FD in Five Minutes: Svetla Stallwood

Third Sector speaks to the head of finance and operations at the Spinal Injuries Association

Svetla Stallwood
Svetla Stallwood

Why did you choose your current career?

I’ve always been good with numbers and working with others, and it’s great to know my efforts make a difference to people’s lives.

What is the proudest moment of your career so far?

The day I qualified as an accountant, while balancing my time with raising a young family.

What do you do outside work?

I’m often very busy, but in my spare time I enjoy travel – particularly off the beaten track and learning about other cultures – spending time with my family, and being outdoors.

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

The director at the first charity I worked for: his approach and values were truly inspiring and have always stayed with me.

If you had to work in another industry, what would it be?

I think it would have to be something really different. I’ve travelled widely and have seen the effects of climate change, so perhaps I’d see myself as an environmentalist.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I’d love to be able to travel quickly: hypersonic travel.

Which three people would be at your fantasy dinner party?

It would have to be David Attenborough, Vaclav Havel, the first post-communist president of Czechoslovakia, and Martina Navratilova.

What three things would you take with you if you were exiled to a desert island?

A huge great knife, a hammock and a bottle of wine.

If you were Prime Minister for the day, what would you do?

I’d double Gift Aid and make all costs for charities VAT-free. On a serious note, I’d tell the world’s leaders to act now on climate change.

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