Ian Whiteside

Posted 03 Jun 2021 | Stories | Pilotlighter Profiles

Ian has been part of the Sodexo family since 1993, having worked his way up from an operations management position to his current role as a director at HMP & YOI Bronzefield.

IN WHAT WAYS HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH PILOTLIGHT OVER THE LAST MONTHS AND YEARS?

Like each Director within the Sodexo Justice Services, I became a Pilotlighter on the Pilotlight Programme, offering my business skills as part of a team of three other senior leaders, all from different backgrounds, to help a charity leader tackle the strategic challenges they face.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BE A PILOTLIGHTER? 

For me, working in the Women’s Estate at HMP & YOI Bronzefield has sparked a real passion and interest in the social issues women face, and the charities that support them. When I heard about Sodexo’s partnership with Pilotlight, I was very interested in being involved. Due to my interest in women’s social issues, I was matched with the charity MASH (Manchester Action on Street Health).

WHAT IMPACT HAVE YOU HAD ON THE CHARITIES YOU'VE WORKED WITH?  

The programme runs for around 10-months and is due to complete in the summer, 2021. However, we have already helped MASH develop both short- and long-term strategies to continue to support the women they work with.

WHAT HAVE YOU ENJOYED THE MOST ABOUT BEING A PILOTLIGHTER?

It has been fascinating for me to support a charity that works with women in similar situations to those at Bronzefield. Being a Pilotlighter has allowed me to see the challenges they face through a non-governmental lens and therefore strengthen my own understanding of these issues, which can only inform and enlighten the work I do at Sodexo.

I have found myself in equal parts challenging and supporting their decision-making processes, and genuinely feel that it has been a win-win relationship, for both MASH as a charity and myself as a practitioner. It’s been great to get out of my usual work ‘bubble’. I have learnt a lot about the third sector – the challenges charities face and the fantastic, valuable work they do.