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Penelope Gibbs

Penelope Gibbs

Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2010

Update March 2010

If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. That used to be my mantra, but now I'm not so sure.  Since the beginning of the year, I have worked at the Prison Reform Trust, spent a week at the Lifeboat College learning leadership, left (temporarily) my job at the Prison Reform Trust, become a (temporary) civil servant, learnt how to action learn, found a mentor, developed a leadership plan and discovered a whole new set of friends and colleagues.

I am now five weeks in to my secondment at the Department for Children, Schools and Families. I am working out how to reduce the amount to time taken to take children into care. Sometimes I feel as if I am in a Dickens novel since the court process is incredibly complex and many, many lawyers are involved.  But today everybody is acting in the best interests of the child. It is just that the end result (a very long court case) may not really be in their interest.

I have learnt to think civil servant, which means not asking for more money and balancing out the political interests at play. Having recently been a lobbyist, I am now being lobbied. I know I don’t want to be a civil servant permanently, but the experience has added to my appreciation of the art of the possible.


Twitter: @PenelopeGibbs2
Personal website/ blog: www.transformjustice.org.uk/blog/

Current principal role: Director
Current principal organisation: Transform Justice
Other leadership role 1: Chair
Other organisation 1: the Standing Committee for Youth Justice
Other leadership role 2: Trustee
Other organisation 2: Criminal Justice Alliance

Research: A marriage made in heaven? The relationship between Chairs and Chief Executives in charities
Research topics: Charity; Equality; Governance; Leadership; Policy;
Secondment host: Department for Children, Schools and Families

Contact us
0207 812 3770
5th Floor, Kings Place, 90 York Way
London, N19AG

Charity: 1136727
Reg: 7222275
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