5 benefits to becoming a Trustee – Jo Gordon

Jo Gordon

As Trustees Week draws to a close we hear from Jo Gordon, Marketing & Sales Director of Northamptonshire Arts Management Trust who joined the board of Northamptonshire Community Foundation in January. 

Here are her top 5 reasons for becoming a Trustee:

Teamwork- Teamwork is one of the biggest elements of Trusteeship and gaining a totally new group of peers, new colleagues to learn from and draw upon to navigate through your responsibilities is so valuable.

Local knowledge – My knowledge of Northampton has dramatically increased in a short time of being a Trustee. My own engagement with the town and my understanding of its communities, its subtleties, its history and its nuances has developed more in 9 months than in the previous 10 years I worked in the town.

Skills development –You are fundamentally learning a set of new skills to apply to this crucial governance role – not just how to get the best from the teamwork required and how to apply your own skills, but also how to most appropriately support the executive- getting stuck in where you need to and sitting back and providing more hands-off support and reassurance too. In turn, this is building my own confidence both in delivering back to the Foundation but also in my existing job role.

Networking – The opportunity to network locally with members of the community and nationally with peers in charitable trustee positions is so important – not just in being able to deliver your responsibilities effectively, but in creating connections that benefit your wider life as well.

Pride – The immense sense of pride in being involved in such an effective organisation is extraordinary. The impact that is achieved by the Foundation, delivering its own charitable objectives so effectively, while fundamentally enabling so many other people in our community to deliver so brilliantly too, is a very powerful mix.

To find out more about the Foundation and our work head to our website


International Day of Charity – Deep Roots Tall Trees

Deep Roots Tall Trees is a Corby based arts charity that aims to extend the relevance of music, singing and the arts to the widest possible local and regional audiences. The organisation brings people in the local community together with professional artists to create music and art of the highest possible standard. This helps to empower beneficiaries to achieve their full potential, build confidence, and find purpose and agency in their lives.

The regular activities that the group has to offer include a choir and a dance theatre group. The choir writes most of its own repertoire having an active songwriting group and local musicians, George Reilly and Mark Brennan led by Barb Jungr.

The organisation was founded in 2012 with Rosalind Stoddart commissioning jazz singer songwriter, Barb Jungr, to write a song cycle for the people of Corby. Since then they’ve gained commissions from Made in Corby to work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and from the Buccleuch Monument Trust. The choir has also performed at the Royal Festival Hall in London as well as The Core at Corby Cube.

Simon Steptoe, General Manager of Deep Roots Tall Trees said “Our Woods was our latest collaboration, bringing together sound, movement and light to celebrate Corby’s unique urban woodlands. It was a creative journey for everyone involved, who came together  through song writing, singing, performing and arts activities, developing confidence, ability, skills and ambition – and particularly… to have a lot of fun.”

“We have been really fortunate in being supported by Northamptonshire Community Foundation regularly since we started. This has included funds for “Our Woods”, another recent project supporting our choir’s members’ develop their vocal skills and our next project, “Changing Corby”, which takes our work forward into 2018 through helping us work with a range of different cultural groups in Corby. This continued support has enabled us to offer consistent opportunities to people involved in DRTT and has given us invaluable match funding to other grants.”


International Day of Charity – The Margaret Giffen Community First Endowment Fund

Giving to charity can be one of the most rewarding things you can do. Here at the Foundation, we work with individuals, businesses and charitable trusts who want to give locally and enable them to see the difference their donations make through impact reports and project visits.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Northamptonshire Community Foundation awarded just over £1.2million in grants during 2015/16. We couldn’t do this without the kindness of our donors and therefore in celebration of International Day of Charity, we’ve highlighted one fund that has made a huge difference to communities in Northamptonshire.

The Margaret Giffen Community First Endowment Fund

Established in 2013, in partnership with the trustees of the Margaret Giffen Charitable Trust, the Fund supports charities and non-registered charities in North Northamptonshire.  The Foundation is delighted to have worked on the Fund to support grant allocation and delivery.

Overall the Margaret Giffen Endowment fund has benefited 29,126 people at an average cost of £2.76 per beneficiary in Northamptonshire. The top three outcomes of the fund are;

  • Improve community cohesion
  • Increase access to sport, exercise and leisure activities
  • Support vulnerable people

These benefits have been predominantly for people and communities living in the North of the county and often within wards and areas of disadvantage and poverty.

Barry Rogers, Chair of Trustees and Partner at Tollers Solicitors said
“As Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Margaret Giffen Charitable Trust who have donated to the NCF Margaret Giffen Community Fund which has benefited from the matched funding scheme, I can confirm that many local community projects and charities have benefited from this fund. It would have been very difficult for me and my fellow trustees firstly to have located the many organisations who have benefited from this fund and secondly to have adequately vetted the numerous applications made for financial support. NCF have the necessary resources, expertise, and experience to do so which gives us every confidence that the funds we have donated are in safe hands and finding their way to where they are of most benefit to the local community as a whole.”

Ladies from the Kettering Rugby Football Club, who have recently benefited from the Margaret Giffen Fund.

If you would like to see the difference your donation makes, please contact Naomi Butters, Fund Development Manager for more information.

International Day of Charity – Performing Room

Performing Room is a local charity with a successful 16 year history of volunteering, funding and delivering music workshops, projects and events for up to 10,000 children, young people and adults living in Northamptonshire.

The charity’s ‘learning-through-performing’ approach aims to ‘free-up’ traditional forms of learning as part of an exciting Community Arts development programme for local people facing challenging circumstances to gain a structured creative focus and build upon skills and interests with an emphasis upon personal development and positive integration into modern day working and learning environments.

Projects combine youth work and life enrichment skills using digital media and IT equipment with music activities from a purpose-built people-led community creative hub located in the Castle ward area of Northampton.

Janan Fifield, founder and coordinator of Performing room said of the support from the Foundation:

Funding awarded by the Community Foundation has enabled the group to build a support network and social outlet since 2003 in support of progress towards a future where project beneficiaries living in this zone feel increasingly more confident about their future prospects and enjoy the same opportunities in life. Each Community Foundation funded project helps local people develop an attitude to become innovative, confident, independent and resourceful. At the heart of each is a sense of the role everyone plays in life as a family member, a friend, a neighbour, an employee/employer, and member of the community.”