One of St Martins’ team members took part in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), an intensive residential week to develop leadership skills while having fun and making connections.
The scheme is run by Rotary clubs and districts around the world and is open to people aged up to 30.
The outcome of the course is to build communication and problem-solving skills and discover strategies for becoming a dynamic leader.
Kat Alabaster, is manager of the Community Services team within St Martins. The service provides accommodation and support to people living in the community, many of whom have moved on from hostel accommodation and are starting their journey back into independent living after a period of homelessness.
Kat is already in a leadership role at St Martins but found the RYLA experience valuable as it helped her reflect on her leadership style and benefit from gaining feedback from the group.
Kat said, I am a person who naturally leads, so it was useful to flip things on their head and learn what it’s like to be a follower. The experience provided me with useful insight into my own leadership style, which I was told was ‘democratic’.
Kat benefited from workshops on a range of topics including time management, presentation skills, problem-solving and information gathering. In addition to the workshops and practical sessions, there was plenty of time for outdoor team-building activities including rafting-building and kayaking.
One of the benefits billed by the scheme is to form lasting friendships – something Kat can vouch for. She said, “I got on well with the others in the group; after spending a week with them, I made some friends for life and have met up with them since. I found the experience really useful and already have plans for a member of my team to benefit from it next year.”