Five minutes with: Stephen Rimmer, Impact and Learning Director at Barnardo's

Five minutes with: Stephen Rimmer, Impact and Learning Director at Barnardo's

What did you learn from your time working at the Home Office?

"Two constant themes stand out from my roles in the Home Office, Metropolitan Police, the West Midlands and the Prison Service. First, that it is what leaders do and how they behave, not what they say, that matters in developing healthy organisations with a strong mission - especially whether they really do respond to and encourage challenge.

"Secondly, big complex public services can easily get consumed by bureaucracy and process - ensuring that everyone understands and supports the operating model is key, because it is operational practice at the frontline that drives the outcomes."

Why did you decide to join Barnardo's?

"I really admired the CSE work Debbie Southwood and her team took forward in the West Midlands - much more rigorous, collaborative, challenging and outcome-focused than many statutory partners. I also realised that, while I was proud to have served different governments on difficult societal problems to the best of my ability, making a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable and fragile children and young people in our country was actually what most fired me up.

"I think Barnardo's can lead the development of a new approach to key public services in our country, and I want to help shape that. I should perhaps add it was most definitely a two-way thing - the selection process was far more intense and challenging than I have seen in the civil service, which reaffirms to me the importance of our work here."

How will you ensure that Barnardo's is a diverse organisation?

"We need to get a good Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity strategy out in the New Year as a starting point for real change, both in how we engage with some really vulnerable communities and in ensuring every single person in Barnardo's, including our volunteers, can realise their potential. If we don't do this properly, we simply won't deliver the 10 year plan, it is that important."

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