A county-wide search is underway to recruit the trailblazers for a new leadership programme that will empower local people to make a difference in their communities.
Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Lord Willy Bach, and the Violence Reduction Network (VRN) launched an innovative Community Leadership Programme today (10 September), inviting dynamic and passionate individuals to develop their knowledge and skills and become part of a network of community leaders.
The Community Leadership Programme will empower communities to play their role in addressing local issues and challenges and develop solutions that support their community to thrive.
It is part of a public health approach to the prevention of violence and crime which places communities centre-stage, empowering and supporting them to tackle the causes of violence at the earliest opportunity.
The OPCC and the VRN are recruiting 20 new community leaders across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR). The recruits will join a three-month learning and development programme, free of charge, to develop knowledge and skills as community leaders.
The programme will identify, coach and mentor leaders through interactive sessions and will enable those taking part to share their ideas and experiences to learn and support each other.
Launching the new scheme, Lord Willy Bach, PCC and member of the VRN’s board, said: “This is an exciting milestone for my office and the VRN and we are really excited about the potential of Community Leadership Programme.
“Every day, ordinary people are making a difference to the lives of vulnerable, disadvantaged people across the county, helping to open doors that have been closed and arming those at risk of crime with the tools they need to overcome crisis or adversity. With our support, we believe these community leaders can make a much broader impact on public safety and remove the social and economic barriers that hinder achievement and success.
“Happy and healthy communities are a top priority for me as Leicestershire’s PCC.”
Director of the VRN Grace Strong added: “Everyone has a role to play in preventing violence and community leaders play an invaluable part in our collective efforts. This programme is for current and potential community leaders who are passionate about inspiring young people and their communities to make the change needed to tackle violence and other issues in their community.
“If you believe you have the leadership qualities and would like to invest in your own development, we would love to hear from you. In the current climate of Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, we understand that several communities have been disproportionately affected; therefore we particularly welcome applications from the Black community.”
Earlier this month, the OPCC and VRN launched a formal tender process to select a provider to deliver the innovative Community Leadership Programme, which will support 40 Community Leaders across the LLR area over the next two years.
Community leaders will be well-respected members of the community who will work in partnership with projects, charities, community groups and social enterprises to develop community initiatives, particularly amongst young people aged up to 25.
Working in economically-deprived areas of Leicestershire, including the county’s People Zones, an existing multi-agency partnership approach to build stronger, safer communities, Community Leaders will be given the power, resources and techniques to bring neighbourhoods together and build an infrastructure to help local people thrive.
The programme will begin in mid-November with weekly/fortnightly sessions. One-to-one coaching and mentoring sessions will also be delivered to build existing skills and challenge approaches to leadership and opportunities will be available to network with strategic decision-makers.
Through the programme, participants will be able to better understand and develop their own leadership style, be able to identify and develop new community projects which will have a positive impact on their communities, demonstrate confidence in decision-making and confidently develop long-term plans and strategies.
They will also have a greater understanding of how to write funding bids and evaluate projects.
The recruitment process opens today (10 September) and potential candidates have until 11:59am on Monday 12th October to submit completed applications.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an informal discussion via a video conferencing facility before any final decision is made.
To apply for a place on the Community Leadership Programme, please visit https://www.violencereductionnetwork.co.uk/community-leaders-sought
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 07702 541401