When the pandemic hit we all needed to think quickly and make changes to our lives. For many, it has been a time of uncertainty and stress. At The Red Thread Partnership, we have managed our pandemic, by drawing on our commitment to support communities through courage, compassion, curiosity and collaboration.
In 2020 we joined a new venture, Collaborate MK, initiated by Tim Lee. It is a group of people who believe that it is better working together and sharing expertise in a supportive community. It was our privilege to offer our World Class Manager SME leadership and management development programme, a series of 12 modules exploring concepts such as ‘great goal setting, optimising your time, creating a standout team and being a strategic leader’, to nine CMK members at no cost. Each module challenges beliefs and behaviours and offers quick-win tools to use with your teams supported by online videos, check ins, quizzes, action plans and a module handbook. Over 12 90-minute Zoom sessions, led by Managing Director Freddie Guilmard, the managers and leaders laughed, conversed and developed their management and leadership skills.
We are looking forward to welcoming our next World Class Manager cohort with Collaborate MK and extending our collaborating to BAME MK.
Raising money through a pandemic is a daunting task but 13 people who had joined the Red Thread MK4 Fellowship programme in November 2019, courageously persevered and raised a whopping £7,000 for their chosen charities in and around Milton Keynes: Spinal Injuries Association, Hazard Alley Safety Centre, Autism Early Support Puzzle Centre, Ride High, The Bus Shelter and Transitions UK. Their fundraising plans had to change from face-to-face events to online and the cohort continued their Fellowship journey
The no-cost Red Thread Fellowship is the brainchild of Freddie Guilmard and Adrian Spurrell who, five years ago, decided to offer aspiring early to mid-career leaders (Fellows) a year-long, no-cost ILM accredited leadership development programme that supports local charities. About to run for the fifth time in Milton Keynes, we have run Fellowship programmes in Milton Keynes, Northampton, Oxford and Cambridge and were about to launch the Bucks and Leicestershire Fellowships before COVID struck. Sponsored by Freeths and the University of Northampton for the past two years, we are now looking for new sponsors.
The programme has developed 65 aspiring leaders and managers, supported 24 charities and raised over £55,000 to date. Louise Plummer, one of the MK4 Fellows, said: “I recommend it to others who are keen to develop and grow in leadership roles. The opportunity to learn vital skills and to use a network of peers from other organisations to support us to solve collective challenges has been invaluable. The work Freddie and the team do with charities is phenomenal – I am proud to be graduating from this programme.”
The moral of this story – having the courage to admit to not knowing and to learn, brings fun, connections, insights and builds communities – even when we have to be physically apart. We are now recruiting for Fellows for our next MK cohort. If you are interested or know anyone who might be, contact Adrian@the-redthread.co.uk
There is no doubt about the impact of the pandemic on people’s livelihoods and wellbeing and there is a greater need for compassion than ever.
Unemployment is growing, people are having to change career or stop working to cope. We are therefore hopeful shortly to be able to announce that we have been awarded a grant by Milton Keynes Council, under their re-start initiative, to offer women in Milton Keynes the opportunity to develop their leadership and management skills at a greatly discounted rate.
We hope to offer our World Class Manager CPD accredited programme with coach-facilitated sessions, for only £50 per person. For this, each person will work through the 12 modules in online group sessions with a highly experienced professional coach, network with like-minded women, share best practice, develop their confidence, develop management and leadership skills, and be awarded a certificate on completion. The programme will support women caring for young families, or elderly relatives, looking to get back into the workplace, retraining after losing a job, or looking to start a business.
If you know of any woman who fulfils these criteria who may be interested in this exciting opportunity, get in touch at email@example.com
For many of us the pandemic will have been one of the most challenging things we will have lived through. Yet through it all, the most incredible stories have emerged – stories of great compassion and creativity, of communities pulling together and of people ‘giving back’. It’s so important now to move forward and not go back, to be curious about the future we can build together rather than analyse the past, to be grateful for all we have and to keep asking, ‘how can we collaboratively make this world a better place to live and work’. Milton Keynes is an incredible place to live and work, innovative and curious in nature, what more can we do together as local businesses to strengthen our community?
Find out more about The Red Thread Partnership.