FD in Five Minutes: Julia Berry

Third Sector speaks to the head of finance at Dementia Adventure

Julia Berry
Julia Berry

What made you work in the charity sector? I spent the first half of my career working in a large organisation. My job was stimulating, but I was one tiny cog in a vast machine. Working at Dementia Adventure reminds me every day that small changes can have a large impact on people’s life. Applying my professional skills and experience in that setting feels very rewarding.

What is the proudest moment of your career so far? Going on the Isle of Wight holiday that we run to support people living with dementia and their carers. It gave me an opportunity to see the real-world difference that charities such as ours can make. And, of course, demystifying finance to Dementia Adventure staff.

What do you do outside work? I have children of school age and am trying to spend as much time with them as I can. One activity we can always agree on is going to the seaside. Thankfully we are spoilt for choice in Essex.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career/life so far? I had a fantastic mentor early on in my career: a person who believed in me, who understood my potential and encouraged me to develop my skills and try new things. I think it is incredibly important to get that kind of support in your career.

If you were charities minister for the day, what one thing would you do? Delivering lasting improvements to the sector is likely to be a longer-term job than a single day. I would embark on setting up mechanisms to allow charities to learn from each other so that we can instil best practice and provide better services to those who need us.

Are you optimistic for the future of the charity sector? I am very optimistic. I think it is rooted in the British way of life: people are generous with their time and they believe in giving back to their communities.

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