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Leadership Event - 10th October 2011

Over 60 people keen to advance their careers attended the latest event at the office of Thompson Reuters in Canary Wharf on October 10th.

Consisting of inspiring talks, practical workshops, invaluable one-to-one coaching sessions, and chances to network, the event provided an opportunity for future leaders with lived experience of disability or health conditions to further their skills and potential.

Peter Apps – himself a Radar Leadership Programme graduate – opened the event by describing how he overcame a serious injury to develop his career as a senior journalist at Reuters. ‘I know things are difficult for people, and you have your different paths’, he said, ‘but the point of today is to give you additional skills to move forward in whatever the direction is you’ve decided you want to take’.

Continuing on from Peter, Phil Friend, Chair of Radar, described how the participants could transform themselves ‘from caterpillars to butterflies’ by becoming an expert on their needs, communicating them effectively, and never apologising for their disabilities. Rather than being like the Tin Man going to ask the Wizard of Oz for help, Phil said in his colourful presentation, ‘it is about becoming the wizard, it is about you inspiring other people, about you giving other people the right to understand you, and what it is you need’.

In addition to Peter and Phil’s stimulating talks, attendees also took part in three workshops covering the issues of empowerment, public speaking, and public appointments. The participants have the power to help themselves in their careers and lives, Stephen Brookes MBE explained in his rousing workshop. ‘Don’t let people turn around and say you can’t.  What you do is say I can’. Later, Tony Lidington equipped the attendees with a variety of tools to help them deliver engaging presentations, exploring a range of issues such as breathing exercises, proper preparation, and structure. Finally, Shaama Saggar-Malik explained the possibilities available in taking up public appointments. While they are hard work, Shaama explained, public appointments also offer an invaluable opportunity to learn new skills and to make a positive impact on communities.