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Emerging Leaders is a leadership development journey designed to help you move beyond the processes required to be a competent manager by learning the specific behaviours and skills needed to be an effective leader in the homelessness sector.

Next cohort: September 24 - March 25

Applications will open in July 24. Register your interest now.

We specifically encourage people from marginalised communities, particularly Black, Asian and minorised ethnic groups, LGBTQIA+ community, and people with disabilities, to apply.

Please see also our EDI statement.

  • ILM-recognised

    Approved as ILM Recognised: ILM is the leading specialist provider of leadership qualifications in the UK

  • Training

    50 hours core commitment + additional reading and reflection

  • Partnership

    Optional mentoring and coaching

  • Events

    6-month programme

  • Coaching

    Online peer community

Given current challenges in homelessness services we need this programme more than ever... It's well organised and meeting leaders from other homelessness services has been invaluable
James Allen, Emerging Leaders England alumni, 2023


Service, operational or functional managers

There is no minimum time that you have been in post. We would expect you to be at service, operational or functional manager level. As well as people working in frontline services, this programme is also suitable for people working in other disciplines such as fundraising, comms, HR and finance.

Passionate about collaborating to achieve social impact and improve equity, diversity and inclusion

We want the programme to have long lasting impact on the sector. Your interest in collaborating with your fellow participants beyond the life of the programme is key.

Working for an organisation dedicated to ending homelessness

This must be a voluntary community sector homelessness organisation. Your organisation does not need to be a member of Homeless Link.

Commitment to attendance

In order for you and your fellow participants to get the most out of the programme, we ask you to commit to attending all sessions.

Should I apply for the London or England programme?


  • Working for an organisation based in London
    This may be a national organisation, but the majority of work within your remit should be in London.

  • Hybrid delivery
    Emerging Leaders London will be run as a hybrid programme delivered in person (in central London) and online. 


  • Working for an organisation based in England
    This may be any organisation based in England, including London.

  • Online delivery
    Emerging Leaders England will be run online.
This session was a revelation! Thank you so much for facilitating and also for the honesty and openness of everyone participating.
Leadership support alumni


You will be supported to understand what leadership looks like for you, with the opportunity to delve into your values and beliefs as a leader. You’ll be given the knowledge and skills to take your role as a manager to the next level, as well as the opportunity to build your resilience, well-being and confidence to allow you to lead from the front.

Programme aims:

  • Understand yourself and how to interact more effectively with others
  • Define what a ‘great’ leader looks like – including behaviours and skills
  • Agree how to create the right climate to be able to deliver business performance
  • Define the difference between managing and leading, and understand your own style
  • Identify your beliefs and values and how they link with your organisation’s values
  • Develop your ability to communicate assertively, effectively and authentically
  • Understand the role of emotions and Emotional Intelligence
  • Know how to engage, how to inspire and how to motivate your staff
  • Understand the importance of being an effective role-model
  • Develop creative thinking skills to problem solve and make decisions
  • Define what a ‘high performing team’ looks like and how to achieve that
  • Understand how to drive organisational performance through development and growth
  • Understand the parameters of effective Third Sector governance
  • Consider what is needed to achieve positive attendance and staff retention
  • Define performance management and how to identify, develop and build-on people's individual strengths
  • Develop your confidence, resilience and well-being to allow you to lead from the front
  • Develop a personal action plan to support your on-going development
A massive and heartfelt thank you. I have already shared the "Reconnect with your purpose" idea with all our management team!
Leadership support alumni

Key elements

The programme will offer access to a wealth of development support designed to help participants build the skills, knowledge, and networks needed to become the leader they strive to be.

Emerging Leaders Workshops

Participants join eight workshop sessions that focus on different elements of leadership development. The workshops are delivered by leadership experts Amanda Tooth and Beccie Varney.

Each workshop is a half-day session in groups of 12 and include presentation, discussion, small group work and peer learning.

Find out more

Open-to-all webinars

Our open-to-all webinars provide an opportunity to hear first-hand from CEOs and other expert speakers. Some sessions run as open Q&As, and others address particular themes and topics relevant to all leaders. Planned topics include Inclusive Leadership, creating more diverse and inclusive organisations, and how to involve people with lived experience authentically.

There is no limitations on who can attend these sessions: you are welcome to encourage other leaders from within your organisation to attend.

Find out more

Action Learning Sets (ALS)

Action Learning is a powerful tool for developing critical-thinking, problem-solving, creative solutions and innovative practice. Action Learning Sets are a simple way for individuals to learn from each other, using the combined wisdom and skills of a diverse group of people to work through real situations faced in the workplace. You will meet three times through the course of the programme, in groups of six, with a trained facilitator. Find out more about Action Learning in Lucy and Laura's blog.

Find out more

Online networking community

Emerging Leaders provides an opportunity to build relationships with other new and emerging leaders working in the homelessness sector. An online community enables participants to support and be supported by their peers during the life of the programme and beyond. WhatsApp is used as a formal channel to ask questions, share learnings and offer mutual support. At the end of the programme, all participants will have the option to join the growing leadership alumni group on LinkedIn.

Optional elements (additional fees apply)


All participants have the option to be matched with a more experienced leader within the homelessness sector, to receive support and guidance via mentoring sessions during the life of the programme.

Find out more


Coaching provides a confidential, safe space for reflection and discussion, and empowers individuals to take responsibility for their own personal development. We have a range of coaching options available which are great for emerging leaders, whether you want to overcome a particular issue or build your confidence more generally.

Find out more


We will kick off with an in-person introduction session, which will provide an opportunity for you to meet your fellow participants and your facilitators and learn more about the programme.

England and London:

April 24 – September 24 | Online delivery

Workshops and action learning sets take place online.

England only:

September 24 - March 25 | Online delivery

Workshops and action learning sets take place online.

All programmes will close with an in-person session in Central London.

View programme outline
Group talking


Do I need any specific qualifications to access the programme?

No, you just need to meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Eligibility section above.

Why is the programme free of charge? 

Thanks to generous financial support from City Bridge Foundation and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DHLUC), we’re able to run these programmes at no cost to participants. In return, we request a commitment to attend the whole programme, to participate in feedback sessions and surveys, and to consider becoming a mentor to future leadership cohorts.

Are lunch or travel expenses provided?

Lunch and/or refreshments will be provided for sessions which take place in person. Unfortunately we’re unable to reimburse travel expenses.

What happens once the programme is complete?

All participants are invited to join the online leadership alumni community on LinkedIn. Some people might also choose to continue regular peer support sessions with some or all of the other participants.

I have another question...

In October 22, we hosted an information webinar on the programme. We have collected together the answers to attendees' questions so your question may be answered here: Leadership Support_Q&A

Who can I contact for more information?

Contact Lucy Horitz for more information or for an informal chat about the programme.

Questions asked in the application

Question 1: Considering the aims of the programme (listed above) please outline how you will personally contribute to the achievement of these aims within the programme. In your response, please consider how you could utilise your existing knowledge, skills, experience and attributes. [Maximum 500 words]

Question 2: Considering the programme content and themes, please tell us how you think the programme will benefit your leadership journey. In your response, please consider the impact the programme will have on your personal development, the development of your organisation, and of the sector as a whole. [Maximum 500 words]

Question 3: What are your goals for your leadership journey over the next 5 years?  [Maximum 500 words]

Question 4: A key element of the programme is developing a network of peers in an environment that feels safe, trusted and supportive. In order to achieve this, we ask that all participants commit to attending all of the sessions. How will you manage the required time commitment and ensure your organisational capacity doesn’t suffer as a result? [Maximum 250 words]

Question 5 :In order to ensure that participants and their organisations get the maximum benefit from the programme, we ask all applications to be endorsed by their line manager or board member. [Maximum 250 words]

  • CityBridgeFoundation_Logo_vertical_BlackColour

    City Bridge Foundation

    To deliver our London leadership programmes we have received funding from City Bridge Foundation, London’s biggest independent charity funder.
  • DLUHC-web

    Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

    To deliver our England leadership programmes we have received funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).