FD in five minutes: Richard Carling of Together for Short Lives

The director of finance and resources at the children's palliative care charity says it's important to have fun

Richard Carling
Richard Carling

Q: When did you join Together for Short Lives? In 2009 – in fact, I joined Children's Hospices UK, one of the organisations that merged in 2011 to form the current charity.

Q: How did you find the merger process? It was probably the most stressful thing I've ever done. It was intense, but I did enjoy it and I would do it all again. There was a real sense that the new organisation could strengthen the voice of the children and families we work with.

Q: How gruelling is working for a charity that deals with seriously ill children? It can be very sad at times, but the organisation deals with this by encouraging everyone to talk about it; it's a very supportive organisation, but it's also very creative. You've got to laugh and have fun too – especially important given that we are a children's charity.

Q: What's the strangest task you've taken on recently? We were part of ITV's Text Santa campaign in the run-up to Christmas, and the comms team did various things to raise awareness. I refereed a sprout-eating competition – rather than competing, I was quite happy sticking to the counting, which is my core skill.

Q: Do you find "accountants are boring" jokes grating? I don't mind - people generally respect that we think in a structured and logical way, and bring that perspective to what we do.

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