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Inspire. Disrupt. Empower.

Dec 9, 2020

Can you imagine a life where one moment you're being celebrated by a communist party, and the next, you're hearing national radio broadcasts from a government asking its people to spy on you?

It sounds like something from a movie, but this was life for Catherine McLeod, CEO of Dingley's Promise.

Catherine's story is one of pure positive disruption, so you can probably already guess how excited we were to chat with her.

Ellis Knight and Catherine have worked together a lot, but even we didn't know all the incredible and inspirational stories she had to tell.

You'll learn about how she only narrowly escaped a tragic death thanks to a family timings fumble, as well as the challenges she faced with trying to do her job in a territory that placed bureaucracy above results.

Dingley's Promise was originally set up in 1983 and later officially registered as a charity at Reading's Royal Berkshire Hospital, before eventually moving to its own larger space and forming a limited company. That was a decade ago.

Dingley’s vision is for an early years centre that delivers "life changing support to under 5’s with special educational needs & disabilities and their families". 

They achieve this by providing people with specialist skills who can not only create learning through play, but also offer the families the necessary support.

The charity is doing a lot to progress the space, taking on processes and people that make work there a much better and more rewarding experience. They're also big on diversity and inclusion (D&I) and so as a recruitment company with a focus on striving for more of that, we're big fans!

And, as you'll hear, Catherine is also tremendous fun. In this episode, we feature her appearance in a quirky national competition! (Pictured)

(Link to the original video in 'Topics covered', below).

Anyone interested in talking to Catherine about how to help Dingley's Promise on a corporate level should not be afraid to get in touch. She's extremely warm and friendly, and always keen to chat with local business leaders.

You can learn more about Catherine and how to contact her on this page of her website, here.

If after listening you've decided you want to help (and why wouldn't you?!) here's the page where you can do that.

Topics covered:

  • Her relationship with Basingstoke.
  • Catherine's unique university choice.
  • Teaching in Vietnam.
  • Her narrow escape from death in a tsunami disaster.
  • What brought her back to the UK.
  • Her honour over being awarded an MBE.
  • Her decision to get involved with Dingley's Choice.
  • How Covid impacted on charities.
  • The importance of balance between leadership and 'having fun'!
  • The Dorset 'knob eating' contest!
  • Her thoughts on mental health provisions and what companies need to do more of in this field.
  • Some ideas on how cash-strapped generous people can still support Dingley's Promise.

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