Edith & Lidi

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Edith Hamilton

Leaders Together mentor

Like many others, Edith Hamilton was keen to broaden her skills and her horizons. Whilst her job as Interim Finance Director at CILT, the National Centre is extremely busy, Edith was keen to help mentor someone from a Refugee Community Organisation and the project Leaders Together seemed the best route.

Edith explains “I have done some informal mentoring throughout my career and really enjoyed helping someone else. Leaders Together was of particular interest to me as I wanted to get involved in a different sector as I hoped that this would widen my knowledge base.”

Edith was paired with Selestin Lidwin (Lidi) from South London Tamil Welfare Group. Mentors and mentees can use the meetings to work on a particular project, or like Edith and Lidi discuss various topics which will help the RCO on a broader scale. South London Tamil Welfare Group is a relatively well established RCO, so the focus was mainly on HR and finance issues, to help Lidi in her relatively new role.

Edith says “Lidi was very organised and had prepared a list of things she wanted to cover in our meetings, so we had an action plan going forward. We looked at funding; an issue for many charities, reviewed some of the finance policies, talked over risk, audits and the general business cycle. I think it has helped Lidi to be able to discuss ideas and I’ve been able to offer template documents where needed.”

Edith continues “The mentoring process has been a learning curve for both of us. It’s funny, but by discussing different topics with Lidi and offering advice for situations that have arisen I have realised I should take my own advice too, so, we’re both putting theory into practice!”

Lidi says “It was a good match as Edith and I get on well which has really helped. Both the organisation and I have really benefited by working with Edith. Edith has even said that she’s got some good ideas from our processes too so it’s been a win-win situation.”

Selestin Lidwin (Lidi)

Leaders Together Mentee

Selestin Lidwin or Lidi to her friends, has been working for South London Tamil Welfare Group for six years. The organisation has grown and so have her responsibilities, in fact, in the last year Lidi was promoted to Community and Operations Manager.

Lidi was excited to be using her education and knowledge towards this role but felt daunted by all that she had to achieve. Thankfully, she found out about Leaders Together! She explains:

“Initially I felt quite overwhelmed with what I had to accomplish but I was really keen .to discuss my queries and ideas with someone with the knowledge and skills that could help. Even from the beginning I realised how amazing it was to have a mentor to work with and especially working with Edith Hamilton from Missing People.”

Lidi had a plan as to what she wanted to cover in the mentoring sessions, mainly surrounding HR and finance, including covering the organisations’ financial policy and procedures. Lidi says:

“It’s been good to be able to go to Edith with any doubts or queries, she’s a great support as she offers advice and points me in the right direction. It’s been a two-way process too, I think Edith has gained from this experience as well. It’s definitely been an excellent partnership.”

Edith confirms: “Lidi has been a pleasure to mentor and the experience on Leaders Together been a pleasurable one. I’ve been surprised how much I’ve learnt and it’s definitely been advantageous for both of us.”