FD in five minutes: Karen Steed

The finance director at the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity has Wembley Stadium and Abbey Road on her mind

Karen Steed
Karen Steed

Q. What do you do outside work?

A. I joined a rock choir in January 2013. I was looking for an outlet because both my parents had passed away just a few months before. It's a fabulous way of releasing stress and having a good time with people you might not normally meet. It also gives you a lot of opportunities. For example, we've sung at Wembley Stadium, and I've sung in backing choirs for the band G4, Toyah Willcox and Russell Watson. Our next big event is recording a CD at Abbey Road studios - there's going to be the obligatory pictures of us walking across the "Beatles" zebra crossing for sure.

Q. What are your favourite songs to sing?

A. There's quite a few of them - it tends to depend on how interesting your part is rather than on the song itself. However, one of the ones that always catches in the back of my throat when I sing it is Labi Siffre's (Something Inside) So Strong.

Q. Are you optimistic about the future of charities?

A. Yes. The charity sector is understandably under scrutiny at the moment because of situations like the failure of Kids Company, but I don't think we should all be apologetic about what we do. I think sometimes we feel like we have to apologise for a big failure when in reality the vast majority of charities follow their constitutional objectives and have excellent governance in place.

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