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16 Days of Activism – Day Six

Shining a light on services

Chief Executive Officer

I have been the Chief Executive of Changing Pathways for over three years and I would say that my role is both rewarding (most of the time) and challenging (some of the time) What is certain in my role is that no two days are the same!

I love the variety of my role. Over the course of a day, I could be switching from attending a partnership meeting, supporting my team through one to one supervisions and then writing a funding proposal to develop new projects/services.

It is important that I spend time each day checking in with my management team. Given the dispersed geographical nature of our services, our sites are spread across the South and South West Essex region so I do not physically see my teams every day. Check ins allow us to iron out any potential issues and for me to provide support through coaching and advice.

The success of the Chief Executive role relies on the strength of our teams. I am extremely fortunate to work with very skilled, knowledgeable and passionate practitioners and managers who focus on achieving the best possible outcomes for survivors of domestic abuse and stalking. As a charity, we are dedicated to developing highly skilled practitioners and managers through our succession programme – Pathways to Opportunities. This programme is a passion of mine and we are always seeking to provide a variety of learning opportunities through formal and informal training opportunities. One recent initiative is a Lunchtime Journal Club led by our Therapeutic Services Director.

Another passion in my role, is the strategic development of the charity and seeing the potential of what as a team we can develop. We have so many interesting and exciting ideas and I look forward to bringing some of these ideas to life!

There are challenges in my role and a key responsibility of mine is to manage risks across the organisation and this can at times feel uncomfortable. Through careful and systematic identification of risk, we can put control measures in place although we can never totally eradicate risk.

There are many highlights in my role. One of my recent highlights was attending the Million Women Rise March earlier this year with staff members, volunteers and the brave survivors who attend our stalking support group. It was an amazing experience to come together to remember the women who have been killed at the hands of men and to help women reclaim power over themselves.

I would encourage anyone that is thinking about pursuing a career in leadership within the voluntary sector to just go for it! It is one of the most rewarding roles you can do.

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