Big Society Funding CIC’s founders have each worked in the VCSE sector for several decades and in a variety of different roles.
All of them started out as volunteers, then became front-line workers before moving into management and leadership roles within local, national and international charities and grant-making organisations.
Ten years ago, they established themselves as consultants helping charities and social enterprises to flourish.
We know from our experience and on-going engagement with this sector that there are many smaller VCSE organisations and groups which would benefit enormously from the guidance and support we provide. However many do not have the funds to work with us – or other consultants.
We aim to help these organisations by operating Big Society Funding CIC as a not-for-profit organisation.
Mark Ereira-Guyer has a successful and long-established track record of working with voluntary and community sector leaders. He also has considerable local government experience in such diverse areas as Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Islington and Suffolk, where he is a Green County Councillor. He is a member of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board.
As a consultant, Mark has raised over £10.5 million in the last decade for a range of VCSE sector organisations across the country. He is based in Bury St Edmunds.
Ingrid Gardiner has over 20 years’ experience in the civil society sector in England and Canada. She has been a civil society advocate and capacity builder for most of her career, working in the private, statutory and charity sectors.
She managed the European Funding Network in the International and Partnerships team at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Her experience includes working as a fundraiser for War Child Canada and a business advisor for the Business Enterprise Group in the UK.
She studied Gender, Society and Culture at the University of London and volunteers for her local community football club assisting with the Respect campaign. Ingrid is based in Hertfordshire.
Jordan Blyth is a design consultant from Norwich with a firm belief in conceptual thinking and extensive experience of providing the VCSE sector with cost effective, innovative design solutions.
Our Associate consultants provide a range of services that are complementary to the core team and enable us to provide comprehensive support to VCSE organisations.
James Baddeley has spent the last two decades working both as a consultant and in senior management positions helping to professionalise small charities and social businesses and generate income for them. As a consultant, James has recently raised £8 million from trust and statutory funders for a range of charities across the UK.
Latterly, he was a trustee of the Charities Evaluation Services, formerly the UK’s leading provider of support and advice on quality and evaluation systems for the voluntary sector (now merged with NVCO) and is now an active trustee of a village youth club. James is based in rural Cambridgeshire, near Ely.
In 2014 Jenny undertook the most extensive UK survey to date relating to the life experiences of elderly people in residential and sheltered housing, for the Abbeyfield Society.
Recently, she produced a comprehensive faith audit for Peterborough City Council.
Emma has a wide range of experience in health improvement and mental health. Having been a commissioner of health improvement services and lead for voluntary sector funding for an Essex PCT, she has a particular interest in developing monitoring and evaluation methods that are meaningful and useful to both the voluntary organisations and funders. She is also interested in promoting and sharing evidence-based practice across the public and voluntary sectors.
Before moving into health improvement, Emma worked for 10 years as a music therapist with people with learning disabilities,and remains an active musician in the area. She holds a MSc in Research for Public Policy and Practice, and is currently chair of the Friends of Great Cornard Community Library.
Emma Crabtree – online questionnaires, diary management, event management and recruitment.
After graduating in business and finance, Emma started her career in local authorities and charities undertaking facilities and office management tasks. She went on to work with various not-for-profit organisations, gaining experience in sourcing and procurement, logistics and travel planning.
She then set up Red Box Virtual Office and is now running a successful Off-Site Business Administration enterprise supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses across the globe with day-to-day administration and activities such as online questionnaires, diary management, event management and recruitment.
Conal Dougan – digital marketing, fundraising and social media.
Conal specialises in digital marketing and fundraising. He implements social media campaigns and design for digital platforms, and has worked with local, national and international charities. He has achieved great success in building responsive, integrated websites and conducting mass email campaigns. He is based in Bristol.
Laurence Cawley – photography
Laurence is an award-winning BBC journalist and photographer who accepts a number of commissions with charities each year. He has worked with many not-for-profit organisations across the East of England and in parts of London, consistently producing powerful images which capture the story of their work. He creates photo essays, exhibitions and collections of thought-provoking images suitable for a variety of marketing channels.
Recent projects have included charting the impact of violent deaths on the families of victims, international women in a quintessentially English town, the hidden stories of the 2013/2014 floods and unusual areas of academe.
Niall Trask – filmmaker
Since gaining a degree in Film Production, Suffolk-born and Brixton-based, Niall has worked freelance within the realms of film, TV and video.
With a wealth of experience working as Art Director on commercials, providing live visuals on European tours with bands to working with Big Society Funding; Niall is always looking for exciting new projects.