We use cookies to provide vital functionality. For more information, please see our cookie policy.

Manage cookie preferences

Welcome Day

Taking place in person in Central London, our Welcome Day will offer you an opportunity to meet your fellow participants; find out more about what to expect from Established Leaders; and set your personal objectives for the programme.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

  • Welcome from Rick Henderson, CEO of Homeless Link
  • Introductions and programme overview
  • Expectations of the programme
  • Introduction to Action Learning Sets
  • Setting personal objectives
  • Guest keynote speaker
  • Q&A


Our workshops are designed to take you on a journey, from you as an individual leader; to you as the leader of your organisation; through to collective leadership of the sector. Each session will be facilitated by a subject expert, with CEOs and other leaders providing best practice examples and learnings about each topic. Sessions are designed to be interactive and participatory, with a practical rather than theoretical focus.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Leadership

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is increasingly important in the homelessness sector. From offering development pathways for staff from minoritised backgrounds to creating inclusive physical environments to increasing diversity on Boards, there is much work to be done in this area.

This workshop will look at the principles of inclusive leadership and why it is so important, before moving on to consider practical tools and approaches you can use to make your own organisations more diverse and inclusive. You’ll share your own experiences with one another and hear case studies of how this has been done well, including how to overcome common pitfalls. Finally, we'll work together to explore barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion to identify key interventions.

This workshop will cover:

  • The relevance of EDI to leadership in the homelessness sector
  • The traits and practices of effective inclusive leaders
  • Key practical considerations around organisational diversity and inclusion
  • Systemic barriers to a more diverse and inclusive homelessness sector

The leader in you

Every leader is different, taking a different style and approach to leadership. To be a successful leader, it’s vital to understand the real “you”, the values you are driven by, and how to use your strengths to best benefit your organisation. Now more than ever, ensuring you are an inclusive leader is paramount. And in tough times, protecting your own wellbeing, as well as finding clarity about how your work aligns to your personal and career goals, becomes increasingly important.

In this workshop, we will discuss the concepts of authentic, values-based and inclusive leadership, and how to apply them in practice. We’ll use strengths-based assessment tools to explore your natural leadership style. We’ll also explore together how to remain resilient in tough times and sharing effective mechanisms for managing stress .

Finally, we will consider you as a “whole” – how to align your personal values and goals with your work, and how to plan your future career path accordingly.

The workshop will cover:

  • Understanding yourself and your natural leadership style
  • Being your true self: authentic leadership and its practical application
  • Building trust among those you lead: how to be open and vulnerable while remaining credible and inspiring.
  • Values-based leadership: aligning your personal values with your organisational vision.
  • Defining your personal career goals and planning for the future accordingly.
  • Inclusive leadership: being aware of your own biases and actively seeking out diverse perspectives.
  • Remaining resilient when the going gets tough: techniques for managing stress.

You’re not alone: creating a strong leadership team

CEOs are in a unique position, with no direct peers within their organisation, and accountability to both the Board of Trustees and to the staff team. Being a CEO can be a lonely place without the right support network.

This workshop will consider how to build an effective leadership team, whatever the size of your organisation. We’ll consider how to ensure your Board has the right mix of skills and is diverse, inclusive and representative of your service users. We’ll explore together how to create a strong and shared purpose between the Board, CEO and senior staff. We’ll look at how to use sub-committees effectively, to ensure they support the realisation of your organisation’s strategic goals. Finally, we’ll look at how to build a supportive senior team structure, and what that means for smaller organisations.

This workshop will cover:

  • Building and developing a high-performing Board of Trustees who are representative of your service users and the communities you work in.
  • Creating a shared purpose between your Board, yourself and your senior staff.
  • Creating a CEO-Chair relationship which is nurturing and fruitful.
  • Using Board sub-committees effectively.
  • Understanding the difference between a Senior Management Team and a Senior Leadership Team and building a supportive senior staff team, including in smaller organisations.
  • Developing and supporting a diverse pipeline of future leaders within your organisation.

Leading an organisation people want to work for

The cost-of-living crisis, combined with labour market shortages and limited budgets means attracting and retaining staff is more difficult than ever. This issue seems especially pertinent for homelessness organisations, given rising workloads and increasing burnout.

In this workshop, we will consider as a group how our sector might best respond to this crisis. We will consider how to shape our organisations to attract a wide and diverse pool of potential new staff, as well as ensure that existing staff feel embedded and valued. We’ll explore together how to meaningfully involve staff and service users in strategy development, so that your organisational vision, mission and strategy aligns with their values.

This workshop will cover:

  • Values-based leadership: understanding the values of your workforce and reflecting these in the organisation’s strategic planning.
  • Strategy development: meaningful co-production between the Board, staff and service users.
  • Ensuring your organisation’s vision, mission, and purpose inspires your staff while meeting needs of service users.
  • Ensuring your people practices are strengths-based, person-centred and trauma-informed.

Creating a robust organisation that thrives in difficult times

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that crisis management isn’t just a paper exercise. Risk management and disaster recovery planning should be embedded in daily practice. With reserves depleted, funders increasingly stretched, and staff costs and overheads rising, many homelessness organisations are facing the imminent realisation of one of the biggest strategic risks on their risk register: not having sufficient funding to stay afloat.

In this workshop we’ll look at how to embed strategic risk and crisis management across your organisation. We’ll consider the skills and attributes you as a leader need to not only cope, but to thrive, in difficult circumstances. We’ll identify how to draw on a diverse talent pool, including lived as well as learnt experience, for idea generation, problem solving and recession proofing.

We’ll discuss realistic approaches to financial planning, how to think creatively about funding streams, and how to create structures that are agile and can quickly adapt to changing circumstances.

Finally, we’ll consider the importance of strong relationships in difficult times, including with funders, with your Board and with partner organisations.

This workshop will cover:

  • Effective disaster recovery, crisis management and continuity planning.
  • Ensuring risk management is owned at every level of the organisation.
  • Creating agile structures which are quick to adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Bringing together diverse minds and talents, including learnt and lived experience, for idea generation, problem solving and recession proofing
  • Realistic financial planning and diversifying your income streams.

Working in partnership: creating a collaborative sector

We all share a common goal to end homelessness, but that goal will only be possible through working together in partnership. Ending homelessness requires coordination between many different agencies, including charities and housing associations, community and faith groups, local authorities and other public services, as well as people with lived experience.

Yet joint working is often under-developed, dysfunctional or absent. Too often this results in inefficient ways of working as efforts are duplicated or confused, while the needs of people who are homeless remain unmet. And in a landscape of commissioning, with local organisations bidding against each other for the same contracts, a competitive approach is incentivised. Even among non-commissioned services, partnership bids can be time-consuming and challenging to manage.

This workshop will look at how we can collaborate and create more effective partnership working, both within the homelessness sector (for example between government and charities) and between sectors (for example with the health, criminal justice and social care sectors.) We’ll consider how to ensure that all partners and all voices are recognised and how to foster a supportive, collaborative environment within local communities. We’ll hear case studies of how this has been done especially well, including how to overcome common pitfalls.

This workshop will cover:

  • Applying the principles of effective partnership workingto real world situations.
  • Collaborating efficiently and minimising duplication
  • Ensuring everyone has a seat at the table: joint working between local authorities, commissioned services and the faith and community sector.
  • Fostering relationships with local services in other sectors.

Strengthening our collective voice

With homelessness expected to rise this winter as the cost of living and energy crisis truly bite, advocating for protections for those at risk of homelessness will be more important than ever.

This workshop will offer practical insights and tips on how to amplify the voices of our service users and to challenge systems that aren’t working. Along with experts by experience, we will collectively discuss our shared view of the most pressing issues to address and identify the best way forward.

This workshop will cover:

  • Understanding the difference between campaigning, advocacy and influencing policy, including best practice in campaigns and policy work.
  • Amplifying the voices of our service users and considering the views of all stakeholders.
  • Communicating with impact, including adapting your communication style for different audiences.
  • Overcoming imposter syndrome.

Closing session

Taking place in Central London, our closing session will offer you an opportunity to come together with your fellow participants in person for the final time. The day will offer an opportunity to celebrate collective achievements, reflect on learnings and plan how to continue implementing the learnings from the programme, as well as agree how to continue as a peer network moving forward.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

  • Reflections from Rick Henderson, CEO of Homeless Link
  • Sharing successes
  • Reflecting on progress against objectives
  • Planning for the future
  • Focus group with our learning partners M2 - a crucial part of our evaluation of the programme.

Facilitators and speakers

Our workshops are facilitated by sector and subject matter experts, drawing from their rich experience within the homelessness sector and the wider third, public and private sectors.
  • Leadership-Agnes-Fletcher

    Agnes Fletcher

    Described by the Equality and Human Rights Commission as "a widely respected expert on equality", Agnes is well-networked and influential in the field of equality law, policy and practice. Agnes has 30 years’ executive and consultancy experience of delivering equality outcomes in the public, private and third sectors. She also has substantial non-executive and governance experience, including as the Vice-Chair of a national charity. Agnes has provided strategic advice, training and consultancy services to more than 300 organisations during the past 15 years, including regulators, public authorities, businesses and third sector organisations. Prior to that, she was a Director for a non-departmental public body.
  • Leadership-Sunny-Dhadley

    Sunny Dhadley

    Sunny’s leadership journey began in 2007 after activating his lived experience. He went on to contrast his, and others’ life experiences and developed high-impact solutions across social, health and economic sectors. Sunny has invested vast amounts of energy and time in maximising his ability to lead and inspire others, whilst simultaneously creating multi-award winning services, and influencing high-profile areas of work. Sunny has ensured that lived experience is embedded throughout the design and delivery of this programme. His wealth of expertise in progressive leadership, facilitation, governance, politics, and creating sustainable social impact are a vital aspect of this ground-breaking initiative.
  • Coach-Syane-Findlay

    Syane Findlay, IC Potential Consulting Ltd

    Syane has a passion to support and empower organisations, teams, and individuals to experience positive transformation and achieve goals through mindset, behaviour change and leadership development. Prior to becoming a Homeless Link Associate, Syane worked for five years as a Coach/Trainer for two London-based homelessness charities. In 2014 she became an independent consultant and has since developed and facilitated numerous group and 1:1 coaching/training sessions in the UK and internationally for a range of people from apprentices to c-suite, working across the public, private, corporate and third sector. Syane is a skilled and engaging facilitator and coach, and she creates a supportive and encouraging environment where people can learn and grow.
  • Leadership pages only - Dr Jan Sheldon

    Dr Jan Sheldon, CEO of St Martins

    Dr Jan Sheldon is the CEO of St Martins, a Norwich-based charity supporting 300 people in a variety of accommodation and community projects. Jan joined St Martins in 2018, prior to that she was the CEO for the Royal Association for Deaf people and a regional manager/interim Director for Skills for Care. Jan obtained her Doctorate in Education from Sheffield University and qualified as a Chartered Director with the Institute of Directors in 2012. Jan is passionate about making sure that team members are supported to deliver the best support and care possible and strongly believes in compassionate leadership. As a result of Jan’s leadership and an amazing Senior Management Team, St Martins was been rated as the Best Companies 4th UK Charity in 2022.
  • steve-coles

    Steve Coles, Associate Director, Good Faith Partnership

    Until July 2021, Steve was the CEO of Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT), an addictions recovery and homelessness charity based in east London, which runs two social enterprises, a network of eight charity shops and has an income of £2.6m and a team of 75 staff. At SCT, he developed the charity’s approach to addictions recovery work and launched a Housing First project. He is a Non-Executive Director of an NHS spin-out called Compass Wellbeing CIC, is Chair of Trustees of the Guild of Health and St Raphael, an Associate of Homeless Link and an Associate Director of the Good Faith Partnership. Steve has now held four trustees roles (three as a Chair and one as Vice Chair) and has considerable experience of advisory council and other leadership team roles.
  • Individual Walking Dog

    Salma Ravat, CEO, Under One Roof Leicester

    Salma is the co-founder and CEO of One Roof Leicester (ORL). Salma with other individuals representing voluntary, community and faith groups who worked in the homelessness sector set up ORL as a networking forum in 2011, to increase partnership working, identify gaps and streamline provision. In 2014 ORL registered as a charity now providing accommodation and support to single people who are homeless in Leicester, including those with limited eligibility. Salma's role has evolved as the charity has grown. Salma is passionate about partnership working and collaboration, working with a wide range of partners both locally and nationally. In her free time, Salma often gets drawn into whatever her children are watching including Only Connect, Desperate Housewives and other such drivel, but her real passions are reading and running.