Birmingham charity CEO among charity leaders awarded unique development opportunity

Friday, 22 May, 2020

Sport 4 Life UK CEO Tom Clarke-Forrest is one of 10 small charity leaders awarded places on a unique initiative designed to both develop their own strategic and leadership capabilities, and transform a further 10 charities.

The successful applicants to Pilotlight’s 2020 Bursary Initiative will each be matched with three other senior leaders from the public and private sectors, forming teams which will support charities who have come to Pilotlight in need of strategic input. The engagement between these teams and their charities will be facilitated and project managed by Pilotlight, requiring just three hours of their time each month.

Recipients of the bursary, now in its third year, come from frontline charities in a broad range of areas:

  • Alan Avis, CEO, Croydon Mencap (learning disability charity, based in London Borough of Croydon)
  • Tom Clarke-Forrest, founder and CEO, Sport 4 Life UK (young people’s life skills charity, based in Birmingham)
  • Carole Cumino, CEO, Worcestershire Association of Carers (supports unpaid carers, based in Worcester)
  • Gareth Dixon, CEO, Young H&F Foundation (working across the children and young people sector in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham)
  • Georgina Hoare, head of talking therapies, Wimbledon Guild (tackles social isolation in the London Borough of Merton)
  • Lindsy James, director, Active Fusion (children’s and young people’s sports charity, based in Doncaster)
  • Dan Jarman, executive director, Pact Global (UK) (UK operation of US-based international NGO)
  • Wayne Myslik, executive director, Mlinda (conservation charity, international)
  • Steve Slack, CEO, SAYiT (an LGBT+ young people and sexual health charity, based in Sheffield)
  • Kathryn Williams, director, Rubicon Dance (community dance company, based in Cardiff)

Tom Clarke-Forrest said: "I'm delighted to receive a Pilotlight Bursary to enable my place as a Pilotlighter in a new team. I'm looking forward to supporting another charity on their exciting journey. Having benefited first hand from the Pilotlight programme, I'm a huge advocate of the approach, and I hope I can add value over the next year."

Bruce McCombie, interim CEO, Pilotlight, said: “The social change we ignite doesn’t just impact charities, it impacts the Pilotlighters who coach and mentor those charities too. That’s one of the many reasons why major businesses including Morgan Stanley, Lendlease and Sodexo sponsor their staff to become Pilotlighters.

“Pilotlight has now supported nearly 1,000 charity leaders and through the Bursary Initiative we’re enabling some of them to continue their leadership development by sharing their experience with another charity.”

Angela Smith-Morgan, CEO of Leukaemia UK and a previous Bursary Pilotlighter, said: "As a charity leader myself it has been so interesting to sit at the other side of the table, get to understand a charity in a different sector, and draw on my own experience to tease out the key issues. This is an invaluable opportunity to see the full dynamic of a charity, its governance as well as its operations - so satisfying to be able to help and support a charity whilst also learning so much myself."

The charities which will receive the support from the Bursary Pilotlighters’ teams will be matched over the next month, with engagements beginning this summer.

In the last 17 years, Pilotlight has matched more than 2,000 business leaders with nearly 1,000 charities since its inception. Pilotlight’s 2020 Impact Report shows that charities, on average, increase their reach by 36% and their income by 40% in the two years after working with the organisation.

Across all of Pilotlight’s programmes, participants report improved personal wellbeing, coaching skills, networks, career development and leadership skills.