Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2011
The Paul Hamlyn Fellowship for an aspiring leader working in an organisation committed to securing social change for marginalised individuals and communities.
Update September 2011
I am 8 months into my Fellowship and I feel great. My confidence has increased, my communication skills have improved I have become much more comfortable at just being myself.
My coaching sessions have finished although I continue to have weekly contact with my coach who keeps track of my progress and ensures that I maintain a good balance between work commitments and family life.
I recently secured a mentor who works part-time as a Magistrate in the family and youth court, and who has extensive experience of overseeing Care Order and Residence Order applications. I couldn’t have hoped for a more experienced and compassionate individual to mentor me in leading change in the social care sector in Northern Ireland. We have yet to agree a programme of work, but I am looking forward to establishing contacts and understanding the concept of leadership from a statutory perspective.
I have met with the Community Foundation NI and will begin my secondment in January. I will be working within the VOICES project where I will work with disadvantaged communities and small groups in relation to a number of social justice issues. Initially I had imagined myself working within a government organisation, but since beginning my Fellowship I realise I am happiest working in the social sector.
The July residential proved a real eye opener for me, both personally and professionally. I realised I needed to take time out of work to spend time with my family and to do things for myself. With the support of my coach I have since put in place a schedule which allows me to meet work commitments and spend time with my family, while also giving me time to experiment with meditation. I have since booked ‘Pause for Breath’ a five day residential in March to explore the concept of mindfulness so as to ensure I maintain a healthy home/work balance.
Keeping in touch with my fellow Fellows and hearing of their adventures has been fantastic. Just recently I met with a Fellow from the Clore Leadership Programme, for the cultural sector who was just amazing in terms of her achievements. I am hopeful that the support I have received and the friendships I have formed with other Fellows will last well into the future.
Current principal role: CEO
Current principal organisation: Kinship Care NI
Research: We are family: Key messages for Kinship Care in Northern Ireland
Research topics: Care; Children and families; Health and well-being;
Secondment host: Zest Healing the Hurt