A Place on the Board: Ruby Parmar of Magic Bus

As a trustee of the charity, she says her Indian background was a key reason she got involved

Ruby Parmar
Ruby Parmar

Ruby Parmar started as a volunteer at the children's charity Magic Bus 12 years ago, when a friend took her to its annual fundraising gala dinner. Eventually, she became an ambassador, and for the last two years has served as a trustee.

Magic Bus uses sport to transform the lives of deprived children in India by teaching them about key issues such as education, gender equality and health.

Parmar was herself born in India, where she attended boarding school for several years. She says her background is a key reason why she became a trustee at Magic Bus. She still travels to India regularly and is very familiar with the vast subcontinent.

She is also a senior partner at the professional services firm PwC, and says there is a crossover between the roles. She not only uses her experience to mentor employees at Magic Bus, but also uses her wide network to recruit volunteers and donors for it.

Parmar's main responsibility is for the charity's fundraising arm, the gala committee. The charity counts the Premier League among its supporters, but Parmar says it still needs more. In particular, she would like to see more Indians in the UK supporting the charity.

Fundraising is a challenge for the charity because of its limited resources. "We don't spend lots of money wooing celebrities and famous names," Parmar says, "so it's really pounding the streets, knocking on doors."

Her main aim is to get people to engage with what Magic Bus is doing, even though there are a lot of competing charities. But she does not see this as an insurmountable problem because she feels that anyone who is told about the charity's work cannot help but be touched by its story. "Being able to tell the story gives me the biggest buzz," she says.

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