Employee Spotlight - Dan Brown

At AFL Hyperscale, we pride ourselves on supporting causes close to our hearts and giving back to our local communities. Our dedicated volunteers help us achieve this by selflessly donating their time to helping local charities. One such volunteer is Dan Brown, Channel Development Manager for the UK & Ireland.

Dan took some time out of his busy day to talk to us about his work with the Red Thread Partnership and MK Snap.


Tell us more about the Red Thread Partnership – what is it that they do?

The Red Thread Partnership is a leadership and organisation development consultancy specialising in Leadership Development, Team Development, Culture Change and Engagement. The Red Thread fellowship offers a management and leadership programme for people looking to go forward and thrive in today’s business world.

The program brings together people from all sectors to help support charitable projects in becoming more sustainable. In parallel, they run reflective learning workshops that allow the Fellows to share the insights they gain, compare them with best practice and contemporary leadership theory, and explore how they can apply their learning in their workplace.

How is the programme structured?

During the 12 months, you are expected to attend 5 workshop sessions and work alongside a local charity, volunteering at least 1 hour per week and raising a minimum of £500.

Module One: Role modelling – setting an example and planning small wins.

Module Two: Inspiring a shared vision – building your vision and enlisting the support of others.

Module Three: Challenging the process – finding opportunities, experimenting and taking risks.

Module Four: Enabling others to act – fostering collaboration and building strengths.

Module Five: Encouraging the heart – recognizing contributions and celebrating accomplishments.


How was your experience with the Red Thread Partnership?

During my time with the Red Thread Partnership, I dedicated time to all modules, completing all written and oral aspects of the modules and also taking part in role plays. The 5 workshop sessions were great and really helped me to understand just what goes into running a versatile dynamic team and how to succeed with ideas and tasks that, at first glance, may appear impossible. “It’s not impossible, just hard work.”

Tell us about the local charity you worked with.

The charity I was, and still am, involved with is MK Snap. MK Snap is charity in Milton Keynes that offers professional support to learners with a range of learning difficulties and challenges, including adults recovering from stroke or head injury, those with visual or mobility impairment, and those with learning disabilities, such as those on the autistic spectrum.

My time with MK Snap was so inspiring and opened my eyes to how much work and time goes into running a charity in today’s world. During this time, I dedicated 2 weekends, collecting cheques donated to MK Snap from the stores in MK, as well as being involved with MKDAD (Milton Keynes Disability Awareness Day), a weekend hosted in Central Milton Keynes where MK Snap students perform plays, dance and sports activities in front of a small crowd to show just how much people with learning difficulties can achieve if given the right platform.

In addition to this, I ran 2 volunteering days with employees from AFL Hyperscale helping MK Snap re-generate their garden; building new flower beds for the learners to do gardening, laying block paving for a seated area, and sanding and painting their wooden patio area.

I completed over 50 hours of volunteering with lessons such as Maths, Sports, Drama, as well as running the MK half marathon for MK Snap, raising £1308. We had a royal visit during one of my volunteering days where I was asked to do a walk round with a group of trusties and demonstrate the work that takes place at MK Snap. And most recently I helped in running a silent auction for their Country and Western evening where we raised just over £7,000.

It sounds like you really went above and beyond for this great cause. And we hear your efforts didn’t go unnoticed…

Yes, I was delighted to receive two awards from the Red Thread Partnership earlier this year. The first was for completion of the Red Thread course which is awarded in conjunction with the Milton Keynes College. The second was an award for outstanding and lasting achievement during my 12 months - the first time the Red Thread Partnership have given this award to a Fellow. Completing my course with the Red Thread Partnership helped me gain transferrable skills but also gave me the opportunity to work with MK Snap, help with the fantastic work they do, and meet some truly inspirational people.


For more information on the Red Thread Partnership: http://www.the-redthread.co.uk

For more information on MK Snap: http://mksnap.org