Our first ever blog!!

A week in the life of a charity CEO

Welcome to our very first blog. As the CEO of a Community Foundation, no two days are the same and there is no such thing as a typical week – but for my first ever blog I wanted to give you a glimpse of what kind of things I get up to.

It can involve anything from a bishop to a bike and from a big cheque to a ball!

A recent week started with proof-reading and writing my foreword for our annual review (which has just arrived in the office and is now being distributed). I absolutely love it although there are far too many photos that include me!

That’s hardly surprising because, after catching up with the team, I then had to head off for a photo-shoot with the Deeley Group because they are raising money for the Foundation as part of their 80th  anniversary celebrations.

Part of that involves an 80-mile bike ride so, of course, the question from the photographer was whether I’d strike a pose on a 1936 Coventry Eagle tandem. It’s all in a day’s work and part of my role is to ensure we continue to enhance our profile. I know it works because the sillier the photographer makes me look, the more messages I get from people saying they’ve seen me in the paper.

That was followed by more photo opportunities that week when I accompanied one of our funders, Band Hatton Button, across to a parent and toddler group that we granted £1,900 to. We always find that those who give love to see where the money has gone and the difference it is making.

But it’s not all glamour – from the photoshoot it was back to the office to write a proposal for a potential new fund.

Wednesday was just as busy and had a bit of everything. I meet some wonderful people in this job and we are lucky enough to have Sir Dominic Cadbury on board as one of our trustees now that we operate right across Birmingham and the West Midlands on top of our traditional roots in Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull.

With his help, the Bishop of Birmingham, the Right Reverend David Urquhart has agreed to be our new president and I was hot-footing it over to Brum for another pic – honestly, I know how Kate and Will feel now!

That followed a meeting with an investment bank to discuss how they might become a donor and then I was off to Drayton Manor of all places.

Now I remember Drayton Manor when just about the only ride was the Snake Train in the woods but it has grown over recent years to be one of the biggest attractions in the country. They have recently come on board as a donor too and they’ve already raised £7,500 for us – but even that wasn’t enough for them to get me on the Apocalypse ride!

Another exciting part of my week was a planning day for the launch of Community Matters – a new £5 million programme for the Black Country. We will be delivering the programme to help those in Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Sandwell move into employment by developing their skills and confidence.

The project has been made possible thanks to the huge amount of funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF) and should make a massive difference to the lives of people living across the area.

My hectic week ended back in the office with an update call to a funder as well as writing a proposal for another potential fund. Even though I wasn’t flying round the region there was still lots to do and I was actually quite glad for a sit down – and the fact I didn’t have to pose for another photograph (I love it really!)

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