FD in Five Minutes: Bill Chidgey

Third Sector speaks to the director of finance at the Disabilities Trust

Bill Chidgey
Bill Chidgey

Why did you choose finance as a career? I have always been fascinated by maths, numbers and business – as a small boy I often counted my pocket money to work out what it would buy and how much to save. So it seemed like a natural progression to make my career in this field.

What made you work in the charity sector? As a finance director in this sector you are usually right at the cutting edge of all the big decisions. With charities having to be more commercial in their outlook, finance has become even more central to organisations’ thinking. Being able to lead and contribute to that is very fulfilling.

What is the proudest moment of your career so far? The work I did as part of a great senior management team at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability to reshape and modernise it over a five-year period – the organisation provides a fantastic service, but needed to change in order to become sustainable and continue to deliver great support for people with really complex needs. I am enjoying a similar challenge in my current role at the Disabilities Trust.

What do you do outside work? Spend time with my wife and young stepdaughters, including lots of chauffeuring to ballet and other activities. I am a keen runner and cyclist, and an occasional skier. I enjoy cooking, especially baking. I’ve a particular penchant for making choux pastry and have been told I produce a mean profiterole.

Are you optimistic for the future of the charity sector? I am, but we need to see a more commercial edge in many organisations, with more focus on reducing unnecessary costs and thinking more innovatively about the way we deliver services.

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