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Finance manager appointed to kick start Charities Support Centre

The Guernsey Community Foundation has appointed Lois Falla to manage and develop the island’s first Charity Support Centre.

The Centre, located at the Foundation’s offices, aims to offer practical advice and support to local charities and voluntary organisations.

During this pilot phase, Mrs Falla has been spending the majority of her time meeting with many of the island’s charities and identifying ways in which the Centre can best support them.

“I am already providing accountancy services to some of the charities which will help me develop this specific service.  Ultimately our aim is to provide all sorts of services to charities who lack support in a variety of fields from administration services, such as bookkeeping and payroll so that they can focus more of their time and resources on delivering their services to the community,” she said.

ACCA trained at BDO, Mrs Falla has a strong accountancy background having co-founded and run public relations agency, Orchard PR, for 21 years before its management buyout in 2017.  Since then she has been contract accounting while looking for an opening in the third sector.

“I was keen to find a role where my professional skills and business experience could be used to benefit our community.   This is an incredibly privileged role.  Living in Guernsey and having benefited from many opportunities I am honoured to be able to help those who support our community,” she said.

One of the Foundation’s founding principles is to support, develop and strengthen the voluntary sector.  With this in mind, the Charities Support Centre has been funded by private donors who believe charities should benefit from the same professional services that the business sector enjoys.

“It is clear from my initial research that there are a vast range of needs within the third sector, some common and some circumstantial,” said Mrs Falla.

The services offered during this first phase focus on finance, insurance and payroll.  By July 2021 the Centre intends to have developed its offering even further by providing IT, pensions, governance, fundraising HR and marketing support.

Foundation Director Alastair Bisson is managing the development of this new service along with a team of industry professionals and third sector specialists.

Mr Bisson said: “There are over 400 charities on the island.  While they differ in size and offer a diverse range of services, they share certain common needs, especially around corporate infrastructure and governance. It’s not feasible for newer or small charities to recruit dedicated staff, or to rely on the generosity of volunteers – and that’s where the Foundation’s new support service comes in.

“Lois joins us with a great deal of passion for the third sector.  She has been making great inroads into their needs and is identifying ways in which the Centre can best support them.  We are delighted to have her on board.”

Next month the Foundation will be moving into newly refurbished offices at KGV – a location which is slowly developing into a third sector centre (also housing Headway Guernsey and Health Improvement Commission).

“This is a perfect location to continue to expand on the existing provision provided by the Guernsey Community Foundation and the new Charity Support Centre,” said Mr Bisson.

For more information about the services provided by the Charity Support Centre contact Lois@foundation.gg or call 07781 121512.

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