NHS Charities Together CEO urges charity leaders to ‘ask for help’

The chief executive of NHS Charities Together has urged charity leaders to ‘ask for help’ when they need it.

Speaking at the inaugural Charity Times Leadership Forum, Orton talked about her journey leading the charity through its exponential growth over the last two years.

In the first six weeks of the pandemic, the charity made £100m, increasing to £150m in 2020 alone.

She described to delegates how this impacted not only her work, but also the decisions she had to make in a short period of time.

“As a leader, you are not the answer to everything. You do not know everything," she said.

"I had never ran an urgent appeal, but I knew people who had or supported people who had and they came and they helped.”

She touched on subjects such as governance skills audits, recognising when the charity needed more staff and evaluating where they would be best placed.

NHS Charities Together went from four staff in 2019, to 40 in 2021– the type of growth they expected over five years and hired everyone from senior leadership down.

Orton also talked about the importance of working with the chair of the board of trustees, implementing weekly governance meetings to deal with the rapidly changing situations on the ground of the NHS.

“Having a leadership that helps people invest in their own self care is important, too” she concluded.

Charity Leaders' Forum

The first Charity Leaders' Forum, held online on 27 January, was focused on how organisations can build inspirational workplaces post-pandemic.

CEOs and senior leaders from across the industry attended the member-only event, which included sessions on wellbeing, learning and development, recruitment and empathetic leadership.

Speakers included Elham Fardad, CEO of charity Migrant Leaders, Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, CEO of Career Ready and wellbeing expert Claire Warner.

To watch the conference back, click this link

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