At Mustard Tree we recognise that while anyone in Greater Manchester remains in poverty, we cannot rest on our laurels.
Two decades of experience at helping people transform their lives has demonstrated that frequently it is not enough to simply provide a charitable, short-term crisis intervention. As necessary as that is, it is even more vital to empower people: to enable them to create and sustain change in their lives, and to help them build the kind of skills that will allow them to lead fulfilled lives and contribute to society.
We also want to go beyond that, and to help our participants to effect change in society. The deep-rooted social issues we see on a daily basis require a fresh approach. With that in mind we launched a new pilot Leadership Faculty programme in April. This course will last for 16 weeks and will be coordinated by Jez Green, a trained and experienced performance coach who has been an integral part of Mustard Tree since launching our Freedom Project back in 2009.
Through group training sessions, individual performance coaching and opportunities to gain practical experience within Mustard Tree and our partner organisations, the programme aims to develop leadership skills in a context our participants can relate to. People with lived experience know better than anyone what it’s like to be marginalised and disadvantaged in the current system. They are the experts when it comes to homelessness, addiction, offending, poverty and much more, and we believe they are amazingly well placed to help others like them, both now and in the future.
Mustard Tree have already created a range of programmes with different goals, from fostering creativity through our various art courses to preparing our clients for the job market with our Ready for Work club. Through regular contact with our clients in this supportive, intellectually stimulating environment, we have been able to see the kind of entrepreneurial desire and leadership qualities that deserve a dedicated development programme.
Once the pilot period is over, we will evaluate what worked best and plan to change what didn’t work so well. We will talk to the participants, trainers, coaches, line managers and trustees to find out where there are areas for improvement. All this will inform our ongoing development of a permanent leadership programme.
If you are a local leader who’s interested in getting involved with the programme – whether it’s offering work-shadowing placements or delivering a leadership seminar – please get in touch with Jez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Jamie Faulkner, FireCask.