A commissioner’s guide to developing and sustaining local user-led organisations

What do I do next? Scenario 2: Your area has one embryonic ULO that has been developing for some time but still has some way to go


Meets all ULO design criteria? Some
Governance arrangements in place? No - but emerging
Management committee? Not typically - but emerging

Funding and business-readiness

Established for how long? Typically 6 months to 3 years
Permanent staff? No - maybe some part-time staff
Infrastructure in place (e.g. IT, HR, finance, own premises)? No - though some small elements in place (for example, dedicated computers, some HR policies, hosted in building owned by public sector or civil society organisation)
Business plan in place? Possibly
Funding arrangements? Small or medium core grant from commissioner
Provides more than one service? No
Provides services in more than one area? No

Funding and business-readiness

Covers all impairment groups? No (but possible)
Members? Not formally - usually a group of many interested people
Effective mechanisms for engaging service users? Yes – but tends to be on a micro scale
Networking? Doesn’t typically have relationships with other ULOs, BME/LGBT/carers/older people/civil society organisations or wider than social care

Essential actions to move to next stop on the 'ULO journey'

  • identify key areas of work that emerging ULO can undertake uniquely, and fund it to do these
  • provide as much infrastructure support for as little as possible
  • provide core-grant to emerging ULO, aligned to outcomes of a robust business plan
  • support external ULOs to provide expert advice and mentoring
  • ensure your role is one of facilitator: ULO members must be firmly in control