Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2011
The RNIB Fellowship for a registered blind or partially sighted individual.
Update September 2011
The last six month period has been a time of significant change for me. I left RNIB in July, having been made redundant due to funding constraints. This has given me time to reflect on my own leadership style, my goals for the future and begin to formulate a personal strategy. The July Residential at Roffey Park along with the continuing support from my coach, other Clore Fellows and the insight gained through Action Learning have enabled me to examine the roots of my own resilience and helped me to understand some of the environments, people and stimuli that will strengthen my ability to fulfil my leadership potential.
I have concentrated on planning a broad programme of training and on developing my research, and have decided not to undertake my secondment until early 2012.
In May, I qualified as a Transformative Mediator and have been practicing, as a community mediation volunteer, with Camden Mediation Service since June. The transformative approach to communication, based on the ability of people, through empowerment, to make their own decisions in the context of conflict, has inspired my passion for active listening and proactive communication and fuelled my desire to lead others to develop independence of thought and spirit. During the autumn I will be training to become an Action Learning facilitator and am planning to undertake future training in facilitation skills and coaching. I shall also be attending the Common Purpose Navigator course – a cross sector leadership programme in which participants are set real leadership challenges within a variety of organisations.
My research is now under way and I propose to identify positive examples of schools who are actively engaged in fostering independence and resilience with their disabled pupils. I shall be examining and documenting how this is achieved from the perspective of school governors, head teachers, classroom-based staff and pupils themselves with the intention of producing a resource to inform and support educators, families and disabled students.
The events and opportunities promoted via the Clore programme and its partners have also been a source of inspiration and a means to keep up to date with current issues. Attendance at several events hosted by The Work Foundation for example, has enhanced my knowledge of wider employment issues, whilst the Red Ochre short introduction to Social Enterprise has broadened my understanding of the sector.
I am optimistic that the next stage of my leadership journey will enable me to push the boundaries of my experience and lift me thoroughly out of my comfort zone!
Current principal role: Operations Manager of Disability Service
Current principal organisation: University of the Arts London
Other leadership role 1: Trustee
Other organisation 1: UCanDoIT
Other leadership role 2: Member
Other organisation 2: Disabled People's Involvement Forum ACAS
Research: Opening Doors; exploring best practice in encouraging independence and resilience in young disabled adults in mainstream schools
Research topics: Children and families; Education; Equality; Health and well-being; Young people;
Secondment host: Guide Dogs for the Blind