Acevo is offering mentorship programmes to women in leadership in the VCSE, especially BME, disabled women, or women under the age of 45.

Jane Slowey was an inspiring woman and made a huge impact on everyone who worked with her. She died last year from cancer. All of us who had the huge pleasure to work with Jane Slowey in different capacities over many years gained so much from our relationships with Jane and know that she will always be a part of us.

Jane had so many strong beliefs and passions, all very clearly centred around justice and equality. Her day to day work leading the Foyer Federation demonstrated that and it was not compromised; opportunities for young people to be better and excel were at the centre of all of her decisions. Her success was driven by an almost insatiable desire for her learning and development. She campaigned effectively and quietly, knowing the important points and understanding how to articulate them.

One of Jane’s causes was that of women in leadership. Her experiences informed her understanding of the importance of building a pipeline of women in leadership. To help to fulfil her ambition, we are proud to launch the fundraising for the Jane Slowey memorial membership programme in partnership with Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), as well as inviting applications for the first tranche of the programme (see below for how to apply).

The Jane Slowey memorial membership programme will provide expert support, guidance, advice and mentoring for women who are aspiring CEOs, or are in their first two years as a CEO for a charity or social enterprise. Priority will be given to women who are under 45, from BAME backgrounds and/or who have a disability.

David Gold (CEO, Prospectus), Bethia McNeil (director, The Centre for Youth Impact) and Rosie Ferguson (chief executive, Gingerbread) on behalf of all those involved.

“We believe this is a fitting tribute to a truly inspirational woman who was a mentor to many, and a role model to many more, and who was fiercely passionate about equality and encouraging a new generation of sector leaders. We hope you will support this as a great cause, but also in memory of a great leader who we were proud to know.”

The programme will run in total for four years (each time for two years) assisting a total of 16 aspiring or new CEOs (each time for eight individuals).

  • Cohort one: Jan 2019 – Dec 2020
  • Cohort two: Jan 2021 – Dec 2022

Recipients of the Jane Slowey memorial programme will receive:

  • Full range of ACEVO member benefits:
Advice & support Networking & events
1-2-1 support services Coaching with Henley Business School
CEO in Crisis service * Local CEO forums *
Governance advice line * Special interest groups
Discounted Leading Governance membership New member lunches
Practical tools and resources on governance Annual conference
Discounted workplace meditation service ACEVO Twitter group
Free subscription to Charity Times magazine Policy & advocacy
20% off Third Sector magazine Briefings and consultation responses
Free business advice lines Policy publications and reports
Discounted DBS checks Weekly Leader to Leader email
Discounted  jobs advertising Free and discounted ACEVO publications

Leadership development

Free personal development planning Recommended reading and viewing
Discounted Emerging leaders programme Understanding your costs financial tool
Discounted Coaching for Excellence programme CEO disciplinary and grievance procedures
Discounted Leadership learning workshops The role of CEOs & trustees
Practical tools and resources on leadership
    *CEOs only
  • A mentor – eight charity CEOs will mentor the first cohorts throughout the two year programme. The first cohort will become the mentors for the second cohort in 2021. Mentors for the first group include:
      • Rosie Ferguson, chief executive, Gingerbread
      • Charlotte Hill, chief executive, Step Up To Serve
      • Matt Hyde, chief executive, The Scouts
      • Matt Stevenson-Dodd, chief executive, Street League
      • Thomas Lawson, chief executive, Leap Confronting Conflict
      • Nick Wilkie, chief executive, NCT
      • Helen Marshall, chief executive, Brook
      • Rosemary Watt-Wyness, chief executive, London Youth
  • Four learning/networking/training days with fellow cohorts.
  • Two annual dinners with fellow cohorts, hosted by Prospectus.


  • Applications will be open from 3 September to 30 November.
  • Applicants must submit:
    • a completed Application form.
    • a cv.
    • a cover letter (no more than 500 words) explaining why you would like to receive a Jane Slowey memorial membership, with a focus on how you envisage this programme helping you to meet your personal and professional goals or develop new skills which could strengthen your impact as a leader.
  • Applicants must be female.
  • Priority will be given to women under 45, those from BAME backgrounds and/or women with a disability.
  • Applications should be sent to


A target of £10,000 will be raised to provide 16 ACEVO Jane Slowey memorial memberships for women who are aspiring CEOs or who are in their first two years as a CEO for a charity or social enterprise.

Steering committee 

Applications will be assessed and approved by the programme’s steering committee – Rosie Ferguson, CEO, Gingerbread, David Gold, CEO, Prospectus, Bethia McNeil, director, The Centre for Youth Impact and Vicky Browning, CEO, ACEVO – along with Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, CEO of The Foyer Foundation.


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