Croydon Mencap beneficiaries


Croydon Mencap supports parent carers of children and young people with any disability aged 0-25 and adults with a learning disability and their parents, carers and families. Services can range from support with mental health, loneliness, isolation and around the barrier that they face when trying to get into work.

Katherine Wynne, Chief Executive of Croydon Mencap reflects on the impact of the Pilotlight Insight programme.

What motivated you/your team to apply for the Pilotlight Insight programme?

It's a huge luxury for a charity to tap into the skills and time and expertise of others. As a charity leader, sometimes you don't get the time to pause and reflect and get different perspectives on all the different issues that you're trying to find solutions for.

Going into the Pilotlight Insight programme was a bit daunting initially because you think — have I got the time to focus on it? But it actually holds you accountable to make sure you do, because you're doing it in partnership with the Pilotlighters and they've dedicated their time. It puts pressure on you to pause and take the time to think things through with the rest of the team.

But the nicest thing about the programme is that when it all feels overwhelming and you feel like there’s so much to do, you are supported by all these wonderful Pilotlighters who help you through it all.

My team of Pilotlighters from Sodexo weren’t weary. They weren’t ground down and embroiled in all the complexities of running a charity and had a fresh energy and approach to it all.

Was there a specific challenge that you found yourselves needing to figure out?

Our challenge was how could we recruit more volunteers, in a variety of different roles to help us increase our impact. The roles are really varied and ranged from trustee to interns, student placements or even volunteers on projects.

We needed support on how we could recruit for these people, how we support them and how we onboard the new recruits.

How would you describe how the project went?

I thought it was excellent and well organised. From the beginning, I was able to understand the different roles my Pilotlighters held, and they were all so professional and clear with me throughout the project.

They were engaged with the entire process and were really motivated to help us. There was really good communication because if there were things that they needed more information on, or more briefings from myself, they actively booked in time with me to do so which I really appreciated.

What have been the results/implementation after the project?

Luckily, the timing of the programme was perfect because we had just won a lottery grant, which meant we were recruiting for a volunteer coordinator. So as part of their onboarding, I shared the Pilotlighters’ presentation and all the accompanying materials, and now our volunteer coordinator is effectively implementing the plan, which is fantastic!

I would say to anyone thinking of using Pilotlight — if they feel intimidated or daunted about the process — to take it all in stride and take that leap of faith.


Croydon Mencap journey started with our Pilotlight 360 programme and from there they have taken part in our Pilotlight Impact Day as well as their most recent programme, Pilotlight Insight.


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