Invest Programme

Gloucestershire Community Foundation is delivering essential leadership for the charity sector in Gloucestershire. As part of this, we have launched INVEST, a leadership programme which supports Gloucestershire Charities. The first three programmes have been launched, INVEST Mentoring, INVEST Peer to Peer, and INVEST "Lets Talk", where collaboration has been essential in delivering our mentoring programme. It's been an exciting three years partnering with two wonderful organisations, Cranfield Trust and The Honourable Company of Gloucestershire, where working together is better than going it alone. The INVEST programme was generously supported by two great businesses, to get this programme started, GWR (Great Western Railway) and John Lewis in Cheltenham, who continued their support in 2023. We have also been generously supported by a new business the Benefact Group, which we are very excited about. We will be looking for other like minded businesses to come on board and get involved for 2024 and onwards.

Leaders Supporting Leaders

INVEST Leadership Programme

INVEST was created by GCF in 2021, to deliver a range of programmes to support the leadership and resilience building of Gloucestershire Charities.

Throughout the pandemic and beyond, it has become more evident than ever before the major role the Third Sector has to play in terms of filling the gaps where statutory provision is unavailable. Without the charities in our county tirelessly serving those in need, so many people would have fallen through the cracks and been left behind.

Through this incredibly demanding time over the last few years, our charities have experienced the highest levels of need they have ever seen. Through our extensive research in 2020-21 our Charity leaders told us they felt isolated & lonely. They requested mentoring and an opportunity to develop their peer to peer support in order to get through the pandemic and beyond.

We listened and we responded, launching and funding the first two programmes, “INVEST Mentoring” which was initiated in late 2020/early 2021 as a partnership between, The Honourable Company of Gloucestershire, Cranfield Trust and ourselves and & “INVEST Peer to Peer” which GCF delivers, to open up opportunities for networking and collaborating, in view to form partnerships with all sectors.

The Key Objectives were to:

  1. Help voluntary sector leaders navigate their organisations through the current crisis; and,
  2. Contribute to the sustainability of voluntary sector services to Gloucestershire communities in the medium to longer term.

We have completed three years and now are launching the fourth. Further information below re the Mentoring Programme and the application form to download. We hosted an INVEST “Lets Talk” event, so you can hear all about it and ask us any questions. If you would like to get in touch please contact Lucy Pollock,


Talitha Nelson – CEO Interview 2020 from Evenlode Films and Productions.

Hear how life changing this programme can be…



Becoming a mentor

Our volunteer mentors such as Helena Froggatt above, are CEOs and senior leaders from companies and businesses across the Gloucestershire. We match mentors with charity leaders based on skills, geography, interests and experience.

Mentoring is a hugely rewarding experience. By joining us, you will help the charity sector in Gloucestershire to grow and thrive. In turn, you will be ensuring that our communities are able to thrive and supporting the most vulnerable people in the county.

The application process is quick and simple. If you have experience in strategic leadership, people management, or business planning, we would love to hear from you. All of our mentors receive training from The Cranfield Trust, as well as access to online training materials. Do contact Talitha Nelson,

Becoming a mentee

Gemma Madle in the above video, leads a charity supporting children called WAM Youth. Listening to her experience brings home just how much we all need a helping hand at times. When you carry the burden as a senior manager/leader,  just having someone to listen to you, outside of your organisation and your home, who is there just for you, is really transforming for both you and your organisation.

The Invest Mentoring Programme can support charities addressing the needs of poverty, disability or social exclusion, based in Gloucestershire. Charities must be formally constituted non-profits with a Board of Trustees or similar, and revenue must be below £1.5 million.

If you need a helping hand and a listening ear, please complete our application form attached below.

Once you send in an application, Talitha will give you call to talk you through the process. This will include an initial scoping meeting with Cranfield Trust to identify your specific goals and objectives. If successful, you will then be introduced to your mentor!

The Process

Once you have been carefully matched with your mentor, you will have 6 sessions of 60-90 minutes, once a month. Cranfield Trust will regularly check in to make sure everything is going brilliantly, and you will be using the Trust’s mentoring handbook as a guide. At the end of your 6 sessions, there will be a wrap-up session which will give you a chance to summarise your project and evaluate impact.


"P2P has given me confidence that others were struggling with the same things, and I was able to help people. It was refreshing to be able to "drop the facade" and be honest with each other - usually at networking events people are going on about how well they are doing!"

INVEST Peer to Peer participant

"Having a mentor has helped me to calm down and take time to reflect"

INVEST Mentor Programme participant

"I am very grateful for the opportunity of INVEST and think it's well managed. I like the fact that it's regional as I am keen to "build back better", and creating a local network allows me to connect with people I can work with later"

INVEST Mentor Programme participant

Apply to INVEST