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Who are you? 

I’m David. I’m a trustee at Stonegrove Community Trust. I work as a Civil Servant, and in my spare time, I enjoy rugby, cricket, hockey and reading. I am also autistic and sometimes I see things a little differently. I believe diverse perspectives allow us to do better as we are constantly testing our understanding against other perspectives and experiences. That’s really important because it makes our decisions better and it brings us closer together, whether we’re neurodiverse or neurotypical, and whether we’ve lived in the Stonegrove area for a long while or have just recently arrived. Black Lives Matter underlined the importance of diversity, and we want to capture the perspective of everyone in our community regardless of background. I am excited for new trustees to join the board from different backgrounds as they will see weaknesses, strengths and opportunities differently to me. 

I am looking forward to the awesome new opportunities SCT will offer to our residents over the next 5 years. Because that’s what all the budgets, paperwork, and meetings are all about – empowering our residents, and making SCT a platform for our community to do awesome stuff‘  

What do you do at SCT? 

I’m now a non-resident trustee at Stonegrove although I used to live on the estate.  With the rest of the trustees, I help look at the ‘big picture stuff’, making sure we are listening to what our residents are saying to us; from how the board is composed to who turns up to the sessions and help make sure those opportunities reflect the diversity in the area. I’m particularly involved in planning for the future of the Trust,  focussing on budgeting, finance projection, and governance, giving our residents confidence that we are making the most of the assets we are entrusted with. 

It has been amazing to watch our Trust rise to the challenges of the recent pandemic. We started new services, such as a food bank and befriending line, and grew our fundraising and staff team at a rapid pace.  As a result, we are in a strong position and we have grown faster than anticipated, meaning we are doing more for our residents. There’s been a lot of finance, HR, governance, and legal work going on in the background to support our staff and volunteers to deliver all that, but it has given us a really strong foundation to build our team further and deliver really great impact for our residents.

My focus now is how we can make the most of our expansion through the pandemic, how we can continue to meet the need of our residents, how we can demonstrate that to our funders and how we are ensuring diversity is even further at the forefront of our organisation. In particular, I am keen to encourage people in the community to get involved with the Trust regardless of how long people have lived here or their background. We will have an even stronger future the more perspectives we can include from our residents among the Trustees, and at every other level of the organisation. 

Why do you love what you do? 

It’s a way for me to be part of the community. I like how my skills used in work can be applied to the trust in making it better at its core mission in building community. Although financial planning and governance are only front-and-centre if they go wrong, and I use my work on these to serve and make a difference by putting the right decisions in place. I am really glad that through that work I can enable and empower our residents, our volunteers, and our staff to build the community they want and make the most of our awesome community centre. 

Where do you see SCT in the next 5 years? 

In the next 5 years, I’d like SCT to establish itself as an example of how to build a community and community centre. We will continue to grow as an organisation and develop our capability to manage and implement projects, measure our impact, and sustain our funding.  We are already using what we have learned through the pandemic to support other organisations in Barnet and Harrow and offer an example to others of providing resilience to our community in tough times and helping it flourish in the good. I am looking forward to the awesome new opportunities SCT will offer to our residents over the next 5 years. Because that’s what all the budgets, paperwork, and meetings are all about – empowering our residents, and making SCT a platform for our community to do awesome stuff. 

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