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Leap Confronting Conflict wins Charity Governance Award 2016

Abigail de Leon
Thursday 12th May 2016
Leap is delighted to have won the "Board Diversity and Inclusion Award" at the inaugural Charity Governance Awards. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in May. 

 

Organised by The Clothworkers’ Company in partnership with New Philanthropy Capital, Prospectus and Reach, this inaugural award recognises our excellent governance and true commitment to diversity." data-share-imageurl="https://leapconfrontingconflict.org.uk/sites/default/files/field/image/Leap%20Confronting%20Conflict%252c%20winners%20at%20Charity%20Governance%20Awards%20%28photo%20by%20Kate%20Darkins%29.jpg">

Leap is delighted to have won the "Board Diversity and Inclusion Award" at the inaugural Charity Governance Awards. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in May. 

 

Organised by The Clothworkers’ Company in partnership with New Philanthropy Capital, Prospectus and Reach, this inaugural award recognises our excellent governance and true commitment to diversity. The Charity Governance Awards 2016 are the new UK awards recognising and rewarding good charity governance and shining a spotlight on the best of the sector. Charities were judged on their efforts to attract a broad range of trustees and the support these trustees are given to participate fully, along with a broader culture which welcomes different opinions.

This award is of particular significance to Leap, as we have always prided ourselves not only on the importance of the highest standards of governance and board scrutiny, but also the value of a diverse and inclusive board. We are constantly reminded through our work of how much young people have to teach us, and our board and governance are no different.

Leap’s professionally experienced trustees are representative of the diversity of the cohorts of young people with whom Leap works with 40% from BME backgrounds and 33% female trustees. The background and skills of the board is similarly diverse and reflects our strategic priorities; for example, one board member is the person responsible for prisons in Midlands and a former prison governor, and training young people and adults in the Criminal Justice Sector is a key strategic priority for Leap.   

Below are some extracts from our application:

“Leap makes the best decisions for our stakeholders when we benefit from a Board that combines the unique insights and up-to-date experience of young people with the specific sector expertise and skills of experienced professionals. [Consequently] our Board has a maximum of 12 positions, of which at least three spaces are reserved for young people who have graduated from our conflict resolution programmes. Our young trustees are representative of the demographic of the young people we train and our decision-making benefits from their ability to instructively reflect their experiences at board level.

Leap’s professionally experienced trustees are representative of the diversity of the cohorts of young people with whom Leap works with 40% from BME backgrounds and 33% female Trustees. The background and skills of the board is similarly diverse and reflects our strategic priorities; for example, one board member is a Prison Governor, and training young people and adults in the Criminal Justice Sector is a key strategic priority for Leap. In addition to their significant senior and professional expertise, members bring their own experience of conflict management from their lives.

“I was attracted to the role because I have a passionate interest in helping young people. Having grown up in North London, I have a real life understanding and experience of the conflict that is going on among young people today. Being able to relate to Leap’s beneficiaries is a powerful asset for me as a trustee”. 
Peter Olawaye, young trustee

The presence of Leap programme graduates on the Board is a powerful message to all new trustees and demonstrates a commitment at Board level to creating real opportunities for young people to influence decision making. It is motivating for newer young trustees to meet those young trustees already on the board who have taken on substantial responsibilities. Young Trustees have a direct impact on our strategy, influencing the range of ways we can support young people and reminding us that one size never fits all. For example, in 2015 our three young trustees raised the need to provide more strategic progression routes for graduates from our programmes and were influential in the development of this area of our work – we have secured funding for this and will recruit a Progression Route Officer in the second half of 2016.

The diverse range of experience, skills and background of the board, along with their familiarity with the arenas in which Leap works, enables a high level of strategic direction and input from the Board. This has helped Leap respond to the changing external environment in an agile and strategic way. The cross-pollination of learning between our young and professionally experienced trustees also positively affects the quality of the decisions we make. The executive staff at Leap benefit hugely from the breadth of experience on the Board, whether in terms of strategy, fundraising, digital transformation or policy insights.

“The other Trustees are keen to hear what I have to say because I’m aware of the challenges for young people and can provide insight into how our work really affects them” Chantal Chang

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