TLP Participant Story: Margaret McDonald, Lagmore Youth Project

Margaret completed her Transformative Leadership Programme in the Colin / Dunmurry / Seymour Hill / Twinbrook area in Spring 2021.

She was joined by participants from a range of organisations including: Sally Gardens Community Centre, Multi-ethnic Sports and Cultures NI, Community Restorative Justice, Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, SDLP, Youth Initiatives NI, Saints Youth Centre, and Ulster Wildlife. 

“The whole course has been exceptional; the facilitators and participants have been excellent… A confidence boosting, morale raising course which helped me identify how I can be a stronger leader in my sector and community.”

Introduction and Motivation

  1. What motivated you to sign up to this particular programme over any others?

I wasn’t aware of other similar courses. It sounded very interesting, a good opportunity to network with other community organisations.It was also a good way for me to “dip my toe” into an educational course.

Experience and Learning

  1. What topics stood out for you?

The whole course has been exceptional, the facilitators and participants have been excellent.A stand-out week for me is the Work West presentation on your own personal style of leadership and the receipt of the FourSight Thinking Profile.The session on Social Innovation for change was also very valuable given that I work in the youth sector.

  1. What are you likely to ‘take back’ to your life/work in the community?

More confidence in my ability to lead young people and make a real difference in my community.Also knowing that there are so many other like minded individuals all with a desire to change our community for the better has been a real morale boost.

  1. How would you summarise your experience of the programme in 1 sentence or in 3 words?

A confidence boosting, morale raising course which helped me identify how I can be a stronger leader in my sector and community.


  1. Is there anything you could or would do now that you wouldn’t have felt able to do before?

I’ll have more confidence to engage with other organisations and work with them instead of sticking in our silos.

  1. Are there people/agencies you feel able to talk to and work with now that you weren’t before?

For sure, it’s been great to participate in a course with so many diverse community organisations.I would feel confident in using this network of individuals to help and assist me as we are all looking to better our community in some way or another.

  1. What difference will this make to how you engage in your interface area?

It will give me ideas on how to change and drive this change through with help of organisations which are similar to mine.

  1. What difference will the course make to the interface area overall?

It will make it easier to reach out and develop an action plan for the area working in conjunction with like minded people from similar organisations.


  1. Which issues in particular do you think you might get involved in?

As I volunteer in the youth sector, I would be confident to help facilitate cross community youth groups and functions.

  1. How will you apply new ways of working, ideas, or approaches?

I will seek out new opportunities and try and identify where my organisation could provide more in conjunction with youth groups from our interface area e.g., Dunmurry and Seymour Hill and Blacks Road.


  1. To what extent do you think these changes would have occurred in the absence of this course?

As I am seeking a change of direction from my previous role (27 years in the Finance Sector) I would have sought out a course of some sort. However, I am extremely grateful to have had a chance to do this particular course as it has given me confidence that the direction I am going in seems to be the right one for me.

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