Focus: Finance and Governance - Trustee talk - Martyn Evans, the Forgiveness Project

At only 18 months old, the Forgiveness Project is a young charity.

I recently joined the board of trustees as part of a new intake designed to bolster the management team at a crucial time of growth for the charity.

I had originally done the PR for the project, and I got completely immersed in it. A year and half later I was asked to join by the board of trustees.

The skills I can bring are twofold: I run my own PR, marketing and communications company - a small charity needs that in spades - so that's part of my responsibility. I've also run a small business for seven years, having started it from scratch. I imagine the issues you face in terms of staffing, limited investment and cash flow are pretty similar with a start-up charity.

Like many small charities, the Forgiveness Project developed from one person's passion. Journalist and author Marina Cantacuzino sought out an amazing collection of personal stories of conflict and forgiveness from all around the world, which were brought alive in a London exhibition by newspaper photographer Brian Moody early last year. The huge emotional response to this exhibition led to the founding of the charity - managing this proved a real challenge for the trustees.

Our charity now works in the areas of conflict resolution and restorative justice practices, specifically through the medium of collecting and sharing personal stories.

Our challenge as trustees is to put in place the resources that will fund the solid growth of the Forgiveness Project and meet the demand that's knocking down our doors.

There's a clear need for core funding to underwrite our basic administration, our staff and our offices - the least sexy areas of any charity's operation, but the ones without which nothing practical can happen.

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