Dr Lucy Maynard, our Head of Research, is one of 29 leaders from across the UK who has been selected to join a national programme aimed at driving the youth sector forward.

The Clore Social Leadership’s ‘Emerging Leader Youth Programme’ is funded by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Big Lottery Fund. It aims to cultivate a pipeline of resilient and talented youth sector leaders to ensure civil society continues to thrive. It was developed in collaboration with a group of youth charities who recognised that strong leadership is pivotal to success.

Over the next six-months Lucy will work with her cohort on real-life leadership challenges, which will have an immediate impact on the sector. And she will bring her learning back to benefit us.

Lucy says this brilliant opportunity comes at a time when the social and charitable sector is taking on new responsibilities and services to meet growing needs, some of which were previously met by statutory services. She says leaders need to collaborate, rather than compete, and the programme will help everyone to forge positive working relationships and show their value to colleagues from statutory services.

She said: “We are going through tough challenges, but they are in no way insurmountable with strong leadership.

“Charities like Brathay exist to serve young people. The youth sector needs a specific type of social leadership, not only to survive in really tough times, but also to give us a strong voice so we can grow and flourish.

“We have felt cuts in funding and continue to feel these cuts. We are being asked to work in new and different ways and so we need to develop our leadership. What’s especially important, is the ‘social’ part of social leadership. This starts with us personally: we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and how we partner with others to better meet young people’s needs” she added.

Lucy Maynard hopes the programme will allow her to reflect on the balance between the strong values based work of the social and charitable sector, with an increasing need to show social return on investment.

“I’m interested in understanding the impact we have to prove that our work is vital and our approach is powerful.  Here at Brathay we help young people realise how things could be different and how they can become empowered to make changes for themselves. We focus on supporting young people’s wellbeing as we believe it is the foundation of all sorts of things in life, including good mental health, healthy relationships, engaging in education, employment and training, or social action. We want to continue to improve our understanding of how and why wellbeing is such an important foundation for young people to support them to become empowered in their lives”.

Those who successfully complete the programme will be awarded the Clore Social Fellowship Award and will be invited to become a fellow joining some of the sector’s most talented leaders.