School Leadership Day 2010
Paddington Arts was once again the venue for the 2010 Leadership Day: given the prominent role played by True Tube, it was particularly appropriate to be in a community centre that places the arts and visual media at the centre of its activities. Twenty-five School Fellows had found their way to this characterful corner of West London, coming from as far away as Inverness, Truro and Perthshire, as well as from more southern schools and homes. A sharp shower of rain prevented a group photograph after lunch, but the sun shone for much of the day, allowing some ambitious location filming for the independent videos about leadership.
Micky St Aldwyn, the Chairman of the Foundation's Youth and Education Committee, began the programme with a very warm welcome (and a word of congratulation) to all the Leadership Award holders. He outlined the origins of J Arthur Rank's wealth, his motivation in establishing the Rank Foundation and the various areas which receive charitable grants. Antonia Packard, Lord Rank's great-granddaughter, added her own personal insights into the Fellowship and the vision of her father, Fred Packard. This admirable opening session provided the perfect combination of explanation and inspiration.
The Fellowship's interest in leadership in a range of contexts was underlined by two sessions just before the lunch break. In an absorbing interview with Jason Chaffer, Daniela Barone Soares, Chief Executive of Impetus Trust, revealed how she came from her university education in Brazil, through private equity and a MBA in the USA, to head up an extraordinarily dynamic charity which develops the full potential of other charities within its portfolio. The illustration she gave of how Impetus has enabled the St Giles Trust to lead the way in rehabilitating offenders.
Stephen Day is a Fellow with remarkable connections in the Arab world and he had brought along Ibrahim Natil to speak about his unique work with NGOs in the most difficult circumstances in Gaza. Ibrahim touched on the delicacy of promoting human rights issues in areas where politics and religion affect individual lives very significantly. Eliminating violence against women was a cause on which the Palestinian NGOs are working with sustained commitment.
The True Tube work was led with great energy and professional skill by Alison Wright and Danya Nimir from CTVC, fresh from an exhilarating summer filming in Ghana. Their three sessions were perfectly judged in setting out the task of producing a short video on leadership, filming those segments and developing ideas for a more extended film on leadership. The day ended with an entertaining showing of the two videos produced.
There were also useful brief sessions from Max Kirby (on behalf of the younger Fellows) and Natasha Heny (on the Community Action Placements), while Jason Chaffer and Tim Young rounded off the day's programme with a summary of the values and connections running through the Fellowship. The twenty-five School Fellows who attended clearly enjoyed each other's company enormously and the hope is that they will find the Fellowship rewarding and enjoyable too over the years ahead.
A very enjoyable packed day... I made some very good friends and enjoyed the company of both the fellows senior and my own age.
It was a really good day, and there isn't anything that could make the day any better
I loved the relaxed atmosphere and also meeting some people and hearing their own stories and their connections to the Rank Foundation. Also I found it particularly useful to know how I personally could benefit and contribute.
It was honestly very useful and taught me a profuse amount about the Fellowship.
An incredible insight to what the Fellowship can offer me
I thought the True Tube video sessions were really good, as they helped us work together as a team and acted as a sort of ice breaker as we had to communicate to achieve our film. I liked the speeches on the day they gave me a real view on different paths your life could take and how you have to seize all the opportunities that come your way.