The head of a charity that supports local people to create and sustain community gardens and green spaces in Cardiff has become the latest recipient of WCVA’s Walter Dickie Leadership Bursary.
(Mrs Shael Dickie and Phil Fiander, Deputy Chief Executive WCVA,
presenting Isla Horton with the Walter Dickie Leadership
Isla Horton, Development Co-ordinator at Grow
Cardiff, was announced as the second ever winner of the
£2,500 bursary at WCVA's Annual General Meeting at the Wales
Millennium Centre on 22 November 2018.
The bursary will enable Isla to embark on a study tour of
Montreal in Canada, visiting respected organisations across the
area that are promoting natural resources and revitalising their
communities through gardening projects - as well as visiting local
schools where they use gardening as a learning tool across the
The bursary will also pay for Isla to undergo three courses of
study at the Thrive centre for therapeutic horticulture, based in
Launched on 8 August 2017 at the National Eisteddfod on
Anglesey, with members of Walter's family, The Walter Dickie
Leadership Bursary was set up by WCVA in memory of a long standing
and warmly regarded charity sector advocate. Each year WCVA will
award £2,500 to support an individual in the third sector in Wales
to become a better and more entrepreneurial leader.
Isla will be using what she has learnt to enrich Grow Cardiff's
projects, including work with schools, social prescribing, and
neighbourhood community gardens. She will also be sharing her
learning with the wider sector and external partners through Grow
Cardiff's membership with various third sector organisations
(including WCVA) and schools, health and well-being and social
prescribing networks across Cardiff.
'I have had very little training other than on the job and out
of necessity since starting Grow Cardiff, and I would like to use
this bursary as a space to reflect and grow - a time to develop
myself as a leader, something I have often denied myself, but that
on reflection, I very much need,' says Isla, 'I want to become the
leader that Grow Cardiff deserves and that I have the potential to
become if I allow myself the time and space to explore.'
About the Walter Dickie Leadership Bursary
For more than ten years Walter Dickie supported WCVA as a
trustee where he played an instrumental role in guiding the
organisation and helping to set up the groundbreaking Communities
Investment Fund which lends money to social businesses.
The fund still runs today and remains the cornerstone of WCVA's
ongoing social investment activity. Thanks to Walter's dedication,
WCVA has been able to lend nearly eight million pounds to community
organisations, many working in the most deprived areas of
Amongst a myriad of successes, the fund has helped save the last
pubs in rural communities, given a kick start to the extreme sports
boom in North Wales, provided a safe environment for children whose
foster care has broken down, brought old buildings back into
community use, created hundreds of jobs and enabled communities to
control assets in their own towns and villages.
As a member of WCVA's board Walter Dickie's expertise,
experience and commitment to the third sector have had a profound
impact on the work of WCVA and his passion and warmth will long be
remembered by those who had the pleasure of working with him.
The £2,500 bursary will be awarded annually to someone in a
leadership role within a third sector organisation in Wales and
hopes to reflect Walter's passion for travel and for learning.