Our Deputy CEO Alex Laybourne is celebrating six months in the role with Power2Inspire! Anna caught up with him to find out about the role, how he feels the last six months have gone, and his hopes for the future.

Anna Willis: Maybe we could start with how you’d describe your role as Deputy CEO of Power2Inspire?

Alex Laybourne: [Chuckles] Because it’s a small but growing charity, it’s a very all-encompassing role. What I like about it is that it’s got everything through from delivery on the ground, all the way up to the strategy level and the bigger things we’re trying to achieve.

So on one day I can be having a meeting with someone around a new project or trying to secure corporate funding. And on another day I might be writing funding bids, or working on the database, or, hopefully soon, delivering a PowerHouseGames.

In a big organisation, strategy and delivery are completely separate. Whereas, for us, we get to decide that this is what we’re doing, and then go out and do it.

John and I have to work together as a team to be able to achieve everything that we want to, and our skill sets complement each other well. We can challenge each other, which is a really important part of it – that ability to check and challenge each other, but also to support each other.

What are you most proud to have achieved over the last six months as Deputy CEO?

It’s been really nice that more people know about what we’re doing through my work on our social media. So pushing that out to capture the amazing stuff John’s always done has been really important.

The Festival of Inclusive Golf, back in November, was great: just to put on an actual, in-person event. Delivery of events has been really limited because of Covid-19, so we’ve been trying to build up our foundations for when we can start putting them on again.

We’ve also started supporting inclusive Tai Chi as part of our seat-based exercise programme with Oak Activities, which has been really successful. It’s been a great way to support Farah, who runs the Tai Chi classes, and to broaden our offering of sports for people who maybe want to try something different.

What’s been so important is that we’ve adapted, and that’s what’s allowed us to be so successful. We’ve been able to do things like the online classes, which have allowed us to work towards our mission of embedding inclusive sport and allowing people access to physical activity through different forms.

Alex excelling at the Festival of Inclusive Golf!

What was the transition period between being a trustee and being Deputy CEO like?

Essentially, I was a trustee when there wasn’t Covid-19, and I was Deputy CEO when there was: so there’s already a big difference there! But the transition period kind of paralleled us going into lockdown in March 2020, while I was still a trustee. And a lot of what I was doing was stuff based around that transition into the Covid-19 world: securing funding for the seat-based exercise classes etc.

There have been a lot of decisions and strategy we’ve had to use over the last six to 12 months, but it’s been nice to see how we’ve navigated our way through it, and how we’ve grown as a charity. I think there’s some really amazing stuff that we’re headed towards that we can do if we keep going in the direction we are going.

So what are your hopes for the rest of the year?

I’m really excited about the Festivals of Inclusive Sport and where they can go! I want to see them providing opportunities for people to take up that sport on a more regular basis. And we’re currently working on two Cricket Festivals this year, and I’m hoping we can start to build a model where we can run the sport in any number of locations.

I’m also excited about getting the PowerHouseGames going again. I’ve not yet been part of one since I’ve been Deputy CEO because they’ve not been able to run, so I’m coming in fresh.

Getting back up to speed will be great for the charity’s reach too, based on the foundations we’ve built over the last year. There are some great routes that are opening up for us, and that excites me as I’m really interested in thinking ahead and seeing the big picture. There’s loads of potential ahead.

Alex and Daniel with their medals.

Inspired? Then Get Involved!

If you would like to support Alex and the team in our mission to “embed inclusive sport in the sporting, education and community landscapes” then we would love to hear from you. We are always looking out for people willing to fundraise for Power2Inspire through their own inspiring means. Or, you could volunteer at one of our events, or you could give to the ongoing work of Power2Inspire. Click the button here to find out more.

Anna Willis

Freelance journalist and story teller; on Twitter @annawillis101