The skills to support a cause you believe in

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The Lovey Foundation (UK) was looking for a treasurer to help free up other staff to raise vital funds. Lisa Jevsejenko was able to fill the gap in their team, and help the charity be able to continue their growth.

“We’re a hardworking Executive Committee (EC), only one of whose officers is not in full time employment. We needed an experienced treasurer to free the other members to plan and achieve its specific purpose – to raise funds in the UK to purchase and supply the uniform and basic equipment school children in Ghana need.”

This is how Melvyn Walmsley, its former EC Chair, described the Brighton-based Lovey Foundation (UK)’s search for a volunteer with professional skills.

When I saw photos of the children in a Lovey presentation, I cried. I knew I had to support its mission.

Latvian–born, Lisa Jevsejenko, looking to volunteer her skills, was attracted to the opportunity. Qualified in finance and accountancy, she certainly had the skills. She gives her reason for getting involved: ‘’When I saw photos of the children in a Lovey presentation, I cried. I knew I had to support its mission. I too have been to school without appropriate clothes – and even lunch. I had to walk to college and back (over an hour each way) as I lacked money for the bus fares.”

In addition to keeping financial records, there were two important tasks needing Lisa’s help. The community based organisation was preparing an application to HMRC for Gift Aid status, and would later, after sufficient growth, apply to the Charity Commission for England and Wales to become a registered charity.

“I completed the last year’s financial statement and am helping to register the Foundation with HMRC," says Lisa. “I believe that my being involved in financial records allows other Lovey Foundation members the opportunity to spend more time on fundraising events, public relations and liaison with our team in Ghana.”

The Board not only plan the fundraising initiatives, they actively participate. Melvyn, when we talked to him, was busy getting ready to run a sponsored 10K run the next day - his third for the Foundation.

Such efforts have enabled it to supply the children in Bawku Municipal District, Ghana, with the uniforms, sandals, backpacks, notebooks and text books they need to go to school. Funds raised also buy the fabric for Bawku tailors to make their uniforms, creating employment opportunities.

Without Lisa’s skills and 100% commitment, our progress would have been slower

Melvyn says, “Lisa immediately became a valued and enthusiastic major contributor to our EC's work: for instance, quickly and efficiently enabling us to produce annual reports to a high professional standard and, very recently, taking a clear lead in making our application to HMRC for gift aiding of eligible donations. This, if approved, would significantly increase the funds we raise. We needed her expertise and, without Lisa’s skills and 100% commitment, our progress would have been slower.”

“This was the first time that we had used Reach to recruit a member of our Executive Committee. Since then we have been able, thanks to Reach, to recruit another EC member, Charlotte Beskeen, as our new Chair.”

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