Pick of the Month - July 2022

1 July 2022 | By Faye Edwards

This month, we bring you July’s Pick of the Month feature where we spoke to the Chief Executive of an arts and education Charity in Winchester, the Founder of a Social Enterprise developing and delivering innovative health and wellbeing solutions, one of Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy’s 2019 Fundraising Fellows, and a Trustee for a Charity supporting asylum-seekers across the UK.

 

Charity Leader of the Month – Deryck​ Newland, Play to the Crowd

Deryck Newland is Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Play to the Crowd, an arts and education Charity based in Winchester comprising of Theatre Royal Winchester (a 400-seat heritage venue), Hat Fair (an annual outdoor arts festival) and Playmakers (all of Play to the Crowd’s community participation and work for young people).

“Play to the Crowd’s vision is to delight and unite communities. We do that by inspiring people to connect with and participate in live performance, both indoors and out. We believe in bringing people together in wonder, the power and value of live performance, nurturing talent and improving lives through participation. We present over 300 performances in the theatre every year and as many again during Hat Fair, on the streets and in the open spaces of Winchester. We connect with 180,000 people a year and offer a range of participatory workshops and projects including open access youth theatre opportunities."

 

Deryck spoke to us about the change he has implemented since joining Play to the Crowd:

“I took the role of CEO five years ago, when the organisation was named Live Theatre Winchester Trust and one of the first things I did was call on the expertise of Cause4 to help us take a good long look at ourselves and identify much more clearly who we were, what our cause actually was and why it mattered. The workshops began the journey which eventually led to our change of name and reinvention, which we think, was fundamental in ensuring we survived the acute financial challenge of 2020. Our name now describes our intention and the thinking behind the rebrand has helped us be clear and explicit about our identity as a charity, our core purpose and our value to our communities.”

 

Offering his advice to prospective leaders in the sector, Deryck said:

“Be honest, hold to your truth, tell the full story and by doing so, build the trust and respect you will need to implement change and go on any journey. Don’t be scared of the imposter syndrome. I still feel it almost every day: ‘I can’t do this’; ‘Why am I here?’; ‘I don’t know what to do next?’. I could go on. It is OK. You are where you are because people believe in you. You are not on your own, you have a whole team. You don’t need to have all the answers. It is OK to say ’I don’t know’, or ‘I need help’.”

 

Finally, Deryck summarised a new vision for the sector:

“I do think leadership can be very isolating. I was thinking the other day about alternative job titles – what if we called people more directly what they did? The CEO would be ‘The Worrier’. It is tough to switch off. It is all pervasive. Maybe a positive change for the sector would be more prevalent different models of leadership, less focused around one individual and less hierarchical. Different leadership structures might mean more diverse ideas and more creative solutions emerging to help arts organisations, and the charity sector more broadly, to navigate the continuing challenges we will face in the years ahead.”

 

Keep up to date with what’s going on at Play to the Crowd on Twitter at @PlayToTheCrowd

 

Social Entrepreneur of the Month – Nureen Glaves, Feed Me Good

Nureen Glaves is the Founder and Chief Executive of Feed Me Good, an eight-year-old health and wellbeing CIC which specialises in combatting health inequality in diverse communities.

“I started Feed Me Good eight years ago with a passion and love for Food, Nutrition and Community. I wanted to make a difference through feeding people good food. I feel as the CEO, it's important to do things that bring me joy. I always think about the community I haven't impacted yet and how can I reach them. My day-to-day role means that I am involved in all aspects of my organisation including the development of concepts for programmes, the organisation of events, the creation of new merchandise, programme delivery and income generation.”

 

Reflecting on the impact of the pandemic on her business, Nureen said:

In March 2020, we had one week to transition from face-to-face delivery to an online delivery and I am so grateful that we did.  We found that our reach was much wider as a result, and we began to engage with new communities internationally. At that time, I faced many challenges, especially when it came to income, but I was determined after committing eight years of my life into this dream, that I was not going to give up.

 

Since then, we have expanded our impact by working with more than 2,500 students, taking part in new research projects with UCL and engaged with various events with IKEA and LSBU. Our longstanding clients including the L&Q Foundation, Guys and St Thomas Trust, Notting Hill Genesis, and more have been our saving grace - providing us with the income we needed to keep our doors open while making a social and health impact. I can't thank them enough.”

 

Nureen spoke to us about some exciting projects she has been involved with recently: 

“On Friday 18th March, we released our first ever cookery book named ‘Feed Me Good’ along with our first Bento lunch boxes. We are also excited to be engaging with more online events and expanding our impact with our services.”

 

Most recently, Nureen featured in a short film with the National Lottery x Eden Communities project in celebration of The Big Jubilee Lunch which has been shared in articles by the Independent NewspaperHello Magazine, and the Evening Standard.

To summarise, Nureen shared what she is passionate about seeing change in the sector along with her advice for anyone starting out: 

I hope to see more diversity and inclusion. As a black, partially blind, deaf and Dyslexic social entrepreneur, I truly understand the importance of diversity and representation in the sector. When we deliver our services, especially to primary school children, they are often shocked to see me in the role of CEO and to hear the achievements that I have gained over the years. I want to show them that they should aspire to more beyond their background and environment.

 

My advice to anyone getting started in the sector is to always treat everyone with kindness and to maintain good relationships. You never know when you might need to call on your connections. Also, your health and mental wellbeing is more important than anything on this earth - cherish it. Don't kill yourself for your cause that would only be a disservice to yourself, your team and your community. Last words – be the change you want to see.”

 

Hear more about Nureen’s work at Feed Me Good on Twitter at @feedmegoodcic

 

Fellow of the Month – David Sheppeard, Marlborough Productions

David Sheppeard is Executive Director and Co-Founder of Marlborough Productions, a leading UK producer of queer-led, intersectional performance, parties, heritage and radical community gatherings. Marlborough Productions is a catalyst for queer culture and community and over the past ten years, has been recognised nationally and internationally for commissioning innovative new work from extraordinary artists, reclaiming spaces to create and share culture and developing communities. David also took part in the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Fundraising Fellowship back in 2019.

“I co-founded Marlborough Productions with Creative Director, Tarik Elmoutawakil in 2009, my role has evolved over time, but Executive Director just about covers it. I am responsible for fundraising for our diverse portfolio of LGBTQIA+ cultural projects like New Queers on the BlockQueer Heritage South and Brownton Abbey plus working with our associate artists, Harry Clayton-Wright and Emma Frankland. My role is challenging, but I love dreaming and planning with artists and communities for a thriving queer future.”

 

Also reflecting on the impact of the pandemic on his work, David said:

“The pandemic had a massive impact on how we work, coinciding with the departure from our venue base of ten years, we were really concerned about losing the connection with our communities as we couldn't deliver in person events. I am really proud of the way our team pivoted to move key programmes online like Radical Rhizomes, led by Tarik, which supported the QTIBIPoC community throughout the last two years. Fundraising through this period really highlighted the importance of illustrating the health and wellbeing benefits of our cultural projects.”

 

David summarised his time on the Fundraising Fellowship three years ago and what still sticks with him today:

“The Fellowship came at a crossroads for me where I was questioning where I should be putting my focus as a fundraiser; we'd been managing a local fringe space for a long time, but increasingly were working more in a national context. The Fellowship supported me to make more considered choices and was instrumental in us actually finishing a fundraising strategy, something that we had somehow dodged for the previous ten years. I also met some really great people who I am still in touch with and are always up for giving advice and checking things over.”

 

Finally, David told us what he hopes to see change in the sector:

“I am always pushing for a more equitable distribution of funding to marginalised artists and communities, there's still a long way to go!”

 

Stay up to date with David’s work at Marlborough Productions on Twitter at @marlboroughprod

 

Trustee of the Month – Zain Hafeez, Asylum Support Appeals Project

Zain Hafeez is a Trustee on the Board for the Asylum Support Appeals Project (ASAP), a charity providing asylum-seekers with free legal representation and advice in their asylum support appeals. ASAP have represented and advised over 5,000 individuals who without support from the project, would have found it almost impossible to appeal the asylum support tribunal due to a lack of legal advice on the issue.

“ASAP aims to increase quality representation and dignity at the Asylum Support Tribunal for all asylum seekers. Also, ASAP aims to ensure that asylum seekers across the UK have access to quality advice and information in relation to their legal rights to food and shelter. ASAP believes in human rights and the rights of all persons seeking asylum in the UK to have shelter, food and support and not to live in destitution.”

 

Zain brings more than 10 years of first-hand experience of Migration and Asylum journey to the Board with substantial experience working with asylum seekers and refugees during his previous roles with the British Red Cross and Voices Network as well as in his current roles as Complex Needs Team Leader at Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre and Community Organiser at Citizens UK.

On what motivated him to become a Trustee, Zain said:

“One of the main reasons which motivated me to become a Trustee was because I felt there isn't enough representation from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community on Trustee Boards, especially BAME members who are in their 20s and with lived experience. Therefore, becoming a Trustee provided me with a platform where I can utilise my lived experience, to point out important nuances and ensure that the new structures and frameworks will take into consideration different factors to ensure they are inclusive and accessible for diverse demographics. It has also been a great opportunity to learn from the senior members and see the overview of our organisation.”

 

We asked Zain what the most challenging and rewarding aspects of his role are:

“I would say the most challenging aspect of the role would be to manage my time sufficiently and to ensure that I have a good balance of both work life and private life. However, my organisation is very understanding and they support me with any challenges. The most rewarding part has to be the learning from being a Trustee, as it allowed me to see things from a holistic point of view, which also improved my understanding of current my work role too.” 

 

Finally, Zain’s advice for anyone considering taking up a Trustee role would be:

“Join a Trustee board which is linked to a cause that you deeply care about. This is important because there will be times you are tired and exhausted from work but if you are part of something you care and value, it will motivate you to keep going. The best thing is that if you stay persistent and do your best, it's not a one-way street because you also get a lot out of becoming a Trustee and it transforms the way you think, and the experience will allow you to have a deeper and holistic understanding of your organisation.”

 

Keep up to date with Zain on Twitter at @Zain_Hafeez7

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