It’s a Hat-trick! Our Senior Team Storms 2018 Awards Our Service Delivery Director, Leanne Hignett, has been shortlisted for the Leadership Award at this year’s Third Sector Care Awards in London, making it the third nomination for our Senior Team this year! It comes after our Operations Director, John Hutchison, won Charity Director of the Year at the North-West Charity Awards 2018 and our CEO, Justine Hodgkinson, won the award for Employee Engagement at the North West Employee Engagement Group Awards (NWEEG) 2018. Leanne has been shortlisted alongside many inspirational organisations and leaders from across the UK. Starting work for Advocacy Focus as an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate, Leanne has been a core part of the team for over four years. After taking some time out to utilise her social work degree, Leanne soon realised her real passion was advocacy and returned to us shortly after. In 2017 at the age of 26 Leanne became Service Delivery Manager and was integral to service development at a senior level. Since being nominated for this award, Leanne has gone on to become a fully fledged Director and an integral part of our Senior Management Team. CEO, Justine Hodgkinson, says: “Leanne never ceases to amaze me, despite ‘to do’ lists as long as her arm and over 30 people to manage and develop, she always has a positive approach to all she undertakes and a big smile on her face. Her laugh is infectious and she can switch from being the consummate professional in a highly charged environment, to a friendly, caring ear on the end of the phone to a person in distress.” Leanne’s youth, enthusiasm and tenacity has been a real driving force for change in our organisation; from retraining all of our Advocates to become multi-skilled instead of specialising in one strand of advocacy, to increasing referrals for our new Care Act Advocacy Service by 2000% over three years. All the while never compromising the service experience, as Leanne firmly places people using our service at the heart of every process. Leanne is a force to be reckoned with. She has also been instrumental in tender bids and the growth of our charity, whilst managing, training and developing a team of five Advocacy Managers and 30 Independent Advocates. Justine continues: “I cannot speak highly enough of Leanne, she is our shining star and I feel privileged to work with her. People are often surprised when they first meet her because of her age and she has had to face negative comments and prejudice in the past, but she always remains positive and manages to create and maintain excellent relationships with everyone she meets." "She has been pivotal to the continued success of our charity and I am excited as to what the future holds for both Leanne as an individual and us as a charity. Whatever the outcome of this award, we are the winners here at Advocacy Focus, because we get to work with Leanne every day.” The Third Sector Care Awards take place on Friday 7th December at the London Marriott Hotel in Mayfair.