Lin Whitfield is a highly experienced independent consultant who works with a wide range of organisations in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in England and Wales.
Lin has experience of working with a broad client base, from large voluntary organisations and national charities to small grassroots community groups and local and regional cross-sector partnerships and consortia. She has a background in learning and teaching and in senior management, and has worked in the not-for-profit sector at local, regional and national levels. She holds a Masters’ degree in Management Development and Social Responsibility and is a graduate of Common Purpose.
“Lin is knowledgeable and professional - she seems to be able to answer just about any question people throw at her! - but also flexible and easy to work with.” - National training programme coordinator
Lin's clients include organisations and partnerships in the fields of health and social care, children and young people's services, advice, domestic abuse, carers’ support, grant-making, disability, and older people. She has also worked with local support and development organisations to build their own capacity, and to develop capacity-building strategies for frontline organisations.
In her consultancy work, Lin believes that those within the organisation are the experts who know best how to move things forward, achieve positive change, and aim for best practice. She encourages teams and organisations to recognise their own skills and expertise, and to devise practical and realistic solutions. This enables them to take ownership and do things for themselves. All her work is highly participative and tailored to the specific needs of each organisation.
“Lin proved to be an invaluable source of support throughout the project particularly when there were challenging issues to address. Simply talking things through with her was immensely helpful because she demonstrated excellent understanding of the issues and always gave sound and clear advice which helped me to arrive at the right conclusions.” - Partnership development manager, Local Authorityarrow_upward
Lin Whitfield has extensive experience of governance: she has worked as a Trustee and Director in a number of organisations and has been Vice-Chair of Governors in a large FE College. She is currently a Trustee of a local support and development organisation.
Lin provides a range of governance support to voluntary organisations of all sizes: she tailors her approach to each individual client and works as effectively with small local committees as she does with Boards of Trustees and Chief Executives of well-established charities and social enterprises. Her approach is firmly rooted within the framework of charity law and good practice.
“We've always had a very committed Board of Trustees but as the move towards commissioning approached, we realised that we needed to improve our governance to be tender-ready. Lin's support, advice and guidance on good governance and how to achieve it were key in moving the Trustees forward. And as a fairly new Chair, I particularly appreciated her 'behind the scenes' support for me in managing the dynamics of change at Trustee level.” - Chair of a carers' forumarrow_upward
In her merger-related consultancy work Lin Whitfield knows the importance of careful planning and adherence to due process, but equally recognises the emotional experience of all those involved throughout the pre-merger, merger and post-merger stages. Mergers are complex and demand specialist knowledge in certain areas. Issues such as TUPE and the complexities of governing documents are highly technical, and errors can have serious consequences. Equally important are issues such as organisational culture, respecting the history and sensitivities of all partners, and the power dynamics of steering group processes.
“Lin successfully project-managed, from start to finish, the merger of three separate small charities into a new organisation. Her role involved listening, questioning, encouraging, facilitating, advising, drafting, explaining, negotiating, supporting, organising, empathising, nagging, and a huge amount of sheer doing while we were all keeping our services going. We couldn’t have got there without her.” - Chair of a domestic abuse charityarrow_upward
Lin Whitfield provides mentoring support and external supervision for Chief Executives, Chairs of Trustee Boards, senior managers, and senior staff teams. This is usually delivered through regular dedicated sessions held off-site.
Mentoring and external support offers a space for reflection with someone independent who listens, acts as a sounding board, and helps people to understand their work situation and come up with their own strategies for moving forward. It is particularly useful for Chief Executives of charities, who juggle multiple priorities and often have no other support mechanisms available to them.
“Lin has been an excellent sounding board, helping me unravel complex problems and dynamics and prioritise the key actions which underpin sustainable change. She is both knowledgeable regarding the legal and ethical context and frameworks within which good organisations run, and insightful and astute in her approach to organisational culture, the way people work together and how to manage change. She also has a wealth of contacts regarding good practice, information and partnership. Her style is attentive, reflective, positive, imaginative and always good-humoured.” - Chief Executive of a small mental health charityarrow_upward
To discuss how I may be able to help you and your organisation, do give me a call on 0117 9078376, Monday to Friday. Initial discussions are free of charge. Alternatively, click here to contact me.
“I know that we were paying you, but I felt very appreciative and thought that you went 'that extra mile' in the support you gave us. Thank you!” - Vice-chair of Trustees, organisation of disabled peoplearrow_upward