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Stepping into Comms Leadership – Autumn 2018

Stepping into Comms Leadership

13 September 2018 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 £5m.

Cost: £450+vat for all three sessions
Dates: Thu 13 Sep, Thu 18 Oct and Wed 28 Nov

Roots and Shoots
Walnut Tree Walk
SE11 6DN

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This set of workshops is now fully booked. To be added to the waiting list, or to be added to the mailing list for the next series starting in January 2019, please email Vanessa.

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 £5 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 13 September, 9.30 – 13.00

Speaker: Athena Lamnisos, CEO, The Eve Appeal
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.

Thursday 18 October, 9.30 – 13.00

Speaker: Natasha Finlayson, CEO, Become
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?

Wednesday 28 November, 9.30 – 13.00

Speaker: Anne Fox, CEO, Clinks
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!


Athena Lamnisos, CEO, The Eve Appeal
Athena is a senior third sector leader, and currently CEO of leading women’s cancer research charity The Eve Appeal. A results-driven senior strategist and engagement specialist, Athena is experienced at driving through developmental change by bringing all stakeholders together in positive, creative environments. In her current role at The Eve Appeal, Athena is ambitious in her plans to move women’s cancers up the public, policy and funding agenda. A former director of fundraising and communications at Friends of the Earth, and one of the founding board members at social change agency, Forster Communications. She has served as a trustee for a number of charities including The Forgiveness Project and Fareshare.


Natasha Finlayson, CEO, Become
Natasha trained as a journalist and worked in the media for four years before a year as a book publicist, followed by a move into media relations. Having joined ChildLine as a press officer, she rose to become communications director there ten years later. Natasha has also worked as a communications consultant for a number of charities and as communications director for one of Prince Charles’ charities. In 2008 she moved into charity leadership as CEO of national charity for children in care, The Who Cares? Trust, which rebranded as Become in 2016.


Anne Fox, CEO, Clinks
Anne is Clinks’ chief executive officer and joined in October 2015. Her role is to provide inspirational leadership to the organisation and be an influential advocate on behalf of the voluntary sector working with offenders and their families. With an educational background in social policy and postgraduate training in public relations, she has led campaigning, communications and policy in national parenting and one-parent family organisations and managed high profile campaigns at Mencap – the UK’s leading learning disability charity.



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.