Up and Coming: Anna Smee of UK Youth

Smee, 37, joined the youth charity as chief executive in December 2014. She was previously director of ventures at the Young Foundation

Anna Smee
Anna Smee

Your charity aims to give young people the chance to realise their potential. Have you received help during your career? It's impossible to succeed without the support of others. The best advice comes from the least expected places. Strangers called me when my appointment at UK Youth was announced to offer help and to introduce me to others. There's an amazing level of camaraderie in the youth sector.

How can young people in the charity sector build support networks? Technology has made it easier to reach out to interesting people through Twitter and Instagram, then formalise a connection through sites such as LinkedIn. However, it's important to meet people face to face before you invite them to connect with you online, or make it clear why you want to connect. Just sending a standard message doesn't allow you to form a relationship.

What is your leadership style? I strongly believe you can achieve far more as a team than as an individual, so I aim to be inclusive and encouraging.

How do you switch off from work? Kite-surfing is my stress-buster. I love the adrenaline rush and the feeling of being very much in the moment.

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