2018 participants

women's community leadership programme

Agents of Change launched the pilot of the Women's Community Leadership Programme in 2018.  You can read more about the inspirational women who made up our first ever cohort below, and discover more about their motivations for joining the Programme, and what they've achieved since graduating earlier this year.

 milena 

why did you decide to join the programme?

I wanted to be inspired and empowered by connecting, skills sharing, and learning. I wanted to learn how to initiate, understand and support changes in me and around me. I wanted to understand my strengths better and how to use them. I wanted help to dream bigger, and be more courageous.

how do you feel since graduating?

I prioritise and value my interests and ideas more. I feel inspired and empowered by all the amazing women that I met and worked with during the Programme, and my confidence has grown.

 farial 

In my current role with the charity West London Zone, I help local schools, families and charities to work together to further support children and young people. The work I do now means that I am at the very forefront of developing pioneering programmes that open up opportunities for children and young people that would not otherwise be available to them.

why did you decide to join the programme?

I am a strong believer that it is through improving ourselves that we can help others grow and it is for this reason that I became interested in the Programme. I saw it as an amazing opportunity to develop myself professionally and personally, and to network with local women who are doing incredible things, so that I can continue to help others.

 carol 

what are you working on now?

I’m a vegan nutritionist and recently appointed Head Chef who enjoys growing organic food and running workshops around London and my local community that support people who are transitioning towards a healthier lifestyle. I have developed a natural skincare range which I am about to launch globally online. The Programme has given me the confidence to go ahead and branch out in this area. 

why did you decide to join the programme?

I decided to move into holistic care after my daughter suffered mental health problems as a result of being bullied at school. I went from working in a really dynamic environment to becoming someone who supported my family and I lost sight of who I was and started to doubt my abilities.

I joined the Programme to further develop my skills, regain my confidence and think of myself differently. I also wanted to build up my knowledge and skills to be able to mentor other women in the local area, but at the same time to learn from women with more experience than me. It’s been an amazing journey so far.

how do you feel the programme and the agents of change network has helped you since graduating?

For a very long time, I'd lost my joy. I became something to others and nothing was left for myself. I'd been searching for that kind of joy - to have that balance back in my life. The Programme has taught me how to manage myself emotionally to see where I needed help. I now keep a gratitude journal and am keeping track of my goals and setting timelines. I was very low and the Programme has really helped me to find myself again. I'm so much happier because I can see how I’m going to achieve my goals. It's the greatest thing. I now have a beautiful support network of local women.

 cate 

what are you working on now?

I work closely with service users to improve recovery in acute mental health settings. Together, we create innovative ways to build confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of belonging.

 

Some of our collaborations have included gardening projects, theatre performances, reading and creative writing groups, art and mindfulness workshops, and community sports.

why did you decide to join the programme?

I saw the Programme as an opportunity to work towards my goal of setting up a leadership programme of volunteers and service users, to work together to develop activities that encourage social connection in the local community.

how do you feel the Programme and The Agents of change network has helped you since graduating?

Joining the Programme helped my own belief in my skills and achievements. Since graduating, I feel I have been empowered to push forward. I have a better understanding of my strengths, and how to use them to forge stronger connections. I feel more confident to pursue my goals and create real change in the mental health community, which has in turn inspired others to do more of this kind of work.

 

In June 2019 I received the CNWL Jameson Divisional Directors Award for Excellence in my work with service user engagement. I also received commendations from the Mayor and the Chief People’s Officer NHSE for the diversity of activities and sense of community that has been created through the services I work with.

getting in touch

I'd like to hear from people who are like minded and would like to collaborate, support or share ideas.

cate.latto@mac.com

 Elise 

I'm the founder of Funpact which runs three courses in West London schools and in the community for children aged 10-17 and their parents and/or carers.

why did you decide to join the programme?

I wanted to build my leadership skills as I continue in my role as CEO of Funpact. I also wanted to understand my strengths, and develop in the areas I'm weak, such as confidence and time

management.

 Jenny 

I work as a Specialist Counselling Psychologist in a Tier 3 CAMHS Service in the NHS alongside running my own business.

why did you decide to join the programme?

I wanted to develop a network of contacts within my community that would help me with my vision for my business. I also wanted to develop leadership skills that were in keeping with my personality and were inclusive, optimistic and offer people an empowering world view.

 mirjeta 

I run the Edith Durham Community School, aimed at providing additional education and community services to all children and parents in the community.

why did you decide to join the programme?

I wanted to develop necessary skills to run my community school more effectively and develop further skills for future employment opportunities.

 saba 

what are you working on now?

I'm working as a Finance Officer in a local community nursery operating as a charity called Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery.

 

I'm passionate about creative skills, and design and make jewelry which is currently stocked at Petit Miracles in Shepherds Bush and at Made in H&F in Kings Mall under the brand name ‘Kaleidochic’. In addition to this, I run jewelry making classes for adults and for children regularly at Petit Miracles. 

I have previously delivered free jewelry making classes to children within the community and would like to take this further by offering similar sessions to children and adults alike and am open to any collaborations for this social venture.

why did you decide to join the programme?

I joined the Programme in the hope to learn from others as well as provide insights from my experiences and knowledge gained over the years (I have been a part of the White City community for the past 15 years). 

I wanted to be a member of a community that is easily accessible, especially for those who are unable or hesitant to network, communicate or access relevant information which may be beneficial for them. 

how do you feel the programme and the agents of change network has helped you since graduating?

I have met some amazing people during the course of the Programme and subsequently have had an increased amount of confidence. The Programme really helped me with my self-worth and how to accept myself for who I am, even though I generally have a positive outlook on life, as well as acknowledge the fact that no matter where we are in life we are still learning. My peers who completed the course with me were strong women yet we all have something we feel draws us back. This course helped us to address those concerns and start taking steps to overcome them. It made me stop procrastinating and start doing. I would definitely recommend this Programme to anyone and everyone I know!

contact

 Ana 

why did you decide to join the programme?

I joined the Programme to gain key skills and confidence to apply in my own life to impact the world around me.

 nora 

why did you decide to join the programme?

I wanted to gain inspiration from successful women in leadership positions, hear about their experiences, their journey and get some advice. I also wanted to learn more about networking, communication and negotiating.

 dianne 

what are you working on now?

For the last three years I’ve been voluntarily working with and for local residents through the Safer Neighbourhood Team, local borough departments, Imperial College’s community team, major area employers, politicians and the UK’s largest housing association improving the quality of local lives with photo based action plans.

My aim is for registered housing provision across LBHF to be safe, secure, well managed and genuinely affordable.  This could lead to a practical national consumer standard including things that matter like decent lighting. 

 

I’ve voluntarily contributed to two national reports launched at the House of Commons (on the future of social housing and second smoking in the home).

 

I’ve contributed as an involved patient to improving experience at Imperial NHS Foundation Trust.  This included presenting to the Trust Board in 2019, explaining the impact of repeated cancellations on the day of surgery to help influence lasting positive change.

 

I'm in contact with the specialist Rare Disease Group for the kidney condition I was diagnosed with in 2017.  I hope to work with clinicians to develop the first patient information for others living with this in the UK.

My background spans public sector work in inner London adult education, NHS governance, national improvement, programme management and earlier international production roles in the City of London.  I gained my degrees as a mature student.  I have a strong interest in system leadership – working across organisational/other boundaries to influence positive change improving people’s lives.

 jag 

why did you decide to join the programme?

I'm interested in how to influence and implement meaningful change locally. I wanted to learn how to help others to create opportunities to improve their lives whilst also staying true to their values. 

I was looking to gain access to a wider network of people for mutual and long-term benefit. I was keen to hear about and learn from others on the Programme, and to become a role model by sharing my knowledge, skills and experiences. 

 Kathryn 

I work for a charity called Body & Soul as Public Health & Impact Manager. Body & Soul is a medium sized charity that supports people of all ages who have experienced significant childhood adversity.

why did you decide to join the programme?

I have lived in Shepherds Bush for over 10 years and felt that the Programme would be an excellent opportunity to develop myself professionally and personally, and to network with women living or working in my local area.

 katie 

what are you working on now?

I work for the Writers' Union of Italy as their International Co-Director, building a network here in London and advising them on matters of authors' rights around the world.

 

I'm passionate about celebrating and sustaining cultural and linguistic diversity, and international connections. I have also worked in the community in West London, working as a fitness instructor, at the Bush Theatre and volunteering with other local organisations.

 

I'm currently spending time in Le Marche region of Italy, where I collaborate with a cultural association, Alberi Di Maggio. I'm interested in how traditional aspects of rural and oral cultures and ways of living can help us to be more human, open and community focused, and more creative in the today's world.

why did you decide to join the programme?

I applied to the Programme because I wanted to achieve a certain sense of cohesion between my interests, and to develop a project idea that aligned with my interests and which could benefit others.

how do you feel the programme and the agents of change network has helped you since graduating?

I met many interesting people on the Programme, all of whom have knowledge and perspectives to share. There have also been practical opportunities to collaborate and share networks. The group is open, supportive and accepting, and I now feel my network has really grown.

contact

 Suzanne 

what are you working on now?

l try to encourage a holistic view of new business developments, or public and voluntary sector initiatives by influencing their outcomes to include co-design and co-production with local residents.

 

In February 2019 l joined LBHFs Disabled Co Production lmplementation Group, whose mission statement 'nothing without disabled people' means the new town hall will be environment tested for visitors with all types of sensory difficulties. 

I'm C.R.I.S.H. (Co-created Research and lnnovative Solutions for Health ) trained with lmperial lnvolve, and l sit on a Citizen Science Panel in Autistica’s Insight Group.

 

You could say I'm an 'Autistic Angel' after my diagnosis in 2016, passionate about raising awareness, up-skilling clinicians, and every highly valued support worker.

I want to ‘future-proof’ service delivery with an ambitious target of creating a rolling high functioning peer mentor programme at the end of 2020.

 

I use mind mapping, personal charisma and interactive think tanks to move beyond traditional ‘strategy’ into effecting meaningful and mindful change. I write poetry to win grants, and help motivate fellow carers express their needs differently.

My other interests are fighting pollution, especially re-populating wildlife in our new White City Flutterbee plot.

why did you decide to join the programme?

The Programme was an opportunity for me to revive and hone my existing skills, including improving my communication, which my Autism sometimes makes difficult. I also wanted to learn the art of delegation, and how to market projects effectively to attract potential funders.

Our partners

Agents of Change is delivered in partnership with Imperial College London, Hammersmith United Charities, Lyric Hammersmith and The Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.