Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2013
National Housing Federation Fellow
How has this quarter been for you?
This quarter I have been busy with a number of activities. I attended a social capital building training workshop held by University of Birmingham given by Professor John Glasby attended by over 20 commissioners from across the UK. I've organised and held a roundtable session with internationally acclaimed community development expert Cormac Russell and vice chair of the NHS alliance Heather Henry. I volunteered at and attended House Party organised by Social Change Agency (run by 2011 Clore Social Fellow Esther Foreman) and HACT, a two day conference to disrupt the housing sector. I was invited to take part on the advisory board of the Future Shift Festival, a government back social venture accelerator and I attended and contributed to the launch this quarter. I also led the tender preparation and bid-writing of a £9million bid for social inclusion support commissioned by Birmingham City Council. It's been busy!
How has your leadership impacted on those around you?
It felt great to bring so many great community development practitioners together at the recent ABCD roundtable. I felt truly privileged to be in the company of so many wonderful speakers and experts on the subject, bringing their wisdom and ideas to all across the supported housing sector.
In what way you are a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
I’m certainly beginning to articulate many of the thoughts and feelings I have had over the past decade professionally. I’ve started to really flesh out the core methodology behind my madness, beginning to bring real shape to my practice, underpinned with ideas such as Asset Based Community Development and an awakening of how flawed so much of public policy has been in this country.
Tell us an important lesson you’ve learnt so far during the Fellowship programme
I think the biggest lesson for me so far has been trying to get a grip on what the future may look like so I actually begin to prepare and plan for its arrival. I’ve realised that I’m so caught up with the moment that I often fail to prepare adequately for things when they arrive. Writing the recent tender and preparing the team for its submission has really helped me to plan and programme my time much more effectively at achieving the task in hand.
What have you learned from your fellow Fellows?
Watching Esther Foreman bring together the House Party recently was a great revelation and helped to bring back my faith into a sector that at times I’ve really lost faith in. Jude Cross is a constant source of inspiration and has been there throughout, encouraging and supporting my Clore Social journey.
How would you describe the Fellowship now you're 18 months in?
It’s difficult to truly summarise what this programme has done for me. It has fundamentally altered my perspective on life, myself and the sector that I work in. How so only time will truly tell, but it’s been quite a journey so far.
Current principal role: New Ventures Manager
Current principal organisation: Bromford Support
Other leadership role 1: Non-ex director
Other organisation 1: voluntary sector joint venture company
Research: Leading by stepping back: A reflection piece exploring the spread of asset based thinking across housing, health and adult social care
Secondment host: University Hospital Birmingham