Charity

The Blossom Charity supports aspiring female leaders

The Blossom Charity has supported five women from deserving organisations in the East of England to develop their leadership skills by sponsoring places on the Women’s Leadership Programme, run by professional recruitment specialists Pure and strategic HR consultancy People & Performance.

Based in Suffolk, The Blossom Charity supports women in the East of England to be the best they can be and since the Women’s Leadership Programme was first founded in 2014 the charity has provided part-funded places on the programme. The sponsored places are open to female managers and directors working within social enterprises, start-up businesses, charities and not-for-profit organisations in the region. The charity’s aim is to make the innovative course more accessible to local organisations which may not have the budget to develop their talent in this way. It has already supported four aspiring female leaders to complete the programme and has confirmed it will sponsor another place on the next programme which starts in November.

Bridget McIntyre, founder and trustee of The Blossom Charity, said: “We believe it is important to support women working in leadership roles to build their skills and help them achieve their full potential. We hope that by doing this, the reach of our work will be increased through the influence these women will have on the many people they will lead in the future.”

The Women’s Leadership Programme supports both aspiring female leaders and the organisation which employs them. The four-day programme, supported by individual coaching sessions, helps women to strengthen their authentic leadership skills, develop their confidence and grow their network. Through the role of employer sponsor, organisations are encouraged to examine and develop an inclusive culture that creates a diverse talent pipeline throughout the organisation. The delegates who have benefitted from the sponsored places include leaders from Arthur Rank Hospice Charity (ARHC), CBM, Fauna & Flora International, Events Under Canvas and Rand Europe.

Sponsored delegate Donna Talbot, Director of Fundraising and Communications at ARHC in Cambridgeshire, said: “The programme encouraged me to learn more about myself. This has allowed me to understand why I react in a particular way and, ultimately, how I can get the best out of others to ensure that as a charity we have the funds available to continue to be able to deliver the best possible care to our patients and their families, the ultimate reason ARHC exists.”

Jenna Ackerley, founder and Director of Suffolk-based business Events Under Canvas, was delighted to be supported by The Blossom Charity to attend the programme. As the owner of a small, fledgeling business at the time, she did not have any budget for management development.

Jenna said: “I would not have been able to justify sending myself on the programme without the 50 percent funded place. I believe the programme, mentorship and my own self-reflection has been a key success factor for Events Under Canvas’s growth. Taking the time out to really think about the kind of leader you want to be, to consider your own strengths and weaknesses in a safe environment and having the freedom to indulge in self-reflection and ideas sharing was really brilliant.”

Overall, the Women’s Leadership Programme has supported more than 70 aspiring female leaders in the region so far. Over half of the programme’s alumni are now operating in a broader role or have been promoted within their organisation, and all delegates remain part of a strong alumni network across the East of England.

Lynn Walters, Executive Director at Pure, said: “We are so grateful for The Blossom Charity’s ongoing support for our Women’s Leadership Programme. This sponsorship is not only valuable to the women, that without this support would not have access to the programme, it also ensures there is a diverse group of women on each of the programmes who can all learn from each other.  As well as making it possible for more women to join our programme, Bridget has also been a regular guest speaker at our events. She talks passionately about how attending a leadership course made a huge impression on her life. Being able to make similar opportunities available to other women was just one of her inspirations behind creating the Blossom Charity and associated social enterprise Dream On.”

For more information about the Women’s Leadership Programme visit womeninleadership.prs.uk.com or email Lucy Plumb at lucy.plumb@prs.uk.com.

For more information about The Blossom Charity visit theblossomcharity.co.uk