Charlotte Hill is Chief Executive of Step Up to Serve. Her Campaign Manager, Fiona Ellison, is a participant of our first Clore6 programme. In this blog they both give their perspectives of the benefits and value of the programme.
Charlotte, Chief Executive, Step Up To Serve
I am lucky as a CEO to feel very supported by my peers. I am part of a fantastic Action Learning Set of fellow voluntary sector CEOs which has been together for six years. Whilst CEO of UK Youth and Step Up To Serve, I built a strong network of peers and friends who have always been close at hand for support and advice – with an encouraging word or a glass of wine.
A group of us got together with Clore Social to see if we might be able to start to build a similar network of support and coaching for the next generation of youth sector leaders. The entire sector has been hit hard with cuts and challenges, but the youth sector has been particularly affected. This means that there are limited resources to spend on the training and development of team members. By coming together, and with some financial support from Paul Hamlyn Foundation, we have been able to collectively enable 22 people from across a range of organisations to have the Clore Social experience.
I was keen for Fiona to participate in Clore6 as I knew she would get a great deal out of it, and also that she would put a lot in. She has been doing great work in support of the #iwill campaign and has a strong background in the sector. She is passionate and committed to social change, and exactly the sort of leader we need to keep in the sector. I wanted to make sure she had the chance to meet peers, develop strong bonds, consider her leadership style and development, and the reflect on her potential for future contributions.
It is already paying dividends and I am seeing Fiona blossom. She was always active in sessions, but she is now taking more leadership roles and bringing the learning back from her sessions through the programme to the rest of the team. She has taken on a different role leading the #iwill Fund within the team and is working with a range of funders - she is thriving. It has been a fantastic investment, and a really collaborative way for a group of organisations to invest in their people. I hope other subsectors like us look at this model and consider doing the same for their leaders of the future.
Fiona Ellison, Voluntary and Public Sector Campaign Manager, Step Up To Serve
For years I have watched Clore Social Leadership’s Fellowship programme with interest, and was continually struck by their commitment to developing fantastic leaders for the social sector. Yet it was never something that felt like quite the right fit for me in my career. However; the new Clore6 programme has been such an exciting addition that I jumped at the opportunity to take up a place.
In the three short months since our first residential I have learnt so much about myself, and really deepened my drive and determination to make the most of the opportunity. One of my most vivid memories from childhood was my Headteacher at Secondary School talking about ‘grasping all the opportunities in front of you’. That mantra has stuck with me - the Clore6 programme has provided such a diverse mix of opportunities that I have tried my best to fully embrace all it has to offer.
The three-day residential that kicked off the programme was a heady mix of insightful personal feedback; compelling reflection time; a space to develop great personal connections, as well as creating great ideas for future growth. Following the residential, my Clore6 coaching sessions have really enabled me to follow through on what I learnt at the residential, and I feel like I’ve already put a huge amount of learning into practice.
One of the most exciting parts of the Clore6 programme has been doing it alongside some wonderful colleagues from across the youth sector. It already feels like the future of leadership for the youth sector is slightly less daunting when I know that I have a group of people who are on that journey with me. Building that network was one of my key aims when starting the programme; I’m so excited to cement these relationships over the next three months of the programme, and over many years to come.