New year, new North East Leadership Forum

In January, ella forums is launching a new North East Leadership Group which will be chaired by VONNE trustee and Tees Valley YMCA CEO David Robinson.

This small, diverse group of leaders will meet each month to create a network of impartial advisors to each other. The meetings are either a peer network session or a speaker session. The peer network sessions are facilitated by an experienced chair and include time for ‘action learning’ – a member of the group brings an opportunity, challenge or issue to the session and together, through a structured process, the opportunity, challenge or issue is explored and possible solutions generated. In addition, monthly speaker sessions are available to all members of the national ella forum groups, led by experts on the topics identified as being of interest and relevance to group members. Example topics include brand strategy, building resilience, becoming a better leader, being human in a virtual world, planning around Covid-19 and fundraising.

David is inviting North East-based leaders in our sector to find out more, having attended some sessions recently himself. He said: “We are all looking forward to a new year and hopefully a bit of a fresh start. I know many people are working flat out and are just hoping to have a period of calm some time soon. If you can, it’s important to take some time out and I know from experience that it can help to share some of your leadership challenges as well as benefit from supporting others with theirs. In the groups I’ve been part of, or have facilitated, it always fascinates me how alike our challenges are across all types and size of organisation, and even across sectors. Maybe it’s more important now than ever to think about taking some time out to explore this.”

David’s background cuts across the charity, public and private sectors and he brings with him senior leadership experience in the fields of youth, learning disability, mental health, employment support, corporate social responsibility and local regeneration. He is an advocate of action learning, supporting his own development and others through connecting with like-minded people.

If you’d like to attend as a guest to see what it’s all about, you can. It’s taking place on January 28th, 2021, 10am-12. Book your free place at