In his rather touching farewell blog, my colleague Robert White, who is leaving on a jet plane in the direction of Australia in November, gives a sense of the adventure it’s been over the last two years, moving from a local authority commissioning role to work in one of the sector’s most radical, change-hungry charities at Mayday Trust. It’s worth a read, particularly if you are interested in applying for the role of Director of Development, Income and Impact (closes 20th July) which is essentially the role Rob is leaving at the end of October this year. Rob has been driving our income-generating and partnership building work with councils and provider organisations who want to do public services differently, whether that’s through employing their own strengths-based, person-led coaches, or pursuing whole-organisation or whole-system change. It’s an exciting role, at the heart of our ambitions and part of a small senior team that’s a lot of fun to work with.
Rob captures something about the work of the coaches, whether our colleagues in Mayday, or the 20 odd coaches working in other charities we’ve supported to adopt the model, which I think is central to what makes them special. He says he is constantly amazed by how coaches “are able to hold a relationship that can be so fragile and support people to see the best in themselves, whilst vehemently challenging the injustices they see around them.” That combination of delicacy in building support relationships that feel much more human than so many traditional support relationships, coupled with the tenacity and passion to see and challenge injustice, exclusion and inequality, makes the coaching role uniquely valuable and needed by people who often say they feel listened to and human for the first time in ages. It also makes it uniquely challenging to learn and deliver. As Rob says in his blog, it’s a huge privilege to witness and support coaches doing that work. I’m hugely grateful for the work that Rob has done to bring Mayday and that work to more people and new areas, including our new beacon area of Haringey in London. He will be a tough act to follow. If you want to give it a go, and think you can help us to build our ambitions, income and impact, do please get in touch!