The Foundation has announced that two new faces will be joining its board. Jasmin Koasha and Calum Nisbet have been appointed as trustees, following the charity’s record-breaking 12 months, which has seen it award over £5.7m to community projects since the start of the pandemic.

Jasmin, a solicitor at Anthony Collins Solicitors, and Calum, the Commercial Director at Black Country Chamber of Commerce, will bring a combined 34 years’ of business experience to the roles, and are expected to play an instrumental part in the charity’s plans to navigate a post-pandemic world.

Commenting on his appointment, Calum said:

“I am extremely proud of the West Midlands and the people and businesses that make it so special; but we have some serious issues to contend with across the region, particularly given the challenges posed by the last 12 months. It’s organisations like Heart of England Community Foundation that are essential in identifying and supporting local projects that have a real impact, and I believe wholeheartedly in its mission to ‘do more local’. I’m looking forward to being part of this incredible team and I’m confident that I can help it to achieve its goals.”

With the Third Sector one of the worst affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, the Foundation’s grants have already provided a vital lifeline for local organisations running throughout the pandemic. Since March 2020, 1,225 organisations have received grants from the totalling over £5.7m – the highest sum ever awarded by the charity in a single year since it was founded in 1995.

Jasmin commented:

“The work that the Foundation has done over the past 26 years has been amazing; but the impact it has had during the pandemic is nothing short of staggering. I think COVID-19 has taught us all the importance of community and how crucial it is to support one another, and for me, that ethos is what Heart of England truly embodies. I am excited to be joining the board and hope I can bring a renewed sense of energy and a fresh perspective to the charity as it moves into this new chapter.”

Looking ahead to how it can help the sector bounce back, the Foundation is hoping to continue its support of as many grassroots charities as possible, whose services are being pushed even further to the brink by a lack of donations and increase in demand.

Calum and Jasmin will sit alongside 12 other trustees, each helping the Foundation to navigate the surge in funding applications and achieve its aim of supporting one million local lives in 2021.

Phil Ewing, Chair at the Foundation, said:

“The board are delighted that our number is to be swollen by two very skilled, well connected and willing new Trustees from across the West Midlands. Their knowledge and experience will continue to broaden and diversify both the board and the Foundation as a whole.”

Tina Costello, Foundation Chief Executive, is optimistic for the charity’s future and its two latest recruits. She said:

“I know I speak on behalf of the Foundation when I say that we are over the moon to welcome Jasmin and Calum to the board. It is fantastic to have them join the team and we are looking forward to working with them as the charity gears up to its most ambitious year yet!


“The past year has been hugely challenging – not only for our charity but for the entire sector – and the road to recovery is certainly not going to be an easy one; but the kindness, spirit, and generosity shown by those across the West Midlands really does fill me with hope. Our Coronavirus Resilience Fund raised millions of pounds for organisations across the region and allowed us to help more causes than ever before when they needed us most. Thank you to all those who have rallied around to support us in this time – we couldn’t do it without you and we are so grateful to you all.”

For more information on the Foundation’s trustees please click here.

For more information on how you, or your organisation, can do more local please click here.