METRO Charity are delighted to be presenting today at the launch of a unique programme to develop the skills and knowledge of charity leaders jointly launched by The King's Fund and GSK, in partnership with Comic Relief at a parliamentary reception.
Dr Greg Ussher, METRO CEO along with Phil Thomson, GSK, Sir Christopher Kelly, The King's Fund, Annabel Hodgson, No Limits and Sarah Swindley, Lancashire Women's Centres share their thoughts about the programme.
Good leadership is key to the success of charities but there are still few leadership development opportunities for charities, and funding for development support is hard to come by. The Cascading Leadership Programme, launched today, enables charity leaders to share their extensive and varied expertise to help leaders of other charities develop their skills and abilities through peer-led consultations. The Dame Mary Marsh review in 2013 recognised leadership skills and abilities needed to be developed in the sector to ensure its sustainability.
The Cascading Leadership Programme builds on the success of the GSK IMPACT Awards, where winning health and wellbeing charities receive free training and leadership development as part of their prize and can join a network of 66 winning organisations, with more than 100 individual members, where they learn from experts as well as from each other. Feedback from the winning charities highlights the huge value these development opportunities provide to their organisations. The Cascading Leadership Programme supports these award winners to act as peer-consultants to develop leaders in a wider pool of charities selected by Comic Relief. This launch follows a very successful pilot of this peer-led approach that provide benefits for both those giving and receiving support, helping them think in new ways about their organisations, their skills and their network. It also found that guidance from another charity was particularly helpful because they understand the needs and requirements of the charity sector.
Sir Christopher Kelly, Chair at The King's Fund, said: 'We are delighted to be launching this innovative leadership programme. Leadership is key to charities' success and the quality of the services provided to service users. But in a time when charities are facing increasing financial pressures the space and time to develop leaders can seem like a luxury. We hope this programme brings leadership development into the mainstream and makes it accessible to many more charities.'
Phil Thomson, Senior Vice President, Communication & Government Affairs at GSK, said: 'Having partnered with The King's Fund for almost 20 years, together we have seen the GSK IMPACT Awards go from strength to strength, working alongside our Award winners helping them to develop their leadership and training skills. The Cascading Leadership programme is a real investment in leaders of charities and we hope will benefit all those who rely on the inspirational work of these organisations.
Gilly Green, Head of UK Grants, Comic Relief, said: "Comic Relief is proud to partner with the King's Fund and GSK for the Cascading Leadership Programme. Strong leadership is crucial to any organisation to help ensure efficiency and effectiveness and this programme enables leaders to share their skills and knowledge which will ultimately work to strengthen the wider charity sector. We look forward to seeing how the programme develops so that learnings can be applied to deliver even greater impact in the future."
During 2016, 15 pairs of consultants and clients will work on this project and a final evaluation will be published at the end of the year.
Kwasi - Mentoring
During the 6 month programme, I developed a close relationship with my mentor. Knowing that I would have to talk to him honestly about what I did in the previous 2 weeks somehow forced me to be safe every time I had an encounter.
Michael - Counselling
I gained a huge amount of help from the counselling service and would like to thank the service for offering so much support.
Ebere - First Point
I wish this service was around when I was newly diagnosed. I felt my world had fallen apart around me and I didn't know which way to turn for support. You are offering a very valuable service.
David - Counselling
Outstanding people. Outstanding service. Outstanding counselling. Truly something that has allowed me to turn my life around.
Joe - Mentoring
The programme had such an impact on my life that I decided to come on board as a volunteer mentor!
Sarah - Counselling
The help and understanding I experienced from everyone I came into contact with whilst using the Metroís services was amazing.
Simon - Mentoring
By discussing things at such an intimate level with my mentor, I really came face to face with some of the reasons why I was taking chances before.
Abimbola- First Point
It has been a long time since I felt that someone actually listened to me.
Joan - First Point
Thank you so much for taking time to listen to me and truly understand how I am feeling. This is the only appointment I've had regarding HIV that didnít feel rushed.
Peter- First Point
I felt so relieved to have a named First Point worker who I can call if I need to be referred to a particular service.