In our new series of interviews we chat to those dedicated CRA members who have volunteered to head up our popular special interest groups. Today we’ll meet the wonderful Linda Fenn from the British Heart Foundation, our longstanding Co-Chair of the People Management special interest group and who we often approach for her expertise in all things ‘people’. We put ten questions to her.
How long have you worked in the charity retail sector?
Just 14 years, which is a short period of time compared to many!
What is your current role?
Head of Volunteering at the British Heart Foundation
What is the best bit about your job?
Working with my amazing colleagues across the organization but more importantly meeting and spending time with the incredible volunteers that support us. Each and every one of them has a story about how they came to volunteer with us.
And the most challenging?
At times finding new avenues of volunteer recruitment, and then that turns into the most rewarding when we make new contacts either via individuals or groups and people choose to give their time.
Why did you want to become a chair of the People Management special interest group?
Prior to the BHF I was an HR and training manager in a large retailer. So being the chair of this group enables me stay in touch with the work across the whole people agenda across the sector.
How does chairing the group fit in with your charity role – what are the benefits?
I love talking to people and networking. I know that I will learn something at every meeting from one of my sector colleagues. It also has the benefit of being able to shape the agenda!!
Can you give us one stand-out piece of insight you have gained from the interest group?
That’s a hard question! I take something from every meeting and I think it is just reassuring that we all have similar challenges and also we can celebrate success together.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love socializing with my family and friends and planning and going on holiday. When I have some time to myself (usually about 6.15 in the morning!) I go on a long walk to clear my head ready for the day.
What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m not! I am not a big reader, and I‘m not very good at sitting still. If I do read a book it’s likely to be an easy read or a good mystery by Lynda La Plante or Peter James!
And finally, what is your best ever charity shop buy?
It has to be a fabulous red dress that was perfect for a BHF conference.