The Big Lottery Fund has announced a new programme to bring together organisations across the charity sector to support partnership working. The Cascading Leadership programme aims to improve access to support and development opportunities for charity and voluntary sector leaders.

Following a successful pilot, The King’s Fund, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund have agreed to support the roll-out of the Cascading Leadership programme so that more charities can benefit. The Big Lottery Fund is investing £175,000 of National Lottery funding alongside £75,000 from Comic Relief.

Cascading Leadership was piloted by The King’s Fund and Comic Relief in 2016. It is designed to improve access to support and development opportunities for charity and voluntary sector leaders. There are 80 places initially available on the programme, which is free to attend and managed by The King’s Fund. Charities applying for places, worth up to an estimated £3,000, must show how their work improves health and wellbeing.

The programme’s approach involves charity leaders providing support to less-experienced peers, meaning support comes from those who understand and are familiar with the sector’s challenges and potential. Leadership experts at The King’s Fund also provide training and guidance to develop the skills and capabilities of both those receiving and providing the support.

Lisa Weaks, Head of Third Sector at The King’s Fund said:

“Cascading Leadership recognises that there are many charity leaders with hugely valuable skills and experience. The programme harnesses their excellent leadership and enables them to support other charity leaders while developing their own capabilities even further. We’re excited that Cascading Leadership has the backing of Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund – more charity leaders can now take part, learn from each other, and strengthen their organisations’ crucial work supporting communities across the UK.”

Applications for the fund opened on 21st June and details on how to apply can be found on the Kings Fund website here.