£250,000 charities’ leadership programme launched

Cascading leadership programme

The King’s Fund, Comic Relief, and the Big Lottery Fund have opened the application process for a unique support programme enabling charity leaders to help each other through sharing expertise and developing skills.

Cascading Leadership was piloted by The King’s Fund and Comic Relief in 2016. It is designed to improve access to support and development opportunities for charity and voluntary sector leaders. There are 80 places initially available on the programme, which is free to attend and managed by The King’s Fund. Charities applying for places, worth up to an estimated £3,000, must show how their work improves health and wellbeing.

The programme’s distinctive approach involves charity leaders providing support to less-experienced peers, meaning support comes from those who understand the sector’s challenges and potential. Leadership experts at The King’s Fund also provide training and guidance to develop the skills and capabilities of both those receiving and providing the support.

As well as launching the application process, The King’s Fund has also published a report sharing the assessment of an independent evaluation of the Cascading Leadership pilot. This found that ‘without exception, participants view Cascading Leadership as a success in terms of the benefits they have gained both individually and organisationally.’

Gilly Green, Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief, said: “With increasing demands on services, challenges in the funding landscape and more complex relationships to nurture and negotiate, it can be a lonely as well as exciting place being a charity leader.

“Cascading Leadership takes as its starting point the principle of sharing knowledge and building the sector’s capacity from within. And it is this understanding, and sharing of experience from others within the sector, alongside time to reflect and plan away from the everyday pressures of the workplace, that participants report valuing so much. Building on the learning from the pilot, we are delighted to be working again with The King’s Fund, and welcome being joined by the Big Lottery Fund to support this innovative and exciting programme.”

Find out more about the Cascading Leadership programme.