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Originally hailing from the North-East of England, Tom was appointed as our Strategy and Change Trustee in February 2021.
Based in North London with his wife and dog, Tom is a management consultant who works with organisations to deliver people-related change programmes and has worked extensively with both private sector and financial services clients all over the world.
As part of his ongoing battle with a complex transphincteric horseshoe fistula, Tom became an ostomate in September 2019 and had a loop-sigmoid colostomy which was successfully reversed in July 2022.
It was during one of many sleepless nights following the formation of his stoma that Tom was introduced to the Colostomy UK website and the treasure trove of support and resources on offer.
Tom is extremely proud to be a member of the board of trustees and sees this as a fantastic opportunity to use his skills and experience to support Colostomy UK and make a positive difference for the c200k ostomates in the UK.
Q & A with Tom
Q – What motivated you to become a trustee of Colostomy UK and how did that come about?
As a result of an ongoing chronic bowel condition, I had a stoma for nearly three years, so I have first-hand experience of what it means to be one of the c200k people who live with a stoma every day in the UK. I joined the board of trustees in February 2021 as Strategy and Change Trustee after replying to an advert posted on the Colostomy UK website and sawthis as a fantastic opportunity to use my skills and experience to support Colostomy UK and make a positive difference for ostomates everywhere.
Q -What do you think you have to offer to the charity as a trustee?
In my day-to-day life I am a Management Consultant and work with organisations to deliver people-related change programmes. I have worked extensively with both private sector and financial services clients all over the world. I also sit on the advisory board of an arts charity in the North-East of England and I use all of this experience to support both the board and the wider charity.
Q -What have you gained from your role as a trustee?
I’ve enjoyed being a member of the board immensely. I’m passionate about the future direction of the charity and am excited for what we can achieve together. Since becoming a trustee I’ve gained a far greater depth of appreciation for the third sector and everything that goes into making a charity successful.
Q – What have been the challenges you’ve faced, and are currently facing in today’s climate?
The current and future outlook for charities across the UK is extremely challenging. Under the leadership of Libby, the charity performed incredibly to come through the pandemic in a really stable position. However, the impact of the cost of living crisis coupled with a tumultuous external market are forcing us to think differently about our priorities and how we generate income whilst also effectively managing risks to the charity. As a result, the board have been working closely with Libby on the charity’s future business strategy.
Q – Why do you think charities matter?
Charities are of critical importance for so many reasons, and they make a direct difference to millions of lives across so many sectors – often in areas we don’t even think about. They also fill gaps that are regularly unfunded by government budgets or are directly impacted as a result of government cuts.
Q – How do you look after yourself so that you can look after others?
My illness has been really challenging and has required over 15 surgeries now, so my wife and I have really had to prioritise looking after our mental and physical health. This has really helped us cope with the challenges that we’ve been faced with.
Q – What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of becoming a trustee i.e., the value of volunteering to gain an understanding of how charities function?
Do it! If you can find a charity that you’re passionate about, being a trustee is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
Q -What’s the one thing you were fearful of in becoming a trustee?
Fearful might not be the right word, but I certainly felt the weight of joining the board of a charity with a large number of beneficiaries where every decision