GSK IMPACT networking

Cascading Leadership Programme

The cascading leadership programme enables high-performing GSK IMPACT Award winners to share their learning and skills with the wider voluntary and community sector, to further develop leadership within the sector. GSK, The King’s Fund and Comic Relief are partnering on this programme.

The GSK IMPACT Awards Network has already demonstrated the immense value of investing in leadership. Together, GSK and The King’s Fund have seen charity leaders grow, find new ways of working, collaborate and support others, and become established leaders within their health and care system. 

However, there are still few leadership development opportunities for charities, and funding for development support is hard to come by.

Developing a new initiative

Last year, to address this, we piloted the Cascading Leadership Programme in Scotland; six GSK IMPACT Award winners worked with six charities to develop and support their leaders. The IMPACT winners received training and coaching from The King’s Fund to support them in making the transition from being a leader, to facilitating the leadership of others.

The programme is designed to build the capacity of the charity sector to lead from within, with support being provided by organisations that are rooted in their communities and who understand the sector’s strengths and challenges.

What has the impact been so far?

The results of the pilot were impressive, showing benefits for all those involved.

For organisations receiving support, it developed the confidence and ability of their leaders and allowed them to see the scope and potential for their organisation. It combated feelings of isolation, gave a sense of belonging to something bigger, and enabled them to build new networks.

While for the organisations providing support, it offered the chance to build on, and improve, their existing leadership skills and increased their organisation’s profile and standing. They gained insight into different organisational cultures and methods of working, enabling them to bring new perspectives back to their own organisations.

What’s next?

Following the successful pilot in Scotland, the Cascading Leadership Programme is now being rolled out across the UK. Fifteen consultant organisations have been recruited from the GSK IMPACT Awards Network, and Comic Relief will match them with 15 organisations who will benefit from the support.

The programme takes an innovative approach with potential widespread benefits. Once further established, it will be externally evaluated, to allow us to learn from its application.