The Transformative Leadership Programme: Participants tell their story - Karen Pateman, DFE Limestone Road TLP, Spring 2020

30 Oct 2020 Mary McCaughey    Last updated: 30 Oct 2020

Karen Pateman works for the Department of the Economy and did the Transformative Leadership Programme in Spring 2020. Karen shares her TLP story here.


“It’s not often a free training opportunity with the option to achieve a world standard leadership training qualification comes along. Seize the moment and ask if you can attend.”


What motivated you to sign up?

The main aim of TLP is to build leadership skills and connections between people living and working in interface areas of Belfast in order to make change possible. That type of aim interests me as I am from Belfast, live in Belfast and work in Belfast. Essentially I care about Belfast, in particular North Belfast, and I saw this as an opportunity to get some leadership skills but also potentially be a part of something good in the community. 

In addition to my day job I am also a Non‑Executive Director (NED) of Groundwork NI, a North Belfast Based Charity and being new to the Community and Voluntary Sector I saw the TLP as an enabler to help expand my network of professional connections.

Was the course a good fit with your work?

How did you feel the programme fitted with your work in the public sector?

For me, New Decade New Approach and the Programme for Government (PfG) puts collaborative working and co-production at the centre of our work and the outcomes we want to achieve for the public. So, what better way to link a training opportunity back to work than by pitching it to management on the grounds that it was going to develop my collaborative leadership skills to be better used in the workplace and help me to understand local issues in the wider context.  Plus, its free – I think that clinched it!

It’s not often a free training opportunity with the option to achieve a world standard leadership training qualification comes along. Seize the moment and ask if you can attend, the best that can happen will be that you are encouraged to apply and the worst may just be that you have to wait for the next programme, or the one after that.

What did you like best about the course?

I’m passionate about leadership and learning about it – so it was an obvious choice for me but in addition:

  • I’m a people person and I really enjoyed meeting and working with all the participants
  • I enjoyed the practical exercises and the balance of learning techniques
  • I found the course materials and reference tools useful and still refer to them
  • I had great fun - no better way to learn.

Can anyone do it?

Naturally this is something you will need to discuss with your line management if you are interested as we can’t all be out of the office (living room or kitchen) at once.  When you pitch it to them, make sure you figure out first what skills and best practices you personally will gain and be able to share with colleagues. 

I don’t live in an interface area how can I apply?

You work in Belfast though, and will have a wealth of knowledge of our Department and what we do for the public. While the main focus is interface areas, NICVA are really keen to have more public servants on the programme and expressed how feedback received from other participants stated the value of having public sector colleagues involved.

I would encourage you to read the testimonials of public sector colleagues:'s picture
by Mary McCaughey

Programme Support Officer (TLP)

[email protected]

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