Heading into Autumn — 01

Back to school and back on the writing train

Back at work for some of this week after taking most of August as holiday and I’m slowly catching up. I just can’t work at the pace I used to and I expect that’s a good thing. I loved this tweet from Elizabeth Sawin and being reminded by Panthea Lee of this tweet

Even with time off, I know many people are still feeling tired, exhausted and in need of regular bouts of rest.

I’m also going to try writing in relationship to the seasons — more on that next week but it reminded me that my very long blog post a few weeks back was like a harvesting of all that we’d planted and been growing through the Spring and Summer.

If you are interested, these are some of the things I shared last week about what I’m mulling over for the months ahead.

What we’ve been doing

I’m so proud of the Climate Action Fund team for getting this fund, Together For Our Planet, launched in advance of COP 26. Community-led climate action has a distinct role in the shifts we need to make as a society and I hope this grants programme kick starts or deepens initiatives across the UK. Please do share far and wide.

Yesterday we had the Decision Panel meeting for our Places Called Home funding programme in partnership with IKEA. We are making just over 300 micro grants to communities. It’s always a hopeful activity to hear about what people want to do together. I was especially pleased that 55.68% of all the applications are from people we’ve never funded before.

We’ve finalised an event we are doing in partnership with the RSA — Who Gets to Imagine the Future? It’s on the 28th September, building on what we’ve learned through the Emerging Futures Fund and chaired by Andy Haldane with the brilliant Pupal Bisht, Jess Prendergrast, Geoff Mulgan and Inua Ellams. We’ll also be premiering our film, made by Rubber Republic, on social imagination and its importance at this time.

And the Funders’ Collaborative Hub has an update about its new role. I missed the monthly meeting last week which was the first time since its inception in March 2020!

Alex Sutton at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation has created and published a new Theory of Change for their work and I was invited to contribute some thoughts and comments.

The rest of my time this week has been spent finalising our funding plans for the Queen’s 70th Jubilee next year. Obviously a significant event for an NDPB that works across the whole of the UK and a real opportunity for mass participation and collective action. I’m grateful we’re not settling for a ‘celebratory’ frame and I’ve been weaving in ideas around future generations, our shared natural world and continuing the theme of renewal that we’ve learnt from in the Emerging Futures Fund.

Events, Jobs and other bit and pieces

My friends at Kindle Project, who are very well connected into Afghanistan are raising money here. Please support if you can.

Events on my radar that are coming up over the next month —

Jobs that look interesting or we need someone good to get them(!)

  • Roles in our team at the Fund — we are looking for 2 Portfolio Managers and a Content Officer (writer!)
  • The National Lottery Community Fund is looking for two new Board members. Anyone who’s creative, courageous, ambitious for the money and who’s really committed to transformational change — please apply!
  • My brilliant friend Bea Pembroke is hiring for a new Director for the Science Gallery. I am so excited about the potential of this role, especially where science, art, design, ecology and climate meet.
  • Nesta is looking for a new Chair of the Board — I really hope someone that isn’t called John gets it. The last two Chairs were white men called John.
  • Coutts is hiring their first Foundation Director. Imagine the partnerships you could build from that position and wealth you could orient.
  • The AMAZING Numun Fund is hiring for a whole range of roles.
  • The brilliant Rose Longhurst is looking for proposals on community decision-making around policing/public safety

If you’re interested you can listen to me on this podcast talking about Stewarding Loss and the dismantling or intentional closing down of organisations.

And I’d really recommend this book — recommended to me by Jayne Engle.

Lastly, if you’ve not read it yet, Sophia’s blog about starting her new role at JRF is brilliant. I’m really looking forward to starting work with them one day a week— especially as I always like to say “if TNLCF is doing it then you are not being radical enough!” It will be a different thing for me to work outside of the constraints of an NDPB. I’m also looking forward to having another ally in the funding world who knows that reform and modernisation is not enough and we’re already plotting a one-day event for funders with Fozia and Rhodri (and we hope others).

If I owe you an email, a DM, a message… it’s coming.

And last year, I shared my 6 week trip through France, so below I am sharing some of the wonderful places in the UK I was lucky to visit over the Summer (if you can call it that!). I love taking photos (as anyone who follows me on Instagram knows!) and always appreciate the beauty of our natural world and that we are surrounded by so much of it. From Devon, to Cornwall, to Bristol, to Scotland, to the Cotswolds, to Wales, to Norfolk and to Suffolk.

And one of my favourite photos of the whole Summer.

Deputy Director at National Lottery Community Fund, Co-founder of the Point People, Policy Fellow IIPP, Founder Stewarding Loss, International Futures Forum.