Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2011
The NESTA Fellowship for an aspiring leader committed to, and with a track record in, innovative practice, and working in frontline delivery of public services.
Update April 2012
I completed my Fellowship at the end of March 2012. CSLP has been an amazing experience. It has opened up opportunities that I would never have previously thought possible, and I have developed a network of trusted peers who I feel I can turn to for support and guidance in the future. I also feel that I have extended my professional networks and broadened my depth and breath of knowledge. Coaching and mentoring have helped me to recognise personal values, so I am now more able to use my strengths and talents effectively.
I joined CSLP after a challenging and turbulent period in local government managing several education centres. I hadn’t recognised the affect this period of change had taken on my wellbeing. Access to a coach helped me to reflect on what I had learned during this period and identify new goals to work towards. It provided me with a structured space to think about my achievements and how I can build on those in my future career.
At the start of my Fellowship I was completing a Masters degree, which in part had focused on wellbeing. I wanted to extend this further through my CSLP research by looking at the importance of building pro social relationships in communities. I discovered that the Young Foundation had led research into the social sustainability of new communities, and having lived in a new housing estate I recognised this was a growing issue. My research project fuelled an interest in an area that I wasn’t previously involved in, however it has since helped me make a professional transition from education to community development.
As a Specialist Fellow, supported by Nesta, I wanted to find a secondment that focused on social innovation. My mentor introduced to me to the Barnwood Trust, a Gloucestershire based charity which was undergoing a radical change in strategy. The Trust was moving away from delivering frontline services to focus on building inclusive communities through investing in innovative practice. I initially worked on the Trust’s Housing and Community Spaces programme, which then led to a paid role as a Project Manager of a new initiative founded on the principles of Asset Based Community Development.
CSLP has given me the opportunity to appreciate what I can offer as a leader and it has given me the confidence to lead in other areas outside of education.
Current principal role: Director of Inclusive Community Building
Current principal organisation: Barnwood Trust
Other leadership role 1: Associate
Other organisation 1: Nurture Development
Research: Social sustainability: Case studies from Gloucestershire
Research topics: Community development; Health and well-being; Housing;
Secondment host: Barnwood Trust