Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2013
How has your Fellowship been progressing?
This quarter has been the most intense period of the whole Fellowship, with enormous highs alongside unforeseen challenges.
As part of my Fellowship research, the whole of August was spent investigating successful social change organisations across Washington DC and Chicago; connecting with visionary CEOs, and receiving guidance as to how to take a successful grassroots organisation to scale.
I worked alongside leading CEOs and social change organisations who have made successful transitions from small grassroots movements into mainstream provisions. I was particularly focused on finding an innovative and sustainable funding model for RECLAIM, the intervention project I run which supports teenagers across Greater Manchester. During my research I also wanted to learn about retaining the 'authentic voice in grassroots organisations as well as formulating a peer-based approach within staff teams.
It was also interesting to learn how successful social change groups have managed through difficult economic times and how US grassroots orgnisations are supporting each other by working collectively.
How has your leadership had an impact on those you work with?
I have had the self-belief to implement a whole new programme within RECLAIM, and to recruit new high level staff to deliver against objectives. I have also been comfortable in the fact that I should not lead the reorganisation within RECLAIM realising that my skill set lies elsewhere. I am more than comfortable in accepting a changed role as a non-manger that allows me to focus on providing a clear strategic vision for the orgnaisation.
Tell us an important lesson you have learnt so far during your Fellowship.
I have learnt the importance of locating strategic partners who share the passion and vision for RECLAIM and not feeling bound by budgetary constraints when forging new alliances. From my fellow Fellow Cathy Elliot, I have also learnt the importance of extreme organisaiton at all times!
How would you describe your Clore Social Fellowship Journey so far?
I started the Fellowship unsure as to whether I could step away from trying to save the world. I realise now, as my Fellowship draws to a close, that the programme subtly provides the toolkit necessary for every social action superhero.
Current principal role: Chief Executive and Founder
Current principal organisation: RECLAIM Project -
Other leadership role 1: Mentor to three start-ups
Research: On Youth (Youth, social exclusion and social injustice)
Research topics: Charity; Children and families;
Secondment host: Oasis School of Human Relations