Toni McLelland
Toni McLelland MSc
1st Life Group
In a nutshell:
1st Life Group specializes in business for Social Impact, Social Justice, and Social Mobility
Financial and professional services

1st Life Group specialises in delivering change through embedding DEIB and Compassionate approaches. We work with C Suite business leaders in Social Impact, Social Justice, and Social Mobility or public interest causes. We also work with startups or social entrepreneurs in this specialist area. Toni is a Critical Friend and business mentor.

Work is delivered through Inspirational speaking, consultancy, structured programmes whilst 1-1 or group mentoring memberships are also offered.

I have always been entrepreneurial from when I was a teenager.

I also have a vast career leading services supporting young people. Employment included central government, MOJ and Home Office, Criminal Justice, Social Care, SEND (special education and disability) School Principal and CEO of a social care company.  I realised there was a gap in consultancies providing specialist business support in this area that knew about services for children and at risk groups.

Consultants needed to know and be supported with safeguarding, contingency planning, business continuity, compliance inspection regulation as well as quality assurance. To top that they needed business acumen and there wasnt much support available. So when I was in these positions there was no one I could turn to.

I identified lots of gaps so now I help start ups fill those gaps with new business.

I work at my own pace, create my own schedule and dont have to feel obliged to do something that doesnt fit with my values, mission or ethics . I am accountable for decisions I personally make and not the ones I dont know anything about. I feel free and empowered to take calculated risks and want to inspire and empire others to do the same.

Problems overcome?
It was difficult for me moving from public sector to private sector and asking people to pay for my services as it was not a concept I was used to.
I don’t have regrets only learning experiences as I take every opportunity to learn from the good and the bad.

Top tips?
Have courage and be committed. Find your superpower! Mine is sprinkling #tonisfairydust as magical things happen.

What inspired me?

My own journey and I’m carrying on my late father’s legacy of working with compassion.

I do what I do, not because I wanted to be in the forefront but because I wanted to lead others to the front.

“The best way to empower others is to give them your power, not hold on to it” And that’s what I try to do by creating business leaders daily.