Operating in the UK Charity Sector

Thank you to Kevin Taylor, Head of Estates at The Children’s Trust, who recently sat down to talk with MRG’s Jane Schofield about his experience working in the charity sector.

Kevin Taylor discusses his passion for the sector and his responsibilities at The Children’s Trust. He also shares his experience collaborating with MRG as both a candidate and client.

Jane Schofield specialises in senior placements within charity appointments, a sector MRG has worked in for over 16 years.

What does your job as Head of Estates and Health & Safety for The Children’s Trust entail?

My role includes managing H&S, compliance, maintenance, logistics, capex projects, housekeeping, catering, grounds, transport and accommodation. With such a broad remit, I interact with every facet of the organisation almost daily.

In the last 12 months, there has been a nice blend of establishing new processes, maintaining service levels in some areas, and enhancing others.

What attracted you to The Children’s Trust as an organisation?

Two aspects of working at the Trust immediately piqued my interest. The first was a feeling of how fun and rewarding it could be to work at the Trust, helping to make a positive difference in the support/ development of children and young people. The second was the potential of the role and a feeling that the role would offer a tough challenge with several opportunities to elevate standards of service.

I’m pleased to say it has lived up to every expectation and more, so much more.

It must be extremely rewarding to work for an organisation whose facilities and properties make such a difference in the lives of young people and their families. What do you enjoy most about your role at The Children’s Trust?

It has to be said I absolutely love working at The Children’s Trust. Every aspect for me is enjoyable, especially the amount of work and projects. We are very busy, there are many opportunities to make a positive difference. So, I guess it’s the rewarding feeling you get when working with my teams and completing a piece of work or project.

What advice would you give somebody looking to enter a third-sector property leadership role?

Take the time to understand the organisation, what it stands for and its mission! Doing this will give you an appreciation of the role’s importance and requirements. Once in post, it will also help you determine the right path to make a positive impact.

What are the key priorities for an estates leader presiding over a multi-use portfolio?

Compliance – Understanding and maintaining what compliance is applicable to the estate has to be one of the top, if not the top, priorities.

Communication – This takes two forms: your team and your customers (colleagues).

Communicating with your staff is key to ensuring they feel valued, heard, and part of a team. Keeping your customer (whatever form they take) informed of works and their impact (good or bad) is almost as crucial as completing tasks promptly and to a good standard.

Management system – Establishing a good CAFM to help organise work streams is invaluable in not losing sight of what you have on, where the priorities are and promoting efficiency.

How was your experience working with MRG recently?

I’ve experienced working with MRG as a candidate looking for work and a customer of a recruitment campaign being run by MRG.

My experience as a candidate has been positive, with MRG taking the time to understand what interests me and where my skills are. Listening extensively to my experiences and asking many questions to understand me.

From there, they were able to quickly suit me to opportunities that matched my interests and abilities. I found their client base was strong with a number of roles to consider whenever I had been looking.

Communication has always been good, keeping you informed of progress promptly, and giving me the impression they were there for both client and candidate, focusing on the right placement for all.

Because of this experience, they were an obvious choice when recruiting myself for management positions within my team.

From the outset, experiencing MRG as the customer/client provides the same high level of interaction. Again, very focused on understanding the needs of the business and what was required to inform what type of candidate would be a great fit.

We recruited all the positions for the first time with a robust, informative recruitment campaign.

I would happily work with MRG again as a professional organisation that strives to get good results for clients and candidates.


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