In our latest blog, we put the spotlight on the Community Foundation for Lancashire & Merseyside (CFLM), and Community Foundation for Lancashire (CFL) trustee, PM+M financial adviser and business development manager, Neil Welsh.
CFLM is an independent charity that promotes local giving to address local disadvantage. Community Foundation for Merseyside was established in 1999 followed by the establishment of Community Foundation for Lancashire in 2007. In 2014, the two charities merged to form CFLM to improve governance yet they retained their CFM and CFL identities to focus on local need and local giving. Since 2007, CFLM have distributed in excess of £18 million to charities and community groups in Lancashire, reaching charities in the local community, including lesser-known charities at grassroots level. CFLM manage charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, businesses, public sector organisations and other trusts and foundations to ensure their funds have a real impact in local communities and change individual lives.
We sat down with Neil Welsh to discuss why he became a trustee at CFLM, his role and the work achieved by the Community Foundation.
How did you become a trustee of CFLM and what does the role involve?
My attention was drawn to a vacant trustee role for the Community Foundation for Lancashire & Merseyside (CFLM) via Debbi Dawson at East Lancashire Chamber. The position was for an investment trustee, helping the organisation and its board of trustees to better understand the underlying investments it administers on behalf of donor endowments and trusts whilst also specifically focussing on the Community Foundation for Lancashire (CFL) and building its profile within the region. Given my role within PM+M is to provide that insight for clients and to represent the firm publicly, it seemed like the ideal role. I met with Chief Executive, Rae Brooke, and outgoing Chair of Trustees, Arthur Roberts, for an informal interview to support my application, which led to a formal interview at their Liverpool offices and subsequent invitation to join as a trustee.
My first official duty as a CFLM trustee was to attend the opening of the Motiv8-Lancs centre in Clayton Le Moors to witness the structured fun and learning activities delivered and received with such passion by adults with learning, physical and social difficulty. The experience was truly humbling, no more so than for the heartfelt words of thanks from managing director, Tracy Robinson, to The Community Foundation for their financial support and belief since founding in 2013. Motiv8 Lancs and the people it supports are what the Community Foundation does best, allowing organisations to apply for and receive funding without adding unaffordable expense.
What are your thoughts on the work being achieved by CFLM?
The Community Foundation matches donor funds with good cause recipients and provides a service invaluable for those causes not big enough to attract mainstream attention.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed representing CFLM whilst out and about and highlighting my involvement within my network. They remain keen to help and support donors as well as recipients of funds, with my investment expertise hopefully ensuring that the growth of funds means that everyone ends up benefitting a little more.
Community Foundation comments on Neil’s appointment to the CFLM board
“Throughout our networking over the years, we have met and known Neil and therefore we were delighted he took the opportunity to respond to join our board. Since joining in November, Neil has taken a proactive role within the organisation, and we are already seeing the benefits of his input, knowledge, and expertise. He is a great Ambassador for the Community Foundation.”