Once I had qualified as a chartered accountant I knew that I wanted to do something more meaningful with my qualifications. I also felt there was a conflict between my personal beliefs and the work I was being asked to do – by day I was advising global companies that owned tea plantations in Kenya and at the weekends I was campaigning for fair trade tea. Finding the not-for-profit world was a dream come true as finally I was working with like-minded people. I have never looked back. I get my energy from being with people, so training and facilitating brings out the best in me. I enjoy working on the challenges that organisations face and helping them to find the solutions. The best training I ever received was my NLP (neuro linguistic programming) practitioner and master practitioner courses which helped me to realise that each person and each organisation really has the solutions already – they just need help to bring them out into the open. I am proud of the achievements of all the people who have trained and worked at Sayer Vincent over the years. What’s so nice is that we are still connected to so many people who have stayed in the charity sector and are now achieving great things for the charities they work for. I am quite proud of how we train people. Looking forward, I am keen for more charity accountants to become truly great financial leaders, plus I think there is much more that could be done to make charities more effective and deliver fantastic results. One of the ways in which I am working on that goal is through pro bono training and I am an Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Management at Cass Business School. I am a non-executive director of a not-for-profit company that does research and promotes transparency in all things to do with development aid. I am a non-executive director of Charity Bank. I also help out with an honorary independent examination for a small local charity. A couple of years ago I raised over £5,000 for a charity that an old friend founded 30 years ago by trekking 125 miles in the highlands of Vietnam. This year I managed to raise £3,500 for the same charity trekking 200km on elephants and whitewater rafting in Nepal. My next challenge is in the planning. Currently, I am studying applied neuroscience part-time and to clear out the cobwebs in my brain I love sailing, gardening and walking.