Leuchie House is looking to the future - Jim McConville
The past has been impressive, but in my capacity as new chair of Leuchie Forever, it’s the future that is my principal concern.
I began my term in the chair this summer when my predecessor Sophie Tulloch handed over the reins to me during the visit of our Royal Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, to Leuchie. Princess Anne warmly commended the Leuchie team on the “magic” they provide for people coming for a short respite break, and the carers who get a vital rest, and our job is to ensure the charity is properly supported to maintain those excellent standards.
The Leuchie Forever Fund was created to safeguard and secure the charity for the years and decades ahead, and I feel privileged not only to be trustee, but to be leading a board of like-minded people. I am also keenly aware of the responsibility it entails.
Essentially, this is a role of stewardship for me and my fellow directors. We are there to leave a legacy that the charity is hopefully in a stronger position than we found it. It is incumbent upon us to be a sensible steward of the organisation and hopefully grow it in a way that leaves it secure and well equipped to thrive in the future.
I retired from executive life in May 2020, and I am proud to now be a trustee in the charitable sector. From 7-11 November it is Trustees’ Week – an opportunity to showcase the work of charity trustees, but also a time for us all to recognise the important role we play. In many ways the skills required are like those you need when running a business - there are a lot of parallels in terms of good governance, and in terms of the management and direction of an organisation operating in the corporate world.
Generating funds is high on our list of objectives, to ensure sustainability and enable the charity to realise its potential. Put simply, Leuchie needs at least £1 million in fundraised income each year to provide its short breaks, along with physiotherapy, OT and enabling technology. In addition to its core services, the charity also has a desire to move beyond its walls and to deliver a legacy effect, helping families to cope better when people return home, using new skills, treatment and advice gained during the break.
Looking forward, Leuchie has ambitious plans, building on the fine work it has done in recent years, especially around harnessing digital tools and technology as well as improving the key services provided within the building. Reaching into people’s homes in future is important - enabling the use of technology to support people to live with greater independence. Providing the foundations and support for these developments and projects is key to our work over the next three years.
We can and will do our bit in a tangible way, and Leuchie Forever will this year hold its first ‘Long Lunch’ business event, at Prestonfield House on 25 November. We have had tremendous support from the venue and the many supporters who have bought tables and tickets to attend the lunch, which will be hosted by BBC presenter Natasha Raskin Sharp, and hopefully we can use the occasion to spread the knowledge of what Leuchie delivers and what it hopes to achieve.
This will help us secure funding going forward, as well as being fun and a celebration of what Leuchie is all about. It will also be another building block in our quest to protect the future of the charity.
For more information about Leuchie Forever and the Leuchie Long Lunch, visit: www.leuchiehouse.org.uk/support-us/leuchie-forever.
Jim McConville, Chair, Leuchie Forever
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