In our latest blog, Programme Coordinator Kelly Parra-Alba talks about her role in the Service Delivery Team and shines a light on the engine that keeps our grantmaking running.
Whether it’s by phone or email the Service Delivery Team are the first interaction many people have with the Foundation and as a Programme Coordinator, there’s a good chance your first inquiry will come through to me. My role is a varied one which puts me on the front line dealing with initial inquiries from prospective grantees and Lloyds Banking Group colleagues. It gives me an opportunity to speak with charities everyday about the work they do, what their needs are and how we could support them through core cost funding or development support.
Everyday tasks range from approving Matched Giving claims for Bank colleagues raising money for great causes, commissioning development support for our grantees, completing initial assessments for grant applications and, just this week, the important task of decorating the office Christmas tree got thrown into the mix too.
hearing from charities who are working on the ground to helping people in need of support really brings it home how important our funding can be
Some of the best bits of the role are getting out there with our Grant Managers and visiting the charities we partner with. So far, the standout visit for me has been to an amazing London charity called Kalayaan, who support migrant domestic workers – some of which have been exploited, abused or even trafficked to the UK for domestic servitude. Meeting and hearing from charities who are working on the ground helping people in need of support really brings it home how important our funding can be but more significantly how indispensable small and local charities are.
Since I joined the Foundation at the start of the year – the Programme Coordinator role has changed and developed, much like the Foundation itself. Our new strategy Reaching Further re-states our role as a partner of the small and local charities we fund, standing with them as they help tackle complex social issues. There are now 11 issues that we fund and each of the Programme Coordinators has been designated two or three of them to take a lead on alongside our Grant Manager team. This means us having a more in-depth engagement with charities we fund under each issue to really understand how, as a Foundation, we can help them reach the people who need their support the most. This will hopefully lead to shared learning internally and externally, help us to build on our partnerships with charities and feed into our National Policy work.
This year has been an exciting one for me at the Foundation, and with plenty more to do in the new year and Grant Manager shadowing, charity visits and internal and external discussions about how we can do more already planned, it looks like 2019 will be too.