This Is London, Dublin. Organisation Development.

Case Study

Developing Strategic Direction

The Challenge

Aoibhneas Women and Children's Refuge is a voluntary organisation that offers crisis accommodation and support services to women and children suffering domestic violence.  The Chair of the organisation is This Is Chair and Director Terri Morrissey.  This Is offers pro bono services in terms of coaching and strategic advice to the Board of Aoibhneas.


The organisation celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2008 with a celebration opened by the President of Ireland, Mary Mc Aleese.



The Board wished to review its strategic direction and to prioritise its services to its clients, especially the children.  It commissioned two key pieces of research, one focussing on risk assessment, launched in February 2008, and the other reviewing services to children in refuge and outlining best practice, launched in December 2008. These led to the review of strategic objectives.


What we Did

The Board wished to gain clarity on its priorities and strategic direction for 2009 and the coming years. Richard Plenty, This Is, facilitated a number of workshops for the Board focussing on the Vision, Mission and Values of Aoibhneas and on their key strategic objectives. The Board agreed to focus on consolidating services in relation to service delivery; promoting education on domestic violence and working on outreach and advocacy in the community The Board also agreed to work towards the building of a state of the art children’s centre.


The Board has worked on developing its strategic objective and has recently investigated the initiation of an architectural competition for the children’s centre with the RIAI. The details of this will be announced in June 2009.

We believe that Richard has significantly helped our strategic thinking and future direction for Aoibhneas. We have a clear direction and focus”

Linda Smith, Manager Aoibhneas Women and Children’s Refuge