Welcome to Take Stock and Reset, The Rank Foundation Conference 2021.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a global storm, unequalled in strength, wreaking havoc on an unprepared world, and only now, as the wind begins to calm and the dust begins to settle, do we begin to see the enormity and complexity of the challenge ahead.

The 2021 Rank Foundation conference will provide space for the RankNet community to convene and to reflect on the experience of the last 18 months. We will use our time together to consider the impact of the pandemic on people, places and communities. The event will also be an opportunity to network, share best practice and to hear from key thought leaders, innovative projects and like-minded participants.

We appreciate that the last 18 months will have impacted on each of us differently and that attending a conference of this size may bring with it feelings of uncertainty or anxiety. We will endeavour to create a programme that has flexibility at its heart and provide ample space for time out and well-being practices.

6th-7th October 2021

Queen’s Hotel
New Station Street City Square

Please note that this is an invite-only conference. All tickets must be booked via The Rank Foundation team.


Day 1
11:00am Check In Open
12:30pm Lunch
1:30pm Welcome
2:00pm Insights Panel
3:15pm Seminars
4.00pm Break with Refreshment
4.30pm Adaptive Leadership
6.15pm Break/Optional Yoga
6.45pm Networking Drinks
7.15pm Evening Session
7.30pm Dinner


Day 2
8.30am Optional Yoga
9:15am Welcome Back
9:30am Memorial Award
10.15am Break with Refreshments
10:45am Foresights Panel
11.45am Certificates
12.20pm Goodbye
12.30pm Optional Lunch

What to expect

Insights panel discussion and related seminars on the impact of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns on communities including exacerbated and emerging inequalities.

Foresights panel discussion on how communities and the sector might look in a post-pandemic world. The panel will explore ways to harness the renewed sense of community leadership, volunteering and the use of technology.

Leading through Complexity: An interactive session facilitated by UK Acumen Academy focused on exploring the principles of Adaptive Leadership and learning with your peers.

 Leading through Practice: Hear from Time to Shine leaders and their experiences of leading and learning throughout the pandemic.

Rank Memorial Award: Be there for the announcement of the 2021 travel bursary winners, all focussing on suicide prevention and well-being initiatives.

Networking: Time to connect, talk, listen, share and relax.

Seminar Options

A) Rehna Yaseen - Impact on Ethnic Minorities

Rehna Yeseen – Impact of Ethnic minorities during Covid 19 pandemic and the positive use of the great outdoors.

B) Jordan Ignatius - Value and Principles

Jordan Ignatius – Establishing a strong culture: Values and Principles within the workplace

C) Kate Smith - Social Isolation

Kate Smith – Social isolation in older people and dementia: How to maintain a healthy brain

D) John Harrison - Accompanying Excluded People

John Harrison – Accompanying excluded people through a pandemic – what next?

E) Debbie Fawcett - Domestic Abuse

Debbie Fawcett – Domestic Abuse, Covid 19 and the positive changes to the services

F) Louise Herd - Mindfulness Meditation

Louise Herd – Unwind and relax with this introduction to meditation. The session will include breathing exercises and guided meditation to calm both the body and mind.

Speakers and Seminar Leaders

Kevin Holcroft
Kevin HolcroftInsights Panel Facilitators

I am originally from South Africa and moved to Wales in 2017. I began working at Credu Connecting Carers in Mid Powys. Credu supports young and adult carers to live their best lives. Credu encouraged me to consider applying for a place on the Time to Shine Programme and I’m so glad they did.

I was a Time to Shiner in 2017 and I can honestly say the experience was a game changer for me. I developed an increased sense of purpose and I gained more awareness of my strengths. The Time to Shine programme truly facilitated my career development within the social sector.

I remain truly grateful for all the support and development opportunities that Time to Shine afforded me!

I currently work for Powys County Council. I am a member of the commissioning team within adult social services. I co-ordinate a five-year plan to support people with learning disabilities and complex needs to live independently within their community.

Outside of work, I enjoy keeping fit, exploring more of beautiful Wales and reading a good book.

Jordan Ignatius
Jordan IgnatiusReaching Higher

I have over 10 years’ experience within the early years and youth work sector and have a great passion to want to improve the lives of young people. I am currently the Head of Strategy & Operations at Reaching Higher and I am also the founder and director of Sowing & Growing Nursery and Preschool.

Having experienced working on the ground across both sectors I have spent the last few studying the importance of organisational culture and understanding how to cultivate an environment that is effective, enjoyable and authentic. My hope is to continue to add value in developing sustainable initiatives and raising leaders across the early years and youth work sector.

Kate Smith
Kate SmithMemory Matters

Kate Smith is a qualified nurse and Joint CEO of Memory Matters and Moments Café, alongside her sister-in-law Laura Walker. Kate has worked within the Statutory Sector, and Voluntary and Community Sectors and she has a deep understanding of their value to the public and each other.

She lives in Plymouth with her husband, two sons and dog Indi. To relax, Kate can be found wandering the hills of Dartmoor with the family or (loudly) cheering her sons on at football.

Kate became a nurse because her passion is to lessen struggle – that’s the thing that drives Kate forward, it is her ‘why’. She is often asked to speak at a local and national level about Social Entrepreneurship, Understanding Impact of Social Projects and is often asked to share the Memory Matters journey to inspire others.

Debbie Fawcett
Debbie FawcettHARV

Debbie Fawcett CEO of HARV Domestic Abuse Service based in East Lancashire

HARV have been providing services to vulnerable children and families since 1998, the organisation is rooted in community development theory and practice: with all the services we deliver built around the diverse needs and issues of individuals, families and the communities in which we work. I have worked and developed the service for nearly 20 years.

I have a wide range of experience from initiating a number of domestic abuse charities, developing consortia and leading National programmes of innovation. I have a particular skill set around organisational change, people management and capacity building.

I have been studying trading and sustainability with the school for social entrepreneurs, to develop our ability to income generate and am a keen lifelong learner. I have an MA in Voluntary Sector Management, a postgraduate in Safeguarding children and a degree in Youth and Community Studies

I am committed to making the world a safer place for women and girls.

Rehna Yaseen
Rehna YaseenLindley Educational Trust

I am a youth and community worker and outdoor instructor for an outdoor charity called Lindley Educational Trust. We use the outdoors as one of our main tools of engagement with young people and the wider community, facilitating the best experiences to widen horizons and show people that there is so much out there for them to achieve. I wasn’t always into the outdoors- coming from a South Asian background meant that it wasn’t really part of our norm. Being exposed to the outdoors within my teenage years through a local youth club changed my life and I feel very fortunate that fast forward 10 years I am doing the same for so many other young people in similar situations. Getting people from diverse and marginalised communities is my focus and drive.  Young people are the future so helping shape them using the outdoors – creating resilient, strong, and happy youngsters is a dream and I live that every day.

John Harrison
John HarrisonEmmaus

John is the community manager of Emmaus North East, an organisation that works with people facing exclusion primarily due to homelessness.  Emmaus provides community, work, and the opportunity to support others in solidarity. John has also worked in international development, most recently in Liberia. He believes in a world where all are valued and have a place with an ongoing interest in the ‘alternative’ and the power of lived experience to influence society for a more just and equitable world

He is completing an MA in International Development and is a Churchill (2019) and Acumen Fellow (2020)

Peter Weil
Peter WeilPolitics in Action

Peter is currently the Chair of both the Investment and Archive Committees at Northern Ireland Screen whose co-productions include “Games of Thrones”, “Line of Duty” and “Derry Girls”. He is also a Governor of Stranmillis University College in Belfast and the Chief Executive of Politics in Action, a shared education initiative which is supported by the Rank Foundation. The role involves working with 25 schools across Northern Ireland whose students come from different backgrounds and work together to find solutions to the issues which matter to them.

Previous roles have included  Head of Network Television, BBC North; Senior Vice-President, Discovery Networks International; General Manager, Animal Planet International and Chief Executive, CTVC, which is part of the Rank Foundation.  During his period at CTVC, “TrueTube”, the online channel which specialises in religious education and citizenship, won the BAFTA award for Children’s Channel of the Year (2017). The Company also won an RTS award for best edited documentary (“Welcome to Mayfair”) as well as three nominations for a Grierson documentary award.

Peter’s broadcasting career has spanned almost six decades. He started as a child actor 1n 1962  where he played a dog on the BBC Northern Ireland Home Service’s Children’s Hour. Subsequently he produced programmes with Sir David Frost, Jeremy Paxman, Esther Rantzen, Emma Barnett and Gloria Hunniford. He edited BBC One’s eponymous thrice weekly talk show “Wogan” and launched “First Edition with Jon Snow”, a schools current affairs programme on Channel Four for 9-13 year olds, which ran for eight years. As General Manager of Animal Planet he commissioned “Meerkat Manor” which subsequently aired on Animal Planet USA, BBC Two and Channel 5.

In 2000 Peter was elected a fellow of the Royal Television Society and in 2002, while working in the USA, he was appointed an Alternate Director for the Emmys committee.

Neil McLean
Neil McLeanSocial Enterprise Academy

Neil has been Chief Executive of the Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) for over 14 years. During this time, SEA has become the largest Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Centre in Scotland, and has shared its model internationally, with partner hubs established in 12 countries including South Africa, Australia, Malawi, Malaysia, Pakistan, India and China. The Academy now supports over 3,000 people worldwide each year to develop their leadership and entrepreneurship.

Neil’s early career in the private sector led to an MBA at the University of Stirling where he developed the social enterprise he founded in 2004. Neil served on the board of Impact Arts, Scotland’s largest arts-based social enterprise and recently chaired the group creating the Social Enterprise Strategy for Edinburgh and serves on the board of Social Enterprise Scotland.

Jan Garrill
Jan GarrillTwo Ridings Community Foundation

Jan is CEO of Two Ridings Community Foundation, a regional charity that provides grants & support to local groups in North & East Yorkshire. Jan came to this role after a career in the Northeast of England. Having been brought up in Sheffield and then studied history at the University of York she had always wanted to return to her Yorkshire roots so when the role at Two Ridings came up, she jumped at the chance. Since joining Two Ridings in 2014 she has grown the organisation in the scale of grant making, long term funds secured for the benefit of the area and reputation as a proactive, friendly grant maker.

Jan has a Masters in Marketing and is a board member of the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, a member of the RSA and a volunteer at her local community shop.

Caleb Jackson
Caleb JacksonYouth Endowment Fund

Caleb has been working with challenging young people for over 15 years who needed diversionary activities and personal support. His personal expertise are shaped through mentoring of high risk individuals involved in gangs and operating a wide range of universal services (shout out Enthusiasm Trust). He has a keen focus on preventing young people from entering the criminal justice system, youth violence and exploitation. He has advocated and supported front line community groups as vehicles who can co-create and co-deliver long-term solutions to reducing youth violence and exploitation. Caleb has worked closely with a range of stakeholders including The Home Office, VRU’s, Housing, Police Forces, Public Health, Safeguarding Hubs, Educational leads, Voluntary Sector Organisations. He is in a national role at YEF as Head of Change for Youth and Criminal Justice, living out a mission to prevent children and young people from getting involved in crime and violence (leaning on values of integrity, influence, empathy and collaboration).

James Watts-Rees
James Watts-ReesPeople and Work

James joined People & Work in September 2018 for a year’s placement as part of the Play It Again Sport team. His role has been made possible by the Rank Foundation’s RAP scheme (Rank Aspire Programme) which supports young leaders to develop their skills and career options whilst contributing to the work of a local community charity. James is a native of Ton Pentre, Rhondda and, after leaving Treorchy Comprehensive School, he gained a Level 3 WRU Apprenticeship in coaching. He has extensive experience in mentoring and coaching a wide range of people in rugby and life skills. His enthusiasm for and commitment to Rhondda is second to none! James now manages current young leaders who have come through the RAP scheme and is helping them find their place in society. James didn’t find his place in school so began volunteering at his local rugby club where he still is today after going to coach at elite level with national teams and numerous sports clubs’.

Preeti Shetty
Preeti ShettyUpshot

Preeti is the CEO of Upshot, a social enterprise that helps non profits manage, monitor and evidence the community work they deliver. Preeti focuses her efforts on proving the difference charities can makes to people’s lives and communities through impact measurement and evaluation. Built in 2012 by the Football Foundation, Upshot is now used by over 1000 organizations across the UK and internationally. Preeti has worked in the social change space for over 10 years, starting off at the BBC and working for various national and international NGOs and brands. A well-respected figure particularly in the sport for development space, Preeti was named one of The Sport Industry Group Next Generation Leaders in Sport, is an Independent Director of London Sport Trading and Brentford Football Club, is the Vice Chair of Street Child United, sits on the Women in Football Board Committee and chairs the Evidence Group for the BOND International Sport for Development coalition.

Ross McCulloch
Ross McCullochThird Sector Lab

Ross McCulloch is Director at Third Sector Lab – a digital agency working specifically with charities. He has worked with a wide range of charity and public sector clients on digital and social media strategy, including Relationships Scotland, SCVO, Oxfam, Macmillan, Scottish Government and NHS. Ross facilitates SCVO’s digital senior leaders programme and is a trustee of Parenting Across Scotland. Ross was recently named one of Acumen’s 2021 Fellows.

Gavin Melly
Gavin MellyPlaytrail

I have 17 years’ experience working within the community and voluntary sector across Derry City & Strabane District Council in Northern Ireland. As a child, I spent all my free time within my local youth facilities engaging in multiple developmental programmes, including creating an award winning educational board game called ‘Beat the Bully’. This experience influenced the career I have today and over the last 17 years I have a wide range of experience within the field to include school based work, working in interface and highly deprived areas, play work, street based youth work and for the last 9 years working as Social Inclusion Manager within Liberty Consortium @ the Playtrail.

Within my current role I am responsible for setting up and managing the award winning youth provision ‘BUD Club’. BUD Club is an inclusive youth provision for young people with disabilities aged 11-25 years old. As part of my role within the organisation and the senior management team, we work together to ensure the growth and sustainability of the organisation in areas which includes social enterprise (Tea in the Park & Thrift Charity Shop) as well as advocating on behalf of young people with disabilities within wider society and government policies.

Jennie Marshall
Jennie MarshallPlaytrail

I had the amazing opportunity of being a Time to Shiner in 2019 and I can truly say it has not only helped me grow personally and professionally but it has also been a stepping stone in helping me find my dream career. Working with young people with disabilities has always been extremely close to my heart. Therefore, having the opportunity through the T2S Programme to work for The Playtrail in setting up & developing a social enterprise called ‘Tea in the Park’ where young people with disabilities has a meaningful and supportive work placement has been amazing.

Since then, I have had a number of different opportunities come my way within my organization, such as being involved in setting up a 2nd social enterprise for our young people called ‘Thrift’ Charity Shop whilst also completing a Post-Grad in Community Youth Work, allowing me to become a qualified youth worker in our youth provision ‘BUD Club’. Getting to do & be involved in all these things has allowed me to carry on in being pro-active in ensuring every one of our young people is at the heart of what we do.

Ben Lane
Ben LaneAcumen Academy

Ben is part of the team building Acumen Academy in the UK – the world’s school for social change – on a mission to unleash a new generation of social innovators and leaders with the determination and grit to build a more just, inclusive and sustainable world. Prior to launching UK Acumen Academy he was focused on growing social enterprises and charitable organisations in India and Kenya – where he helped build Shortlist.net and delivered strategy & people solutions for over 100 impact-led organisations.

Ellen O'Donoghue
Ellen O'DonoghueJames Place

Ellen is CEO at James’ Place, where she leads the team’s work on suicide prevention across sites in London and Liverpool. This follows her work as Head of Programmes at the Royal Foundation. Ellen was previously Director of Health Promotion Programmes at the Movember Foundation, leading on global programmes to improve men’s health. Prior to that she headed up the strategy and planning team for Public Health England’s world-leading behaviour change campaigns.

She launched the strategic communications agency The Ladder Consultancy and set up and led the social marketing team at Forster Communications, working with clients including the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and the King’s Fund.

Jane Bolland
Jane BollandJames Place

An expert in Suicide Prevention,  Jane is the Clinical Lead at James’ Place and the Head of the Liverpool Service. She  developed the therapeutic model and has a recruited and trained  the team who deliver the unique and innovative therapy to men in a suicidal crisis. Jane has set the tone for James Place and is responsible for ensuring that all our clients experience the welcoming and warm approach that is key to our success.

Prior to working at James’ Place, Jane was the Suicide Prevention lead for Merseycare NHS Trust and was the co author of the award winning #SeeSaySignpost Training, which has now been accessed by over 1 million people.

Jane believes that every man in a suicidal crisis can be supported to recover and that the right talking therapy can deliver real results for those men and their supporters.

Jane has lived and worked in Liverpool for 20 years with her family, she is a keen LFC supporter and can often be found walking her dog, Monty down by the Iron Men at Crosby Beach.

A good day at James’ Place can involve a few tears, a few hugs and a surprising amount of laughter, helping men to make sense of their situation and find hope for the future is the most rewarding part of my job.

Sarah Lloyd-Jones
Sarah Lloyd-JonesPeople and Work

Sarah is director of Pobl a Gwaith/People and Work, an independent Welsh charity that she has worked with since its establishment in the 1980s. The charity works with communities and community organisations to build on local strengths and skills focusing on the foundational economy and enterprise, wellbeing and learning. It currently has a strong focus on place based work and supporting young community leadership. The charity also does evaluation and research work for the voluntary and public sectors in Wales, earning half its income through this – recent studies have looked at community responses to COVID-19, the role of CAMHS in schools and evaluating programmes to support people into work. Sarah convenes an all-Wales social leaders group called Talwrn that meets six times a year.

Jo Gorniak
Jo GorniakStreet Factory CIC

Joanna Gorniak is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO & Business Manager of Street Factory CIC . Jo uses her International Acting Experiences , Business & Mentoring Skills to unlock potential in people who feel there’s No Hope, Empowering them to Shine Their Light , & Live Their Best Lives ! All Through The Power Of Hip Hop , Kindness & Love …

Toby Gorniak
Toby GorniakStreet Factory CIC

Toby Gorniak MBE (Aka- Toby G) is the Co-founder , Co-CEO & Artistic Director Of Street Factory CIC. He is a Multi award winning Hip hop artist , Hip hop life coach & Mentor, who uses the 10 elements of Hip Hop to transform lives of people from a range of backgrounds , empowering them to Discover their Genius, Exceed Their Potential & Fall In Love With Their Purpose . #RippleEffect

Peace and love

Louise Herd
Louise Herd

I participated in the Time to Shine programme in 2016. During the programme I attended public speaking workshops and action learning sets facilitated by The Rank Foundation. These gave me the opportunity to work with some amazing like-minded people and taught me vital skills which I use in both my personal and work life today.

I currently work for a handful of small charities in Lancashire, providing management accounts and payroll. I also teach yoga and meditation with a focus on improving mental health. Every day I am grateful for the amazing mentors, work colleagues and programmes which have helped me to find my feet working in the charity sector.

Chelsea Reynolds
Chelsea ReynoldsCumbria Youth Alliance

After attaining her degree in Business/Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan, Chelsea went on to attain a job on multiple major cruise lines as a solo-guitarist/singer.  For 5 years she worked all over the world, entertaining holidaymakers on NCL, Celebrity and P&O Cruise Lines. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Chelsea found herself stuck at sea for 3 months, unable to get in touch with her family at home. It was then that she decided to pursue a career on land. Thanks to The Rank Foundation, Chelsea was able to attain work in Marketing for a youth charity based in her home town. She has now been working for Cumbria Youth Alliance for 6 months and is thoroughly enjoying the experience.

Florence Bonner
Florence BonnerStreet Factory CIC

Flo Bonner (artist name Florence Hope) has been an established artist for over a decade, primarily using her voice to raise funds and awareness for local, national and international charities. For the first time ever, Florence is taking every element of music creation underwing, from writing to producing. Florence is classically trained, achieved BA (Hons) Music and Musical Theatre at the University of Chichester Conservatoire and is completely self-taught in areas of production; taking inspiration from a diverse range of genres. Her latest release, ‘Connection’ has been shortlisted to be part of an exciting community project in the South West.