The Red Thread Fellowship and me!

One of our Fellows from last year’s cohort tells us what the Fellowship has meant for her….

“The Red Thread Fellowship’s stated aim is to contribute to building a more inclusive, sustainable and connected community by bringing together young leaders from all walks of life (at no cost!) and coaching them to develop themselves and charities in and around the local area. It does this…and so much more.

The programme challenged me to consider and reflect on my sense of self – both personally and professionally – and on my place within the community.

As a group we committed to taking part in five workshops during the course of the year and to working with a local charity for a few hours per month, the idea being that we would apply what had been learnt in the workshops on a practical level to contribute to the long term sustainability of the charities we were working with. What I don’t think any of us were aware of at the start was quite how honest, open and supportive these workshops sessions would become.

This is where the fellowship comes into its own. The content of the workshops could no doubt be delivered over the course of an intensive two or three day programme but, by stretching the programme over the course of the year, we had the time and opportunity to really explore and reflect on the topics covered, apply what we had learnt in a controlled and structured way, and (most importantly in my view) allow the relationships between each of the fellows, the charities we worked with, and Freddie and Adrian, to develop and mature. The real strength of the fellowship is this measured, long-view approach. The programme isn’t there to deliver ‘quick wins’ (although there are a fair few to be had!); it’s there to help the fellows become aware of and understand different approaches and methodologies, to challenge the way they view their ability to influence their own and others’ environments, and to encourage a more community-focused approach to leadership and development.

I may have just been lucky with my cohort, but I suspect that the carefully structured training, the care with which fellows are selected, and Freddie and Adrian’s enthusiasm for ensuring that society has leaders who will hold themselves and others to account, will continue to ensure that future fellows have the same rewarding and insightful experience.

I really enjoyed my time as a fellow and was delighted when Red Thread asked me to stay on as an ambassador for the fellowship. Something that started off with me thinking that it was a really convenient way to tick some CPD and CSR boxes came to shape the way that I now approach personal and professional challenges and opportunities. This really is a fantastic programme, delivering everything you would expect from a management and leadership course whilst unashamedly encouraging personal and community responsibility.”

Natalie Drought, Senior Associate – Freeths LLP