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Bethia McNeil

Bethia McNeil

Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2012

NESTA Fellowship

Update October 2012

The past three months have gone by in something of a blur, and whilst I have (looking back) been part of quite a few Fellowship activities, it also marks a period of frustration in terms of not having progressed as far as I wanted to.

The quarter began with the mid-year residential, which followed for me two residential training courses completed as part of my Fellowship. This was quite an intense time for me, spending the best part of three weeks on very focused personal and professional development reflection time. The three different residentials represented quite different experiences for me, some focused on hard skill development, and others on introspection and self-awareness. I’m still not sure whether I have processed everything to have come out of those experiences, but I know I did not emerge the same person! The courses, ironically, actually altered my perception of what I ‘needed’ in terms of training, but were useful for this too.

This quarter has also included the Business Capability sessions, piloted this year with funding from Esmée Fairbairn (some taking place at the mini-residential). I found these sessions invaluable. Unlike many other Fellows, I don’t have experience leading or starting up an organisation, and I recognise that I simply would not have another opportunity to gain this knowledge elsewhere. I also enjoyed exposure to a range of ‘thinkers’ on these topics.  

My coaching has really got underway in the last three months too, which has been invaluable. It’s brought me clarity of mind, confidence and balance, and kept me grounded during some extremely difficult times professionally. I have also sought support through my coaching to help shape my plans for the secondment. These have progressed, and I am entering final stage discussions with an organisation.

I have also met with Nesta, who sponsor my Fellowship, this quarter. We have explored the potential synergy around my research project, and I am looking forward to moving this on. The frustration has lain in my inability to complete my research proposal. This is solely due to pressures of work, and I am deeply disappointed to be behind in my plans. My research is now shifted to take place during November and December, as I am keen to leave the way clear next year for my secondment, and maximising that opportunity.

Twitter: @bethiamcneil

Current principal role: Director
Current principal organisation: The Centre for Youth Impact

Research: Not just new, but better realising the potential of innovation in services for young people
Research topics: Education; Policy; Young people;
Secondment host: The Prince's Trust
Secondment host 2: BBC Children in Need

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