FD in Five Minutes: Daniel Beacock

Third Sector speaks to finance director at the theatre charity Chickenshed

Daniel Beacock
Daniel Beacock

Why did you choose finance as a career?

It all started when I began working at my father’s company. There was a need for more accounting staff and it seemed like an interesting career to study and get into.

What made you work in the charity sector?

First, my children. The notice for the position was spotted by my wife on the website when booking tickets for the Chickenshed children’s show. Second, because I had come from working in media, entertainment and software-related companies and, wanting a change, the third sector seemed poles apart from those worlds, as it has proved to be.

What is the proudest moment of your career so far?

I would probably say working for Chickenshed. The strapline at Chickenshed is "Theatre Changing Lives", and I don’t think that necessarily applies only to the direct beneficiaries of the charity’s work. When I see the quality and breadth of work that Chickenshed produces, and the commitment everyone at the theatre has to our goals, it makes me very proud to be part of it.

What do you do outside work?

My three teenage daughters, all members of Chickenshed’s children’s and youth theatre groups, have grown up surrounded by theatre, and this means that all three have performed, not only with Chickenshed but on the West End stage as well. My eldest appeared in the lead role of Matilda in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda the Musical. So when I am not at work I’m usually at a theatre somewhere with the family watching or participating. Being a keen photographer, I also take pictures of Chickenshed dress rehearsals for press and publicity purposes and have done so for other theatre groups as well. So even my hobby involves me being in a theatre – but I’m far too shy to ever appear on stage myself.

Are you optimistic for the future of the charity sector?

On the whole, yes. I think charities are being relied upon more heavily these days to replace services usually provided by the government. We definitely have had first-hand experience of that, but the willingness of other supporters, both corporate and individuals, to pick up this shortfall and donate to worthy causes means that I remain optimistic for the future.

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