Leadership programme to support sector's 'next generation'

The Clore Duffield Foundation says it is receiving strong support from the sector for a new organisation to nurture the "next generation" of third sector leaders.

The foundation has been consulting since July on its plan for a programme to deliver sustained and intensive support to about 20 young charity managers a year who show “potential for leadership”.

Sally Bacon, executive director of the foundation, said: “People have been very supportive of it. We haven’t had anyone saying that it’s not a good idea.”

The proposal has also attracted the backing of the Prime Minister. Gordon Brown wrote to the foundation to say that the idea “would be a tremendous boost both to the sector and to society as a whole”.

The programme would be based on the model of the Clore Duffield Foundation’s leadership programme for the cultural sector, which provides tailored support to potential leaders over a one to two-year period. This includes residential courses, professional development and secondment to another organisation.

“This is not about existing leaders, but about talent-spotting that delivers sustainable training over a long period,” said Bacon.

The consultation runs until October. If the foundation’s trustees give the go-ahead, a detailed blueprint will be produced by the end of the year, with plans for a separate organisation with its own staff, premises and governance that will be established in summer 2008 and will be open for applications in early 2009.

The foundation has appointed a steering group including Baroness Julia Neuberger, Liberal Democrat whip in the Lords and special adviser to the Government on volunteering, and Thomas Hughes-Hallet, chief executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care, to oversee the project.

The programme was the idea of philanthropist Dame Vivien Duffield, chair of the Clore Duffield Foundation.

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