic climate. At Mondrem CIC, we realise that public money is not the only source of funding for public services and scarcity is often a powerful driver for innovation - so we innovate.