Improving Leadership in Nottingham

The call to make the UK’s leadership more representative of the diverse communities it represents has never been louder – or more needed. Whether that’s our elected representatives, business boardrooms or role models, both real life and on-screen.

That’s why we’ve joined forces with Nottingham City Council to launch a programme called Future Leaders of Nottingham. The programme, now in its second year, aims to identify people with the potential to take on future leadership roles across the city – in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Our Chief Executive Cherry Underwood explains:

“Nottingham’s workforce is more diverse than ever and that should be reflected at all levels across organisations – including leadership roles. Through the programme, we want to create opportunities for employees from under-represented groups, helping to increase diversity at board and senior levels across Nottingham City.

“The programme will also bring together potential leaders from all sectors – private, public and voluntary – to learn from each other and strengthen networks and relationships across the city.

“Crucially, this programme is about finding those with leadership qualities and potential, regardless of their existing skills and experience. Being a manager doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a great leader and vice-versa. We want to give those with the potential to become great leaders the chance to shine, especially if they’d usually face barriers to progressing in their chosen career.”

To make sure the programme discovers people with genuine leadership qualities, wherever they are and whatever they’re doing at the moment, rather than simply choose those already in management positions, programme applicants have been put through their paces via a rigorous selection process.

The successful applicants will now embark on a programme to develop their leadership skills, giving Nottingham a talented pool of experienced, qualified potential leaders, across all sectors.

The programme starts on 10 May and as well as learning new leadership skills at a variety of masterclasses, workshops and activities held at venues around the city, the chosen applicants will get the chance to experience life at the top – through board-level placements in local organisations and working on real projects.

The masterclasses, workshops and activities have been designed to help participants build on their leadership qualities, while developing their knowledge and experience. Topics will include everything from business, strategic and financial issues to emotional intelligence and resilience, unlocking limitless potential, promoting equality in leadership and understanding Nottingham.

Each participant will also have a mentor to help guide and develop them, and be able to learn from those who did the course last year. One former participant is Jazz Hayer, Watch Manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service:

“I was one of the fortunate candidates who was successful in completing the first Future Leaders programme last year. I could never have predicted how the exposure to all the different workshops/masterclasses and the wealth of experience and knowledge shared by the speakers, as well as my peers from the programme, would impact on my self development and allow me opportunities to take on different challenges, which I never before knew existed.

 “I hope that this is the start of something great for Nottingham, our respective organisations and communities. I believe last year was the first step on a long journey to getting a true representation of senior leaders throughout Nottingham, who will be positive role models within our rich and diverse city in the not too distant future, and I’m proud to have been a part of that.

“The greatest thing to come out of the programme for me was being identified as having a coaching style when working with people. I was encouraged to look at taking a coaching qualification, which I completed in December 2016 through the Fire Service. I am now a ILM 5 Certified Coach, but more importantly, I also coached four of my Future Leaders colleagues, who were on the programme with me last year.”

The Future Leaders of Nottingham programme will run from May to October, with a celebration event for participants and organisations taking part in December.

This year’s programme is sponsored by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, Nottingham City Homes and Futures and Communities Inc.

To find out more about the programme please call Holly James on 0115 911 2226 or email