Photo of Amanda Tincknell

It’s my privilege to be Chief Executive of Cranfield Trust, and on this International Women’s Day, I will be taking the time to celebrate the impact of the inspiring female charity leaders we work alongside every day, and the women and girls they support during these challenging times.

Over my time with Cranfield Trust, we have grown our organisation and operations substantially.  The Trust celebrates its 35th anniversary this year and I am proud that, across all our services, we now support thousands of small charity leaders every year, many of them women.
My role has changed as the Trust has grown, and our operating environment has changed too, not always in a positive way.  For the last 15 years, charities have faced reducing income, especially from local government, and rising demand for their services, and their operating environment has worsened overall.  The serious challenges we all face are changing all our roles, as Chief Executives, leaders and managers in a highly overstretched sector. I am proud that the ethos and vision of the Trust has always remained the same: to support and empower charities with the confidence and capabilities they need, whatever challenges they face.
At present, looking and planning ahead is more important than ever, whether that’s in a positive way in developing an organisation, or preparing different scenarios to meet challenges. Working with great colleagues, people with a sense of curiosity and a shared purpose is critical to success as a charity leader, as are personal resilience and a good work/life balance, it’s always important to be able to put aside the pressures of work.

I have always really valued the chance to be myself at work and I hope my colleagues feel that they are themselves at Cranfield Trust too.  As the Trust’s first Chief Executive, I didn’t step into an existing role but my role has developed with the organisation.  I’ve been on a huge learning journey as a leader, and developing an organisation has given me a lot of freedom, which I really appreciate.  We now need to keep up with our fast-changing world, and to take advantage of new ways of working and new technologies.  It’s a vital time for us to be adaptable as leaders, as well as making sure our organisations are adapting quickly to the changing needs of the people we support and work with, and the opportunities to work in new ways. 

I’m lucky to work alongside some fantastic women leaders, in my own organisation, in other infrastructure organisations and in frontline charities.  I also report to a brilliant woman, Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chair of Cranfield Trust’s Board of Trustees and Chief Executive of British Heart Foundation. 

There’s so much to celebrate about women in the voluntary sector, whether paid staff or volunteers, and the positive impact they have on the lives of the people they support, thinking especially of women and girls today.

I’m incredibly fortunate to work with so many great people: my colleagues on our team at Cranfield Trust, our fantastic volunteers, our brilliant trustees, our highly supportive donors and funders, and the amazing charities we work with.  It’s a privilege to be in a position which allows me to see so much of the sector, and I’m proud that we have supported and continue to support so many vital and valuable charities services.  This International Women’s Day, we’ll be thinking particularly of the charities we’re working with which support victims of rape and sexual abuse, many of them focused on support for women and girls.  Their work is vital and we’ll be marking International Women’s Day with them firmly in our minds.

Registered Charity No: 800072 | Scottish Charity No: SCO40299 | Company No: 2290789 | Telephone No: 01794 830338
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