Pick of the Month - October 2020
1 October 2020 | By Naomi Chapman
As the seasons change and we gear up for winter, there are dedicated individuals working hard across the charity sector to deliver impact. This month, our Pick of the Month features a bakery empowering women, a charity helping other charities to display impact, and a Trustee making the best of the current situation in her governance role.
Charity Leader of the Month – Matt Whittaker, Pro Bono Economics
Matt Whittaker is the Chief Executive of Pro Bono Economics (PBE), the charity that uses economics to help other social sector organisations measure, understand and communicate their impact and value. He joined the organisation at the end of 2019 after more than a decade at the Resolution Foundation think tank where he established his reputation as an expert in income inequality and UK living standards. Matt chose to move into the charity sector in order to apply his economics and policy experience to a new environment, with a view to amplifying the voice of charities in the public policy debate.
With this aim in mind, PBE has recently announced its plans to run the two-year Law Family Commission on Civil Society. The Commission will be chaired by Lord Gus O’Donnell and will bring together leading individuals from the private, public and social sectors to collectively explore how to unleash the potential of civil society in the coming decade.
Matt Whittaker said:
“For too long, the economics profession hasn’t done a good enough job of capturing the contribution made by the social sector to our citizen’s wellbeing. The work of charities and social enterprises has been undervalued, and therefore frequently overlooked. We want to change that. And if we thought the ambition of building a strong and confident civil society was important ahead of the Covid-19 crisis, the events of recent months has shown that it’s absolutely vital – both to support the country’s near-term recovery and to play a full role in the establishment of a new, better, ‘normal’.”
Follow Pro Bono Economics on Twitter at @ProBonoEcon
Social Entrepreneur of the Month – Alice Williams, Luminary Bakery
Luminary Bakery is a social enterprise set up to provide training, employment opportunities and community to disadvantaged women in East London. Alice Williams founded the organisation after seeing growing deprivation around the East End of London in 2014. It provides a six-month employability programme covering baking skills, food hygiene, personal development and mentoring, after which alumni can apply for jobs within the business, find work elsewhere, or enter the organisation’s enterprise course to start a business of their own.
“Luminary Bakery’s foundation is based on inspiring hope in those that walk through our doors, which is one of the reasons we named our first cookbook Rising Hope!”
Stay up to date with Luminary Bakery on Twitter at @LuminaryBakery
Fellow of the Month – Jessica Hilton
After completing her Fellowship in 2014, Jessica Hilton became the Research and Data Officer at Northern Ballet and then Membership Manager for the Royal Exchange Theatre. She is now working in Development at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. She recently completed an MA in the cultural and creative industries at the University of Leeds.
When speaking about her time on the Fellowship, Jessica said:
“I really enjoyed the mixture of learning from the wider sector, training, and the academic perspective. I've found the network of Fellows so valuable since completing the Fellowship.”
You can follow Jessica’s progress on Twitter @jessica_hilton5
Trustee of the Month – Alexandra Cran-McGreehin
Alexandra Cran-McGreehin is a Trustee at Target Ovarian Cancer and an alumni of our Trustee Leadership and Emerging Chairs Programmes. After having volunteered in various capacities in the past, becoming a Trustee felt like the next step for Alexandra.
“When my mum died too young of ovarian cancer, I got involved with Target Ovarian Cancer through some events and as an advisory panellist for one of their factfinding reports. It helped me to get involved in other ways with Target Ovarian Cancer first, so that I could get to know more about the organisation, its ethos and the people there… when the opportunity came up to become a trustee, I was really pleased!”
Covid-19 has led the Target Ovarian Cancer board to increasingly focus on risk assessment and mitigation. However, the board are endeavouring to consider the opportunities presented by the current situation too:
“How can we do things differently that align with what's going on? How can we continue to grow to deliver on our vision and meet the needs of women with ovarian cancer? Having cancer is always tough, but this situation makes it tougher still, and we owe it to those women to give them the very best we can.”
Alexandra’s advice for a potential Trustee is:
“Don't be put off by the responsibilities involved but know what you're getting into - by reading up on what's involved and talking to trustees about their experiences. I have also benefited from Cause4's training which gave real-world insight into what's involved in being a trustee.”
Follow Target Ovarian Cancer on Twitter at @TargetOvarian