What are the most important parts of your role?
Everyone at NAVCA is part of the communications team, in my view - we all talk about where we work and what we do, whether that's formally or informally. So I see the fundamental part of my work being to make sure everyone feels confident and comfortable having those conversations, knows what we're up to as an organisation, and what we're working towards. Strategic communications is about generating behaviour change and that's where I can add most value to the work NAVCA does - do our communications have the impact we need and cause our audiences - internal, members or external - to change they way they behave or the way they interact with us in the way we want them to? And at the heart of all this - I find people really interesting!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love the way I can join dots together to make pictures - even if the picture is sometimes very different from the one that was anticipated. A recent example: I had a conversation with a contact at the Charity Commission, which went off at a tangent and led to a conversation with people at DHSC, which turned into an opportunity and a message for our members - and the result has been over 1000 charities logging their details and receiving free face coverings and visors from the Department for Health and Social Care. Making connections, creating change, creating relationships - that's what gives me a buzz. Also - all the people!
What have you done/are you doing outside of NAVCA that helps you do what you do at NAVCA?
I've done a lot of board level volunteering (as well as things like planting a community orchard, and reindeer herding) along with working in politics, campaigning and at a UK-wide charity. That 'lived experience' has been useful. I've invested my own time in learning - I did a diploma in HR and qualified as a Chartered PR Practitioner - which has added to my professional skills. Other things, like riding my bike and going on adventures, all help me with problem solving. I love making things with fabric or yarn, usually without a pattern, and mending things rather than chucking them out - although my efforts to mend my lawn mower haven't paid off (yet). I'm pretty good at electrics.
Who or what inspires you?
So many people. Everyone has a story - or more than one story. My Nan was a great inspiration and role model. She died in December 2020, having been born in September 1922 in London's East End. Growing up in poverty (no social welfare system) through the Depression then living through the war, having nothing, losing people - nothing has stopped her being passionately interested in people, places, nature. My Grandad died when I was 20 and Nan and I became friends as well as grandmother/granddaughter - she was my partner in crime and we had lots of shared adventures. Over the last few years when she was too frail to come on those adventures with me she still lived them vicariously! I miss her.
What are you learning?
In a work context, I'm learning about two things: risk management, and human learning systems. Out of work? Bits of my house keep breaking and I'm learning when I need to ring a professional... does anyone know a good joiner?
What is your favourite quote?
The one for my car insurance, as I am so old and have so much no claims that it's really cheap. Seriously? Too many to choose from. Depends on the day!
You can connect with Clare via:
NAVCA, The circle, 33 Rockingham Ln, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 4FW 0114 278 6636.
Charity number 1001635. Company limited by guarantee number 2575206.
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