How peer support helped Battle Scars leader during 2020

Leading in uncertainty

IVAR introduction 

Leaders of smaller voluntary organisations experienced a prolonged period of uncertainty during 2020/21 in the height of Covid-19. Wanting to support the sector in a useful way, we offered sector leaders online peer support sessions called Emergency response support‘a space for solidarity and solace’.  From these sessions we built a picture of the challenges they faced and what they needed from funders in response: turning these into regular briefings.

Following a positive reaction to the series of peer support sessions, our learning, and a clear need for continued support, we have re-launched peer support sessions with a focus on Leading in uncertainty. We asked emergency response session attendees to share their experiences of leading during the uncertainty of 2020 and how peer support sessions helped. Here, Jenny Groves of Battle Scars shares:


1.   What was leadership like during COVID-19 (2020)?

Leadership felt rather isolating at times and, quite often, very stressful. Too many constant changes, too much uncertainty and too much pressure.

2.   Why is connecting with peers important for leaders?

Connecting with peers was vital, to share the difficulties we were experiencing and to find solutions together. It definitely helped to not feel alone.

3.   How did peer support session/s make you feel after talking on leadership and organisational challenges? 

Peer support helped me feel more understood and supported. No matter how much support I am getting from the trustees, and even the staff and volunteers, none of them can understand what it’s like to be the CEO — to be constantly problem-solving and planning for the next day, month and year, all at once.

It was extremely helpful being with other leaders, seeing how common such issues are and finding solutions together.


Leading in uncertainty

We are running 90 minute drop-in peer support sessions for up to 10 charity leaders at a time, every week, from June 2021 – via Zoom.  Join us for some time to pause and reflect, and to hear other leaders’ experiences of adapting to and coping with leading in prolonged uncertainty. Find out more and book your slot at this page: http://www.ivar.org.uk/leading-in-uncertainty/ 


About Battle Scars: 

Battle Scars are a small Leeds-based, 100% survivor-led and run charity providing UK-wide, virtual and Leeds/Wakefield face-to-face services, as well as online resources to anybody affected by self-harm.

Find out more about Battle Scars at: https://www.battle-scars-self-harm.org.uk/
Follow them on social media: https://www.facebook.com/BattleScarsSelfHarm https://twitter.com/BattleScars_SH

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