Cracking Charity Chat: Ep. 10. Vicki Dawson, Founder and CEO, Children’s Sleep Charity

It’s gone reet proper northern has this one, love!

Last week I went over to Doncaster (Donnie, to fellow northerners) to chat with Vicki Dawson, Founder and CEO of The Children’s Sleep Charity.

I like to use the podcast to chat with brilliant charity leaders, and I’ve found that many of them get involved in various other things with the purpose of strengthening the sector. Not only has Vicki set up an award winning children’s charity, is lecturing on medical degrees, flying staff out to Russia and helping people like me get a bit more sleep (amen to that), she’s also setting up Voluntary Action Doncaster as there wasn’t a CVS in the town.

We chat about:

  • How it all started: the spark of an idea and her journey from teacher to charity founder and leader
  • The ideas versus the reality of setting up a charity: spoiler alert – it’s relentless
  • The value of infrastructure: and the approach to setting up Voluntary Action Doncaster
  • The work of the Children’s Sleep Charity: including Vicki’s thoughts on the recent debate about changing school times for teenagers, how a behavioural approach to sleep can help children get nearly 2.5hrs extra sleep a night (particularly those with complex needs or who are looked after), that sleep issues affect most children at some point and the impact can be devastating.

The highlights for me are:

  • Vicki’s vision of a thriving CVS in Doncaster: if Vicki didn’t get the support she did from Voluntary Action Rotherham the Children’s Sleep Charity might not be doing what it does today. It’d be good to see more funding for infrastructure – any funders listening?
  • Leadership: Vicki’s strengths are around vision, driving something forward and bringing the right people and skills together
  • Founding a charity is relentless: keep at it!

You can listen on SoundCloud,  iTunes or my website. I hope you enjoy it – if so, do share on social media and rate on iTunes. I’d also love to hear your feedback.


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