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TRUSTEE FOCUS

Jim Dick: Chair of Trustees since 2008 THE strength of any charitable organisation is rooted in a successful and lasting partnership between those who are employed to run it and those who are entrusted with its stewardship. CatZero is proud to say it has one of the most stable and committed trustee boards that you are likely to find – and at its helm is a retired businessman who has the same passion for the charity as he did when he facilitated its launch a decade ago. Jim, a former executive at Smith & Nephew, was just 18 months or so into his retirement when his chairmanship of the Hull and Humber Clipper Steering Group saw him sail a leg of the roundthe-world Clipper race. On board with him were a group of NEETs (young people not in employment, education or training) from north of the Humber, along with skipper Danny Watson. The young people were selected as a way of engaging the community in the Clipper experience. But it did so much more than that, explains Jim. “What myself and Danny witnessed was the transformational change that the Clipper journey took these young people on. It was incredible, and we came back knowing that we had to take something more permanent from this.” The public sector employee charged with finding the young people for the voyage had been Dave Bertholini. Together Jim, Dave and Danny set about devising a ground-breaking programme that combined the ‘transformational’ experience of sailing with the onshore training and mentoring required to effect lasting personal change. “It was clear that we needed a lot more than sailing. Dave coming on board gave us someone with vast experience who had been looking at best practice with regards to youth programmes across Britain. It was this expertise that saw solid leadership of our programmes, which remains today,” says Jim. However, it was not all plain sailing. CatZero’s purchase of its challenge yacht, using NHS money, led to criticism from the then Prime Minister David

Cameron who dubbed it a ‘yacht for yobs’. This broadside simply strengthened the resolve of the team, recalls Jim. “It was all about the people and wanting to change their lives. There was a determination to prove that we were right and the only way to answer that criticism was to make a success of it.” Ten years later, Jim, Dave (Director of Operations) and Danny (Director of Sailing) remain at the head of the organisation, supported by a team that has remained largely unchanged over that decade. Hundreds of young people, and now adults and full families, have been helped and CatZero remains a well-run and efficient charity with every penny going back into helping some of the most disadvantaged people within our communities. Consistency of performance, solid leadership and innovation run alongside robust auditing and performance measures to ensure the charity is transparent, adds Jim. “Any good charity will run along business lines, with solid measures put into place to ensure its reputation and longevity. We are very good at what we do, our targets are always met, and we have strong principles and governance, but without being embroiled in red-tape.” Over the years it is the people who have remained at the forefront of Jim’s mind and he is extremely proud of CatZero’s ability to be one step ahead – for example, the present Full Families programme came out just as Government was recognising the need to work along similar lines. “I truly believe our work with Full Families is going to be a real game-changer. As a nation, we must tackle the inter-generational issues that exist within families. It is only by breaking that continued cycle that we are going to create true change. It is no good treating the symptoms, you need to work on the cause,” adds Jim.

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CatZero O-Zone Autumn NC02  

The autumn newsletter of the charity CatZero, currently working across the Humber region. CatZero's dedicated team works with children, you...

CatZero O-Zone Autumn NC02  

The autumn newsletter of the charity CatZero, currently working across the Humber region. CatZero's dedicated team works with children, you...

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