What made you work in the charity sector? As a young graduate I was working in the civil service when I was offered a role in a central London church. Despite the various risks involved, I leapt at it because of the enhanced personal opportunity for me to have an impact on the organisation I work for – and of course because I valued what the church did. Both things have remained true in all my subsequent roles in the sector, and I have always been glad I made that original decision.
What do you do outside work? I spend fair amounts of time with my young kids, and occasionally some with my wife. We are active church members, and I am a co-founder of a small UK charity that created and supports an outstanding free school called Kisima in Kenya.
If you were charities minister for the day, what one thing would you do? There are so many potential answers to that question. Passing over the opportunity to poke various leading politicians in the eye, I will plump safely for begging, bribing or stealing money from the Treasury. I could then fund the Charity Commission properly to support and enable charities more fully, as well as regulate.
Are you optimistic for the charity sector’s future? Absolutely. Media storms will come and eventually go – and come back again – but the professionalisation of charities around Britain will tell in the battle against ignorance, prejudice and lack of opportunities of all kinds.