The RTP Fellowship Programme has contributed greatly to the personal development of our team, the values and sustainability of our organisation, and challenged us to enhance our collaboration with the local community and charities.

Mark Walker – Director Ashridge Group

Welcome to the Red Thread Fellowship, a unique ‘not-for-profit’ community initiative bringing together leaders of local businesses and the voluntary organisations that deliver services and work in their community.

The Red Thread Fellowship has grown year on year since its launch in 2016. It is becoming a recognised feature of the vibrant Milton Keynes business and voluntary sector landscape and is acknowledged for growing great leaders and delivering real organisational change. It has since expanded beyond Milton Keynes to Oxford, Northampton, Cambridge and Leicester and you can find your nearest location here.

Drawing on elements of our Frontier Leadership we have since developed our Frontier Fellowship programme which offers aspiring early to mid-career leaders from businesses ILM certified leadership development.  Delivered over a year through 7 action learning workshops by highly experienced leadership development tutors/coaches it covers strategy setting, team dynamics and relationships, difficult conversations, personality profiling, civic leadership, effective performance management, enabling others, leadership styles and more. All we ask in return is that participants give the equivalent of an hour a week over the year to support a charity/voluntary organisation within the community to become more sustainable for the future by raising both money (minimum £500) and the profile by co-developing a project.

The leadership programme covers:

Launch workshop – 2 days

Getting to know each other and choose the voluntary sector organisation – building trust, teams, design the project, feedback, coaching, action planning

Workshop 1 -Role modelling

Values, emotional intelligence, civic leadership, coaching to win, prioritising

Workshop 2 -Inspiring a shared vision

Strategy, organisational and stakeholder expectations, future challenges, opportunities/threats, boundaries, success, visionary leadership, civic leadership

Workshop 3 -Enabling others to act

Delegation, collaboration, challenges, conversations, decision making, civic leadership

Workshop 4 -Challenging the Process

Creativity and innovation, leading for creativity, change, experimentation, transitions, influencing, civic leadership

Workshop 5 -Encouraging the heart

Motivation, appreciative inquiry, storytelling, civic leadership


Upon completion of the course Fellows, their charities and managers are invited to celebrate at the programme Graduation.

Is the Fellowship for you?

Read our frequently asked questions here.

If you are interested in taking part, as a fellow, business or a charity then please get in touch.

What Fellow’s say:

“Really good to be encouraged out of my comfort zone.”

“Benefited from time to reflect on the gaps in my own leadership practise.”

“Ring fenced time out of the day job/family to focus on me and my growth.”

“The unique combination of theoretical, practical, application through the volunteering can’t be found anywhere else.”

“Do it in a heartbeat – I can’t say anymore than that!”

contact us

Benefits for Employers

Develops highly successful teams

Grows great leaders

Enhances employee engagement

Employees feel valued

Attracts, retains and grows talent

Develops next generation leaders

Raises organisation brand and profile in the community

Benefits for Employees

Enhances leadership skills

Grows professional network

Builds confidence as a leader

Deepens understanding of self and role

Enhances creativity, communication, collaboration, management,

resilience and coaching skills

Peer: peer coaching helps solve real workplace challenges

Timeout to reflect builds sense of fulfilment and wellbeing

Working with Red Thread has been a really rewarding experience. The support that that we received from the participants was amazing and the project ideas that they came up with (and helped implement), has significantly impacted our staff team.

Sarah Fellows – King’s Arms Project


Since September 2017 the Red Thread Fellowship™ has been endorsed by The Institute of Leadership Management as one of their approved leadership development programmes. This external validation and recognition means that our participants are assured of the quality of the programme.  All learners also get an ILM certificate on completion of the programme. We are delighted to be working with MK College as the approved centre, working to the ILM’s benchmark of quality in order to provide this accredited certification.

New Sponsor for 6th Milton Keynes Cohort

We are delighted to announce that Ringway are our new sponsors for the 6th Milton Keynes Fellowship cohort.  Introduced at the 2022 MK5 Graduation ceremony, Ringway presented why they have partnered with The Red Thread Fellowship.  Aligning values of integrity, versatility, openness and resilience with curiosity, courage, passion, agility and care and with a strong commitment to supporting local community projects and the voluntary sector it is a perfect fit!

Ringway local partners, developing sustainable highways and transportation solutions that strengthen local communities and are pivotal in keeping the ‘city’ of Milton Keynes moving.

We are very excited about the partnership for MK6 2022-23.

Our Partners

We simply couldn’t run The Red Thread Fellowship programme without the generous help and support of all our partners.  They offer us workshop space and source potential charities for us and we would therefore like to publicly acknowledge the support of…

Our Sponsors

We couldn’t without the generosity of our sponsors. We are therefore incredibly grateful for past and present organisations for their sponsorship.



We are delighted to be partnering with The Red Thread Fellowship. Our core values of integrity, versatility, openness and resilience underpin our strategy of ‘investing in our people and partnerships’ so it was perfect to be able to support an organisation that does just that, invests in people of Milton Keynes and partners with voluntary sector organisations to develop compassionate leaders and build more caring and inclusive communities” Lewis Bridgman Divisional Manager RIS East Midlands, CEng MICE, FCIHT, MEng (Hons) DIS

The UoN

“The University is delighted to be working with the Red Thread Partnership in developing and supporting a leadership programme that is truly unique. The University believes in supporting positive social change – and being involved will enable our own staff to develop their own leadership skills and at the same time give something back to the communities we serve. Being associated with the fellowship programme fully supports the University mission to inspire change and transform lives” Deborah Mattock BA LLM Director of Human Resources, Marketing & International Relations

Freeths Solicitors

“One of our core values is ‘doing the right thing’ and we have a strong ethos about supporting local charities in our community and helping businesses to develop.  Supporting the Fellowship allowed us to do both of those really effectively”. Alison Foxton, Marketing Manager, Freeths Solicitors


Be part of something amazing and sponsor The Red Thread Partnership Fellowship Programme™.

Thank you to our supporters

We also couldn’t run the Fellowship programme without the generosity of our supporters:

MK6 2022

Great People Inside Ltd                                                               

Great People Inside offers the world’s most advanced psychometric assessments and 360 surveys to any organisation that employs people. We enable our clients to gain competitive advantage by understanding how people think, their natural tendencies, behaviours and preferences as well as their key attitudes in the workplace.”

Hazard Alley Safety Centre

Hazard Alley is part of a charity called The Safety Centre. We show children and adults how they can stay safe, understand risks and avoid accidents through powerful experiential learning.



Business Impact in the Community

We are justly proud to have been awarded the Business Impact in the Community award at the 2019 Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards. The innovative Fellowship programme really caught the judges’ imaginations combining first class leadership development with improving outcomes for a wide range of charities across Milton Keynes and further afield.