Three professional women stand together, smiling, with a blue tint across them. In the centre of the image frame reads the words 'Speak Together' in white writing.

Community Leadership Academy: Highlighting the Impact of Small Charities

Key details

Date: 27th Jun 2024

Author: Blueprint for All

Type: News

Join us for Small Charities Week 2024 as we celebrate and uplift some of the small charities and micro-organisations Blueprint for All works with as part of the Community Leadership Academy.

Introducing the Community Leadership Academy

The Community Leadership Academy supports volunteers from non-profit and micro organisations build their leadership skills. It provides an opportunity to develop new skills, gain valuable experience, and expand professional networks. Additionally, participants can enhance their resumes and increase their employability. This programme is designed to be flexible, allowing individuals to balance their participation with other commitments. In a world dominated by large organisations and extensive networks, the significance of small charities often goes unnoticed. However, these smaller entities play a crucial role in creating meaningful change at a grassroots level. In acknowledgement of this, we’re highlighting some of the amazing organisations who work with us as part of the Community Leadership Academy for Small Charities Week.

Who are Voices?

Meet VOICES. We have chosen to spotlight this charity because we deeply believe in the importance of their work and highly value the impact they are making in the community. VOICES is dedicated to providing support and resources to women from all walks of life, giving them a voice where it’s needed the most. Their commitment to positive change aligns perfectly with the values of our programme, and we are proud to support and showcase their efforts.

“I volunteer as a programme lead and workshop facilitator for VOICES – we are a Community Interest Company (CIC). Our mission is to empower women through our ‘Speak Up, Speak Loud, Speak Together’ virtual programme,” shares Nikki Patel, a volunteer of the organisation. “VOICES is 100% volunteer-run, with women of colour forming the majority of our team and as well as our participants. I joined the team a year ago as I am passionate about addressing inequality in a practical way. Since then, I have witnessed women flourishing through our programme which is very rewarding to see. The safe space we co-create with participants fosters learning for all (including myself!) and enriching experiences towards our goal of fair representation.”

We exist to help women challenge inequities in workplaces and beyond. We invite expert speakers to deliver interactive workshops on topics such as Public Speaking, Negotiating and Mental Health. Our participants also receive practical advice to equip them with the skills they need to thrive in their careers. As a global, virtual programme we hope to remove many barriers to joining and extend our impact with women joining from not only the UK, but far and wide, from Afghanistan, Iran and Mexico to name a few.
Nikki Patel, Volunteer at VOICES

Nikki furthered that the work she’s been able to achieve as part of the Community Leadership Academy has reiterated the value and importance of grassroots change. “Through the sessions, I’ve had the time to reflect and discuss how my role relates to my personal values of courage and fairness. Knowing this, I am more motivated to keep up the momentum. The productivity workshops helped my understanding of boosting team productivity with key tips for celebrating wins and impact measurement, especially relevant as we continually are testing and improving our offering. The opportunity to be allocated an experienced coach has been valuable. Having an external sounding board has really helped us to explore new perspectives and strategic actions we can take in achieving our ambitious goals.”

After taking part in the Community Leadership Academy, Nikki shared with Blueprint for All the upcoming work VOICES will be championing, a cause close to our own mission of empowering marginalised individuals: female development. Follow VOICES LinkedIn page to stay up to date and join the upcoming seven week Women’s Development programme for free.

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