Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2013
How have the final few months of your Fellowship been?
Busy! I returned from maternity leave and dived into putting into action my plans to complete my fellowship. I am very proud that, despite a very hectic few weeks, I have completed my Fellowship. I finished my secondment at the NSPCC's strategy unit and completed my research with the Campaign to End Loneliness, which will be published in the next few days.
What’s been the biggest challenge?
Alongside work and the Fellowship I have had a huge amount going on personally - the sudden death of my Dad, my wedding and moving house, as well as being on maternity leave. I have learnt that I am very resilient and focused and that working on something stimulating at a difficult time personally can be a real tonic.
We hear you’re about to step into an exciting new role…?
Yes. After eights years at VSO I have a new job as Executive Director job share at Think Ahead.
We look forward to hearing more about that. In the meantime, how has your leadership had an impact on those you’ve been working with?
At the NSPCC I was been able to bring an external perspective to their strategy revision. At times I bought challenge and the feedback has been that this has been done sensitively and has added value.
In what way you are a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
At the end of my Fellowship there are many to mention! I am more flexible and able to throw my plan out of the window as things change and evolve. I am better at knowing when to leave the operational details behind and to look at the big picture. I have new skills and knowledge - in particular, being able to horizon scan and plan for the future, strategic planning, coaching, creative techniques, knowledge of the UK ageing and child protection sectors. Plus I am more confident in my abilities - I would not have even applied for the CEO role before.
I have literally been immersed in Clore Social activities in these last few months and I have loved every minute of it. I have really pushed my boundaries and have learnt a huge amount as a result, not least about myself.
Current principal role: CEO
Current principal organisation: VSO
Research: Understanding Loneliness: the future for befriending
Research topics: Health and well-being;
Secondment host: NSPCC