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Stepping into Comms Leadership 2019 – set one

Stepping into Comms Leadership

10 January 2019 09.30 - 13.00

A set of three workshops exclusively for heads of department/assistant directors (or equivalent) at organisational members of CharityComms with a turnover of over £2m.

Cost: £450+vat for all three sessions
Dates: Thu 10 January, Tue 5 February and Tue 19 March 2019

Roots and Shoots
Walnut Tree Walk
SE11 6DN

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These workshops are now fully booked. If you’d like to be added to the waiting list or mailing list to hear about future workshops, please email Sarah Cutress.

A set of three workshops supporting senior comms professionals through the transition from senior management to leadership.

Becoming a visionary leader requires embodying a new set of skills. These workshops will support and inspire senior comms professionals looking to move from senior management to leadership (for example from head of department to director level – and beyond).

As a delegate you will:

  • Hear the experiences of other senior leaders in the sector who have made the transition
  • Create an ongoing supportive network of peers from other charities
  • Gain tools and strategies for success
  • Improve your confidence in your ability to lead

What to expect from the sessions

The sessions are designed as a set of three and will run over a period of three months. Delegates attend all three sessions, get to know the group, and have the opportunity to reflect back with each other and the facilitator about experiences and learnings you have in the time period between sessions.

Each session will focus on an aspect of leadership transition – a key developmental theme which surfaces when one moves from a managerial role into leadership role (outlined below). In each session:

  • 9.30 – 10.00: network and get to know different members of the group
  • 10.00 – 10.30: a CEO from the charity sector (who has moved up from a comms position) will tell us their personal story of how they tackled the session’s theme in the development of their career as a leader
  • 10.30 – 11.00: Q&A session with the speaker
  • 11.00 – 11.10: Quick comfort break
  • 11.10 – 12.10: facilitated discussion led by Griff Griffiths from Cocomotion. We will explore your reaction to the CEO talk, how different themes relate to your situation, what it means for you in terms of your own development needs and identify new ideas and action for you to take away
  • 12.10 – 13.00: sit-down lunch and informal networking
  • 13.00: session ends

Who the workshops are for:

  • These workshops are exclusive for organisational members of CharityComms
  • This is an application only event for heads of department/assistant directors (or equivalent level) working in charities with a turnover of more than £2 million
  • The cost is £450+vat. The fee covers all three sessions, including lunch and the workshop (workshops cannot be booked as independent sessions)

Full programme:

Thursday 10 January, 9.30 – 13.00

Speaker: Becky Hewitt, CEO, Changing Faces
Theme: Leading from the self

Your accumulated operational experience can be a solid base from which to lead, and provide a sense of security. How do you move beyond this to lead functions of which you have no operational experience and only a limited understanding? How can you show up as a leader – how can you embody leadership – in a way which draws on who you are as much as on what you know?

Tuesday 5 February, 9.30 – 13.00

Speaker: Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum
Theme: Riding several horses 

At any one time there are multiple demands on your time, so how you balance and prioritise your time and ensure delivery through others is key. No single horse is difficult, it’s the complexity of them all together and the interface between them which can be challenging.

Tuesday 19 March, 9.30 – 13.00

Speaker: Caroline Lee-Davey, CEO, Bliss
Theme: Using your difference

What’s the essence of what you bring and how does that align with the leadership culture of your organisation? Where they don’t align is where you can be usefully different in the leadership team, and can be the area where you fly or fall – or both!


Becky Hewitt, CEO, Changing Faces

Becky is the CEO of Changing Faces a charity working with the 1.3 million people in the UK with a visible difference: a mark, scar or condition that affects their appearance. Becky was previously communications director at Girlguiding – the UK’s largest charity for girls and young women. In other roles she has advised campaign groups and charities on media and political issues including the Equal Opportunities Commission, disability charity Scope, Guantanamo Bay and death penalty campaigners Reprieve and Darfur campaigners Waging Peace.


Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum

Diane is CEO of Business Disability Forum, a not-for-profit membership organisation that supports businesses to recruit and retain disabled employees and to serve disabled customers. Before joining Business Disability Forum Diane was director of policy and communications for national disability charity United Response. She has also held responsibility for marketing and membership for the National Council of Voluntary Organisations and at the Pre-School Learning Alliance.


Caroline Lee-Davey, CEO, Bliss

Caroline joined Bliss as chief executive in November 2014, and has since led the development and delivery of a more digitally-focused strategy to maximise the organisation’s reach and impact for babies born premature or sick. Prior to this Caroline was the director of policy, advice and communications at Gingerbread, the single parent charity, where she led on policy and campaigning work as well as overseeing multi-channel information and advice services. Caroline was previously deputy director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter. Caroline is also a trustee of the homeless charity Crisis.



Griff Griffiths, director, Cocomotion
Griff created the award-winning Cocomotion network, which works with individuals, teams and whole organisations to: unpack assumptions, get clarity about what they do, understand what shapes their decision making, expand options, set direction and work better together to move forward.