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 April 2012
It’s hard to believe that it is just over a year since I began my Fellowship. I have come a long way in such a short space of time.
The most significant highlight of my Fellowship so far has been the coaching and mentoring. I have learnt a great deal about myself, and how my own personal experiences have shaped my values and led me to where I am today. My coaching sessions have now finished but I am continuing to work alongside my mentor, a lay magistrate with an excellent knowledge and understanding of kinship care policy and practice.
I recently completed a three day Directors Leadership Programme which provided me with a better understanding of my own skills and capabilities as a leader when problem solving and gaining the support of other people in relation to a series of practice based tasks. Not only did I develop new friendships, but I also won my task and led my team to victory, which was great!
The next few months are likely to be hectic as I am in the process of completing a one-to-one course focused on gaining confidence and learning personal strategies, and looking at possible secondment opportunities for the summer. I am also working on my research and the development of a DVD, including a series of podcasts highlighting the challenges and achievements of kinship care families in Northern Ireland. I also hope to produce a policy brief and a ‘Call for Action’ to encourage politicians and policy makers to invest in the services and supports kinship carers and their children need.
A key challenge for me as a part time Fellow is trying to balance a heavy workload, meet family responsibilities and take time out to undertake training and reflect on my learning. I have come to the conclusion that time is possibly the greatest resource as I frequently have to tell myself that there aren’t enough hours in the day.
My Fellowship has opened up a whole range of new opportunities that I never thought existed until now. I have a new passion and focus in my life – kinship care, and it feels great. The support I continue to receive from the Clore Programme, other Fellows and my employer has been fantastic in helping me keep everything going.
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