The Walter Dickie Leadership Bursary aims to help leaders in the
third sector to develop their entrepreneurial leadership skills.
Each year WCVA will award £2,500 to support an individual in Wales
to become a better leader.
As a member of WCVA's board Walter Dickie's expertise, experience
and commitment to the third sector have had a profound impact on
the work of WCVA and those who had the pleasure of working with
For more than ten years Walter supported WCVA as a trustee where
he played an instrumental role in guiding the organisation and
helping to set up the groundbreaking Communities Investment Fund
which lends money to social businesses. That fund still runs today
and remains the cornerstone of so much of our ongoing social
Thanks to Walter's dedication, WCVA has been able to lend over
eight million pounds to community organisations, many working in
the most deprived areas of Wales. Amongst a myriad of successes,
the fund has helped save the last pubs in rural communities, given
a kick start to the extreme sports boom in North Wales, provided a
safe environment for children whose foster care has broken down,
brought old buildings back into community use, created hundreds of
jobs and enabled communities to control assets in their own towns
Walter sadly passed away in 2017 so to honour his memory, and
continue the development of entrepreneurial leadership in the third
sector that he gave so much time to support, WCVA set up The Walter
Dickie Leadership Bursary.
About the bursary
A bursary of £2,500 will be awarded annually to someone in a
leadership role within a third sector organisation in Wales to help
them become a more entrepreneurial leader. This could be someone
working in a social enterprise with an idea of how to develop their
trading activity, or a leader within the third sector who wants to
generate income from trading for the first time.
The parameters of how the bursary can be spent are open and
applicants are encouraged to come up with interesting ideas to
support their own development as an entrepreneurial leader. Walter
had a passion for travel and for learning, and WCVA wanted this
bursary to reflect that. The money could for instance be used:
- on a particular course of study
- on funding a visit, possibly overseas, to see how others
approach things, or
- simply anything that the beneficiary feels will move them and
their organisation forward
The only limits are in your imagination!
There is no formal scoring system for applications. The judging
panel are looking for the proposal that inspires them most and is
in keeping with the ethos of the award. All that is asked in return
is that successful applicants share their experiences within their
own organisation, with WCVA and with the wider sector.
Isla Horton, Development Co-ordinator at Grow
Cardiff, was announced as the second ever winner of
the £2,500 bursary at WCVA's Annual General Meeting at the Wales
Millennium Centre on 22 November 2018.
The bursary will enable Isla to embark on a study tour of
Montreal in Canada, visiting respected organisations across the
area that are promoting natural resources and revitalising their
communities through gardening projects - as well as visiting local
schools where they use gardening as a learning tool across the
The bursary will also pay for Isla to undergo three courses of
study at the Thrive centre for therapeutic horticulture, based in
Isla will be using what she has learnt to enrich Grow Cardiff's
projects, including work with schools, social prescribing, and
neighbourhood community gardens. She will also be sharing her
learning with the wider sector and external partners through Grow
Cardiff's membership with various third sector organisations
(including WCVA) and schools, health and well-being and social
prescribing networks across Cardiff.
'I have had very little training other than on the job and out
of necessity since starting Grow Cardiff, and I would like to use
this bursary as a space to reflect and grow - a time to develop
myself as a leader, something I have often denied myself, but that
on reflection, I very much need,' says Isla, 'I want to become the
leader that Grow Cardiff deserves and that I have the potential to
become if I allow myself the time and space to explore.'
Steve Brooks from Sustrans
Cymru was announced as the first successful Walter Dickie
Leadership Bursary recipient at the WCVA AGM and Annual Lecture at
Venue Cymru in Llandudno on 22 November 2017.
Sustrans Cymru is a charity that aims to make Wales a better
place for people to walk and cycle. Steve used the bursary to fund
enrolment on the 'New Technologies and Changing Behaviours' course,
part of the Global Challenges in Transport programme run by Oxford
University's Oxford Leadership Programme.
The bursary also paid for Steve to travel on a study visit to
Copenhagen for the annual Copenhagenize Masterclass, to
learn how they helped transform their city into a bicycle-friendly
urban centre. To bolster the impact of Steve's activities Sustrans
organised mentoring and ongoing strategic advice to complement his
Read more about Steve's adventures in his blog series for
Walter Dickie's legacy: helping not for profits
If you have any queries on the application process, please
contact Social Investment Cymru on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 2888