OverviewThis image shows the Fellowship logo. The text reads 'The Fellowship Programme- Increasing the diversity of our leadership in West Yorkshire

The Fellowship Programme is an award- winning leadership development programme aimed specifically at colleagues from ethnically diverse backgrounds who are working within the Health and Care system in West Yorkshire. It was designed to help achieve our 10 big ambitions as a Partnership, as set out in our People Plan.

In particular the programme aims to increase the diversity of our leaders within Health and Care roles across West Yorkshire. The programme has been running since 2020, and in that time 20 individuals have either completed it or are currently undertaking it.

Programme benefits:

Since its inception the programme has found great success. In fact, within 6 months of completing the Fellowship programme 9 of the 11 participants in cohort 1 were either promoted or moved to a job of their choice. Its success was even recognised at the Health Service Journal Awards where the programme won ‘System Leadership Initiative of the Year’. You can find out more about why you should apply or read case studies with previous participants for more information.

Additionally, the programme supports both substantive and host employers by requiring backfill money be provided to substantive organisations that support the placement element of the course. Backfill arrangements are discussed in more detail as part of the Frequently Asked Questions.

"I would not be standing here today without the Fellowship Programme"- Bilal Mohammed, Fellow, speaking at the launch of the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board Strategy

Programme structure:

This is a picture of the graduation celebration event following the conclusion of cohort 1 of the Fellowship/Cohort 3 of the Fellowship will start in September 2023 and participants will complete the programme by March 2025.

The programme is split into two distinct parts, the first a 6 month developmental period based solely in fellows own organisations, and the second is a 12 month project placement for one day a week. Fellows can expect to spend 1 to 2 days per month on the development work in the first 6 months. All workshop elements of the programme should be completed within fellows normal working hours. 

Throughout the programme fellows will also be able to access high quality learning and development, including:

  • A senior mentor with significant experience within the health and care sector.
  • A trained coach to offer personalised support with your development needs.
  • Regular scope for growth career conversations with trained facilitators.
  • Consistent networking and peer support sessions to share their learning journeys with others on the programme
  • A rigorous development programme that covers a wide range of vital leadership and management skills, from influencing to project management techniques. 


This programme is open to colleagues from ethnically diverse backgrounds currently working in Health and Care organisations across West Yorkshire. This can include any-one working in NHS organisations, councils, Healthwatch, hospices, charities and the community, voluntary, and social enterprise sector. 

Those eligible for the programme will usually either be in or looking to progress into their first leadership position. If you're unsure if the programme is right for you can take this scope for growth reflective assessment.

"The programme was exactly what I needed to unlock my whole self as a leader​​"- Awais Habib, Fellowship alumnus.

The Fellowship programme – cohort 3 update  (September 2023)

Thank you to everyone that applied for and supported the recruitment to this year’s Fellowship programme, we were overwhelmed with the number of enquiries and applications received. There were over 40 applicants for cohort 3 of our ‘aspiring leaders’ programme and it was incredibly difficult to select the final cohort of leaders that will be joining the programme in September 2023. The places have now been offered and accepted by colleagues working across the health and care system in West Yorkshire.

Due to the high standard of applications received a decision was made to expand the number of places, so 29 people will now be part of cohort 3. An additional nine places offered and some of these will commence at the later date of May 2024. All unsuccessful applicants will receive a personalised development conversation to point them towards other opportunities where appropriate.  

We are pleased to be welcoming colleagues currently working in a variety of roles across the voluntary, third sector, council and health and look forward to seeing the exciting projects they will be part of and help make possible within their programmes of work.  We would like to wish all our new recruits the very best of luck with their Fellowship journey.  

Organisations/ teams wanted to host Fellowship Placements (Current Opportunity)

The Fellowship programme is looking for teams and organisations interested in hosting a Fellow. The Fellowship is a leadership development programme aimed specifically at colleagues from ethnically diverse communities who are working within health and care in West Yorkshire.

As part of the programme Fellows undertake a 12 month placement for one day a week with organisations within the sector. This placement is a fantastic opportunity for an organisation to gain an additional team member who can bring new perspectives, skills and experiences to the team. At the same time the placement will also support the Fellows own development through giving them the opportunity to work in different types of organisations with different teams.

The ideal placement would see a Fellow lead on a project that would be suitable for a mid-level manager, and the host organisation will pay the equivalent of 20% of the Fellows wages for their time.

If you are interested in hosting a placement please download the statement of commitment which has more information, or email us wyicb-wak.sldteam@nhs.net. The deadline for statements of commitment to be compelted and returned to wyicb-wak.sldteam@nhs.net is Monday the 4th of December 2023.

More Information:

If you'd like more information then please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions or email wyicb-wak.sldteam@nhs.net.