By Paul Gerrard, Director of Campaigns and Public Affairs

Next week our festival of learning, Leadfest, returns and I’m really excited to get involved.

This’ll be the second year that I’ll be running Leadfest sessions for colleagues. As a leader I think it’s my responsibility to share the work and insights of my team.

Last year my team and I ran sessions which gave an insight into the work of our Campaigns and Public Affairs team and how we work with the Government and other partners to amplify our campaigns, champion co-operation and secure change.

Sharing ideas and ways of working has loads of benefits – it allows you to develop yourself, learn about other areas and even improve the work you’re doing…and that is exactly what happened in the sessions last year.

You’ll have hopefully seen our Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaigning. What you probably won’t know though is that the idea around colleagues being campaigners was actually sparked in one of the Leadfest sessions. This is something that has totally amplified our campaign, led to 5,000 MPs across the country receiving letters from us calling for change and our recent colleague activation on social media. Moreover, this isn’t about noise, it’s about making a difference and the fact that yesterday Government eventually published its response to the Call for Evidence is in large part, I believe, to the voices that colleagues have raised over the last six months’. It’s crazy to think that without Leadfest we may not have done some of these things.

I’d definitely recommend that you get involved in Leadfest. All too often personal development is neglected and this is the perfect opportunity to put this right. The theme of the festival is ‘creating a shift in our leadership starts with me’ and there are lots of exciting sessions on offer for you to explore – you can find out more and book on via this e-mag.

I’m running a leaders unplugged session this year so if you want to hear about our campaigns and how they come about please book on.

Due to coronavirus, all learning is based online so our People team has created this podcast to ensure you get the most out of virtual learning. There are also some great tips on how you can experience Leadfest as a team here.