Case study

Supporting a charity in developing the resilience to move forwards during challenging times

Thulani Molife is CEO of Inspire Nottingham, a charity serving the Nottinghamshire community. The Smart and Inclusive Leadership (SAIL) programme has helped Thulani develop his resilience and leadership skills, ensuring Inspire Nottingham continues to make a positive impact.

European Union Social Fund in Partnership with the Department for work and pensions

Inspire Nottingham is a small community-based charity, operating throughout Nottinghamshire. The organisation was first established in 1999 in response to a need for support provision for adults with learning disabilities. Inspire gives members the practical and emotional support they need to lead full and independent lives through activities such as career and skills training, creative programmes, and leisure activities.

Insights gained from taking time to focus on the business

Thulani Molife is CEO of Inspire. His conscientious nature means he always wants to ensure he is doing his best for the organisation and its members. He enrolled on the Smart and Inclusive Leadership (SAIL) programme as a way of developing his leadership skills which has had a profound impact on the way Thulani works.

“I was able to take a step back from day-to-day activities and reflect on my own skills which has given me a different way of looking at the organisation. Instead of considering what we’re doing and how we do it, I firstly look at why we’re doing it, which has reminded me of the importance of our vision and mission. The programme has also developed my coaching skills, which has helped staff see the importance of their role within that vision too.”

A logo for Inspire Nottingham

Listening to the experiences of those from different organisations has been really helpful. I realised as business leaders we all face similar challenges which was re-assuring. The group felt like a safe place to discuss our experiences and offer support.

Thulani Molife
CEO, Inspire Nottingham

Peer support and developing resilience

Participants learn alongside other managers, supervisors or aspiring leaders. Thulani found it particularly useful to hear how others have dealt with challenging situations. “Listening to the experiences of those from different organisations has been really helpful. Although they were from a variety of sectors and in diverse locations, I realised as business leaders we all face similar challenges which was re-assuring. The group felt like a safe place to discuss our experiences and offer support.”

One of the more difficult situations organisations have experienced is having to find new ways of working during the pandemic. Inspire Nottingham was no exception and all activities had to be moved online as Thulani explains. “No longer having in-person interaction was certainly challenging. We suddenly had to manage people and learning online which definitely tested our resilience. The programme helps further develop your resilience, which is important in the current climate.”

Building skills through flexible learning

The SAIL programme is offered online, allowing flexibility for busy professionals who have many demands on their time. Thulani enjoyed this ease of access.

“I was really impressed with the support I received during the programme. From the moment I first registered through to completing the live sessions, I felt as though I was taken care of. We were supported with the technical set up on the day of the sessions which meant any issues we might have had were rectified, ensuring we didn’t miss anything.”

Thulani also found the learning experience to be extremely helpful.

“The modules offer a great way to develop your skills, with each session building on the last. The programme brings together the different strands of leadership and I really enjoyed the way the information was presented. We had plenty of time to absorb what we’d learnt, and we could ask questions if we were unsure of anything. I’d definitely recommend the programme and encourage those who may be interested to sign up as soon as possible!”

The SAIL project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). If you or your team are interested in participating in the SAIL programme find out more here. 

To discuss working in partnership with us, please contact our Business Enquiry team on +44 (0)800 001 5500 or businessgateway@derby.ac.uk