Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2013
Update Spring 2013
How have your first 3 months as Clore Social Fellow been?
I’ve felt overjoyed, amazed and quite daunted. I got so much learning from the January residential and left feeling more confident, inspired, excited about the future . I’ve tried hard to bring my learning back to VSO. And I’ve joined twitter and now have 111 followers!
What kind of challenges have you faced so far?
Choice! Having a blank sheet of paper and a budget to spend on myself is a real privilege and opportunity – but it is also quite daunting and overwhelming. Finding a way to focus and prioritize has not been easy.
What impact has your leadership been having?
We are in the midst of a cost saving restructure exercise (I need to save over £300,000). I am now managing this with staff engagement always in mind – and keep reflected back to a mind map on this that we worked on at January’s residential. As a result I am hopeful that the individuals affected will retain their dignity and feel supported as individuals through a very difficult time.
In what way you are a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
I’m less focused on internal details and trying to think more strategically and externally. I hope this has made VSOs work more interesting and more sustainable.
Can you share an important lesson you’ve learnt?
From Martin Edwards I’ve learnt a lot about staff engagement strategies; and from Cliff Prior that I can and should be the entrepreneur of my own life
How about something you’ve learnt from another Fellows?
So many! Mediation skills from Michele Lee – especially an insight into my own conflict style. Inspiration on setting up something new and exciting from Jack ‘Year Here’ Graham. A peak into the issues and challenges of homelessness from Jude Cross and Rachael Smith. And calm support and yoga from La Toyah McAllister-Jones!
Current principal role: CEO
Current principal organisation: VSO
Research: Understanding Loneliness: the future for befriending
Research topics: Health and well-being;
Secondment host: NSPCC