A fantastic year of learning

Martin Baker, founder and CEO of the Charity Learning Consortium, looks back at some highlights from a 2019 filled with learning and development.

Well, what a year it’s been! I’ve visited a lot of our members this year and I’ve noticed a real shift in mindset about learning and development, putting individual needs at the centre of learning. In particular, I’ve seen some great examples of induction programmes that focus on the needs of the individual, rather than the organisation. Charities like World Vision UK, The Fostering Network and CIWF are doing great work in this area.

This shift in thinking was really evident in a fantastic networking event, which formed part of our annual conference. We focused on crowd sourcing solutions to real issues that members were facing, such as ways to change learning culture. Suggestions included: “Rip up the training calendar!” and “Build any training plan or programme from the bottom up, not top down. Get staff involved in deciding what is important.”

Our annual Charity Learning Conference and Awards is always one of the highlights of my year, and it shows me just how far we’ve come as an organisation, now with more than 170+ members. The bigger we have grown, the greater collaboration there is between members, which is at the heart of our success – and that is never more evident than at our live events. 

We’ve had a wide range of fantastic speakers at our events this year. A huge thank you to everyone for supporting us. I’d particularly like to mention two people: Sir Stuart Etherington, before he retired as Chief Executive of the NCVO, gave a memorable presentation about how the charity sector has changed over 25 years. While Leo Capella, from the National Autistic Society, gave a funny and touching very personal account of the challenges of being autistic in the workplace. 

Our charities are particularly committed to supporting personal wellbeing – when you are helping people in crisis, it’s vital to care for the carers. This has inspired me to develop a partnership with Liggy Webb, a specialist in workplace wellbeing and bestselling author. I hope that the BiteSized books, videos and eLearning modules that have been created by and with Liggy make a real difference to supporting charity staff and volunteers. 

I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months bring. In particular, we have some exciting plans for events in Scotland, to support a growing number of members there. We’ll be at a range of exhibitions as usual in 2020, starting with Learning Technologies 12-13 February at Excel, London. Do please come and chat about how you can join our family!

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Martin Baker
Founder and CEO, the Charity Learning Consortium 

Seasons greetings

Instead of sending Christmas cards this year, we’re donating to two causes – Stroud District Foodbank and Cirencester Parish Church.

About Martin

Martin is the founder and CEO of The Charity Learning Consortium, a unique group of UK based charities collaborating to make learning and development more affordable and engaging.


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