Profile: Malcolm Watkins, director of finance and operations at the Motor Neurone Disease Association

Malcolm Watkins says the charity's staff are the most professional he has worked with

- What was your first job in a charity?

This one. I used to work in the electronics industry. I've been here for 11 years.

- What does your job involve?

I'm responsible for finance, governance and legal affairs. I manage an income of £14m and nine staff.

- Why did you choose this charity?

I was working as a consultant and looking for something new. I applied for this job without being at all sure that I wanted it, so of course I got it. I found it far more professional than I expected - this is the most professional and dedicated staff I've worked with anywhere.

- What's the best part of the job?

Because of my background, I also have responsibility for major donor fundraising. These people can often make a huge difference to the work we do.

- What's the most challenging part?

Deciding how to use resources. We can't do everything we'd like to. The personalisation agenda within the NHS will present us with a lot of opportunities and challenges.

- What's been your worst experience?

There was a period of 18 months when our income streams went through a bad patch and we had to make difficult decisions about what to cut. Motor neurone disease kills most people in about 14 months, and it was difficult not to be able to offer them help.

Interview by David Ainsworth.

Finance Advice

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