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Exeter Leukaemia Fund

Leading charity to achieve £100,000 savings following digital transformation programme.

Exeter Leukaemia Fund (ELF) is recognised as a leading local charity, experiencing growth and extension of services in recent years. ELF’s vision is that every family affected by a blood cancer or blood disorder across the South West receives compassionate, tailored support. The charity provides much-needed resources, accommodation, support and transport from its base at the Haematology Centre at RD&E Hospital, Exeter. It also supports a network of volunteers who can provide emotional and practical support in patients’ homes. 

Established in 1987 by the consultant haematologist at the hospital, it has supported many thousands of people, and in 2003 opened the first Haematology Centre at RD&E which now sees over 600 patients per week.

Mags Naylor is CEO at ELF and a well-respected and successful leader in the organisation. She works with her staff team and Board of Trustees to ensure that services continue and grow in line with patients’ (and their families’) needs. Mags is already highly qualified in management/leadership (Level 7).  Mags already had a fascination with digital tech, and readily embraced new devices and gadgets.

When Mags joined the Digital Leadership programme at Cosmic, she was keen to explore her digital knowledge levels and understanding of the digital changes needed at ELF over the years ahead. She understood the major strategic challenges the charity faced with its operations, fundraising and growth – all of which could potentially benefit from digital transformation. Being in the Digital Leadership programme resulted in learning new perspectives and drivers for the changes needed at ELF. She recognised her key driver as cost reduction and started to visualise how digital could impact on this.

Mags was very keen to engage in learning with others in the group which provided cross-sector perspectives and variety in their learning. Charities, private and public sectors were represented in the group; as well as a range of business scales from very small, local business, to major, national retail operators. She embraced the project-based approach supported by the programme and benefited from mentoring support as well as the structured sessions. Using her project work and regular reports to her Board, she built and agreed a digital transformation plan during the course. As she progressed, she could share the potential impact of her work with other learners, inspiring their progress. 

Impact: Her digital transformation journey has started, she has produced and agreed an action plan and roadmap for digital transformation at Board level. She has set up a cross-sector steering group to advise her on processes and progress. She has developed staff workshops and training to bring her staff along with her and has implemented many big changes. Mags has estimated the cost savings in year one of around £100k with more to come in year two.

10 months ago, you wouldn’t have thought it was possible for me, and the charity, to move so far but the Digital Leadership programme has given me the foresight, confidence and skills to act now. The programme has created a charity that is fit for the 21st Century. Thank you Cosmic.