GSK Launch new programme to help develop Charity Leaders


Launch of New Programme to Improve Charity Leadership

I was delighted to speak at a parliamentary reception to launch a programme to develop the skills and knowledge of charity leaders. The unique programme was jointly launched by The King’s Fund and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in partnership with Comic Relief .

Good leadership is key to the success of charities but there are still few leadership development opportunities for charities and funding for development support is hard to come by. The Cascading Leadership Programme enables charity leaders to share their extensive and varied expertise to help leaders of other charities develop their skills and abilities through peer-led consultations. The Dame Mary Marsh review in 2013 recognised leadership skills and abilities needed to be developed in the sector to ensure its sustainability.

The Cascading Leadership Programme builds on the success of the GSK IMPACT Awards, where winning health and wellbeing charities receive free training and leadership development as part of their prize and can join a network of 66 winning organisations, with more than 100 individual members, where they learn from experts as well as from each other. Feedback from the winning charities highlights the huge value these development opportunities provide to their organisations. The Cascading Leadership Programme supports these award winners to act as peer-consultants to develop leaders in a wider pool of charities selected by Comic Relief, according to Comic Relief’s independent evaluation processes. This launch follows a very successful pilot of this peer-led approach that provide benefits for both those giving and receiving support, helping them think in new ways about their organisations, their skills and their network. It also found that guidance from another charity was particularly helpful because they understand the needs and requirements of the charity sector.