What is your role within Northern Pride and what does that entail?
I am the Finance Director for Northern Pride Events Limited. I sit on the board in a Non-Executive capacity and manage a sub team of Finance Manager, Fundraising Manager, Market Stalls Manager etc.
My role predominately entails Financial forecasting, budgeting, planning and control to ensure risk or external factors are identified and that the organisations internal policies and procedures are adhered to.
I am responsible for the annual accounts return, VAT Returns and Gift Aid so I deal with external organisations such as HMRC, Charities Commission, Companies House, Accountants etc. I also work with a lot of our sponsors and grant providers in ensuring our cash flow situation remains healthy.
I provide a monthly Finance Director report to the Board of Directors and Trustees which consists of a lot of key financial information.
What’s skills do you bring to the northern pride committee?
I have worked in the financial service industry since the age of 18 so I have brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to my role. I have also been educated in Accounting & Finance at Sunderland University and more recently Northumbria University.
In 2010 I founded Newcastle Front runners which was the regions first LGBT+ running club. The club now has over 250 registered members and provides three weekly training sessions per week. I also founded the UK’s first ‘GAY 5K’ which is more now commonly known as the LGBT 5K which is held annually on Newcastle’s famous Town Moor, last year the run had over 1,000 participants which was significant increase from the first event held in 2011 where we had 52 runners!
What’s your secret talent?
Hmmm… Well I wouldn’t say it’s much of a secret but most of my friends know that I am a keen runner. In 2011 I held an elite place in the BUPA Great North Run and finished 12th in my field. Unfortunately, I was a lot younger and a lot lighter back then, but I still enjoy competing all over the UK in road races.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
Has to be my number one band – Arctic Monkeys when I went over to Dublin to watch them perform. They were supported by Jake Bugg and Royal Blood too which was a delight! Happy to challenge anyone to a ‘sing off’ of any Arctic Monkeys single!
What do you enjoy the most about working within Northern Pride?
That’s a very good question. I guess working for Northern Pride provides me with a sense of achievement and satisfaction knowing that we are sending out a positive message to the city in which we live, but more than that, we are also sending a message to the rest of the world.
It’s sometimes difficult not to focus on any negative feedback we sometimes receive, as it is easy to lose sight of the positive difference we have made on thousands of peoples’ lives who live in the North East.
Who or what inspires you and why?
People and their stories inspire me the most for a whole host of reasons.