How did you get involved in working with charities?
At the beginning of my career I worked in fundraising development for some big arts organisations – notably Tate and the National Maritime Museum. I went on to run a large UK media event, which had a charitable arm, before I moved in to the sport world with a job at LOCOG for London 2012. When I was approached for this role, it was an ideal opportunity to carry on working in sport, which I loved, and combine it with my charity experience.
Tell us about your work with the British Snowsports Fund and the British Ski and Snowboard Foundation?
I’m the Director of The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation, and have been involved in every aspect of getting the charity up and running. That’s included writing the application to the Charity Commission, through to developing the brand and website and working with donors. The vital next stage of my role now we’ve launched is fundraising – finding individuals and companies who believe in what we do and want to support us.
I’ve also been working on the establishment of The British Snowsports Fund – including initial discussions with our founder member Crystal, Hotelplan and Ski Club of Great Britain – as well as on-going recruitment of new members.
Why do you think it is important for organisations/ companies to think about their social responsibility?
Thinking of it from a business perspective, it’s good for business and it’s good for staff. Work that companies do in this area can help them stand out in a crowded marketplace, and they can offer great benefits for engaging clients and staff. I know DSUK have some great examples of when staff at partner companies have made a real impact with volunteering, which benefits DSUK, of course, but also helps the companies with staff satisfaction and retention.
What advice will you be giving to companies during LISTEX?
I think there’s still the fear from some companies that getting involved with charitable initiatives needs to be time consuming or expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be. There could be ways, for example of giving some time of your in-house designer to a charity, which could have a major impact on their work, and save them a vital expense.
The beauty of the British Snowsports Fund is that we’re asking participants to help us access their customers, rather than asking businesses to make a financial outlay themselves, so it’s easy to implement.