25 years of the CRA – spotlight on: Emma Peake

Emma Peake

CRA Board Chair Emma Peake has been part of the world of charity retail for almost 30 years, originally serving as a Director on the CRA Board in 2012, before rejoining in 2018 and moving into the role of Chair two years ago.

Emma cited her passion for the charity retail sector as her reason for joining the CRA Board, which has given her the opportunity to help shape and impact the CRA’s direction of travel, as well work with representatives from different sized charities, causes, locations and backgrounds.

One of Emma’s standout achievements whilst working as part of the CRA Board is the work that the Board did during Covid – meeting every other morning at the height of the pandemic with CRA Chief Executive Robin Osterley to work through the latest guidance. “I couldn’t have been prouder of the CRA for how it supported our members through the re-opening process,” Emma says.

Another rewarding achievement for Emma is her work as Chair of the Board, leading the Board through the step change of introducing new Directors with specialisms such as EDI, sustainability and external affairs to encourage diverse thinking and new expert knowledge.

Emma sees the collaboration and sharing of best practice that takes place in the charity retail sector as one of the Charity Retail Association’s biggest contributions to driving charity retail successes. In her view, it’s this collaboration that gives shops the ability to join forces and have a bigger and louder presence as a whole sector. Referencing the variety of different ways the CRA seeks to facilitate collaboration; including through research, newsletters and network meetings, Emma says her own highlight is the flagship annual Charity Retail Conference which brings together more than 100 different charities each year.

Asked what she would like to see the CRA do in the next 25 years, Emma says she would like the CRA to become a really vocal leader regarding sustainable fashion and preloved clothing, and secondly, “that the CRA becomes more than just an association!”

In Emma’s own words about her work in the charity retail sector:

“Over the past 30 years I have seen just how much the sector has evolved and grown over the years. The change in how we donate our goods, the customer profile, the internet, thriving during recessions, etc. There never is a dull moment!

“As part of the CRA Board, it’s great to be serving alongside other Directors where we have diversity of thought, perspective, and ideas. In addition, the CRA staff team are so passionate and skilled, it makes it a pleasure for me to work with them too.”

Emma Peake