FD in Five Minutes: James Niblett

Third Sector speaks to the finance director at Demelza Hospice Care for Children

James Niblett
James Niblett

What is the proudest moment of your career so far?

I lived in Romania for three and a half years from 2007. I was campaign director for the Bucharest Hospice Capital Appeal. This involved working with five ambassadors and 15 chief executives of multinational companies, including GlaxoSmithKilne, Vodafone and Raiffeisen Bank. It was amazing to return to Romania in 2014 for the official opening of the Bucharest Hospice. I was taken on a tour and saw the wards, the specialist therapy rooms and a mural of the Gruffalo on the children’s ward. After so many years of raising awareness and funds, it was overwhelming to see such a great facility in a city where there is such a need for palliative care.

What do you do outside work?

I run, cycle and am an active member of my local church. I play the French horn and piano and love listening to music. I have a wonderful wife, Naomi, and three lovely children.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career/life so far?

Graham Perolls, founder of the Ellenor Foundation and Hospices of Hope. I had the privilege of working closely with him for 11 years while he developed palliative care in Romania, Moldova and Serbia. As finance director, I was involved in the inception of hospice services in these countries.

If you were charities minister for the day, what one thing would you do?

It’s a very difficult job. I would like to see the Charity Commission have more resources and more teeth. When I worked in eastern Europe, I often thought of the benefits of the Charity Commission. I’d like to see other countries such as Romania, Moldova and Serbia develop their own versions of our regulator.

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