I was inspired by the way communities came together to raise money
I’ve been working at LV=GI for eight and a half years now. During my time here, I’ve always worked in the learning and development space but have had a few different roles over the years. Now, as a Leadership Development Consultant, my role is ever-changing. Every day looks different and that's part of why I love my job - the interchangeable nature of it.
I was already qualified as a trainer before I joined LV= GI, but I have received a lot of development support here too. I did a Henley qualification in coaching through Henley Business School which was funded by LV= GI. The culture that we're trying to create is one where people can think about what they need and then actively seek it out. If you do have that appetite and you're seeking out opportunities and asking for them, then you’ll be supported all the way.
A few years back my sister suggested I go with her to a charity event called the Birmingham Basket Brigade. I was inspired by the way communities came together to raise money, buy lots of food and deliver it to families in need at Christmas. I just loved the experience. So then I started looking into whether maybe there'd be a need for a Basket Brigade in Bournemouth. After doing some research, I found out that Bournemouth actually has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the country, which really blew my mind. So five years ago, I set up the Bournemouth Basket Brigade with some friends and family.
The first year we handed out Christmas hampers to 25 families. Now, five years on, we raise thousands of pounds and go out to around 250 families every year. I think we've raised about £10,000 pounds in total and have visited 1,000 families. My LV= GI colleagues always help raise money, donate food and volunteer on the day too, which is really nice. People step forward and want to get involved - it's lovely to build that community spirit. LV= GI also donate money to the initiative every year - they’re always forthcoming and proactive about trying to get involved and help out with charities.
I've done a lot of work with the leadership community around developing a coaching culture at LV= GI. I helped create a network of coaches; arming them with the skills they need to have effective and respectful conversations with their team members and beyond. That's something I'm really proud to have been a part of.
I’ve also played a role in supporting the wellbeing strategy at LV- GI. Wellbeing is spoken about a lot at a senior level - it's definitely prioritised here. We've been actively working to train our leadership population to support people with wellbeing and mental health, and I’m delighted to have played a part in creating that support system for LV= GI employees.
Kristy Kurowski, Leadership Development Consultant in Bournemouth