Supporting great leadership in the third sector

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.Walter Dickie medium
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 him.

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 investment activity.

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 and villages.

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.

Last year's winner

AGM 2017 WDLB winner

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.

Steve Brooks Copenhagen

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 learning.

You can read more about Steve's adventures over on the WCVA blog.

How to apply

To apply for The Walter Dickie Leadership Bursary all you need to do is complete an application form and return it to by 19 October 2018.

If you have any queries on the application process, please contact Social Investment Cymru on or call 0800 2888 329.

The winner will be announced at our AGM and Annual Lecture on 22 November 2018.

While you're here

Third Sector Leadership for Future Generations
Build upon your existing skills to become a more innovative and resilient leader

This three-day course aims to engage with leaders at all levels within third sector organisations. We will explore what kind of leadership is required post-Brexit and specifically within the context of the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.

Find out more.