The LEADING WALES Awards 2013


Lyn Waddington

Lyn Waddington Category: Leadership in Public Sector


Under Lyn’s leadership the QWEST project has engaged with nearly 3,000 participants, throughout Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen. It has also become a first EU project of its kind in Wales to be founded on Community Development (CD) principles and to provide a Volunteer-Buddying scheme. Her total commitment and passion for Adult and Community Learning drives her vision.


Lyn’s overall mission for QWEST, a Welsh Government ESF funded project led by the University of South Wales, which aims to tackle economic inactivity and unemployment across the Head of the Valleys, was to establish an effective model for tackling the barriers of social and economic exclusion for the hardest-to-reach people by engaging and supporting their needs in obtaining employment and learning new skills.

She also led the development of a unique volunteer training pathway - The Volunteer-Buddying scheme - which allows volunteers to gain a Community Development qualification and use their experiences with QWEST to develop their skills for work within the community.

She uses her leadership skills to direct and coordinate the team towards achieving a common goal. A highly motivating leader, her leadership style is very effective and allows for higher productivity, better contributions from team members, and increased team morale.

She is passionate about Community Development principles and practice and has been the chair woman of Community Development Cymru the membership led organisation for the Community Development Sector in Wales for over three years.

Lyn is very focussed on collaboration and has played a big part in influencing stakeholders from all five counties to work with QWEST in order to refer participants onto QWEST and vice versa which has led to the project’s success.

Lyn led the successful negotiation of an extension bid, extending the project fund to August 2014. This also led to an expansion of the project into two further counties - Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT), with a target to engage with a total of 8,000 participants by the end of the project which in turn saw another six jobs being created.

Who inspires you?

The late Anita Roddick.

What is your top leadership tip?

Be strategic and passionate.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Collaboration; focus; vision.