Why I chose to become a trustee – Elaine McKean

By October 25, 2018Featured

Blog from Elaine McKean, Managing Director of Indigo on her appointment as a Trustee for Corra Foundation

As one of the newest Trustees appointed this month at Corra Foundation, I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to help to make a positive difference to lives and communities across Scotland.

As many reading this may know, Corra Foundation was previously called Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland and changed its name in August 2017.

It has over thirty-three years’ experience of getting alongside communities, distributing more than £138m though over 15,000 grants to charities. Corra Foundation’s vision is for a society in which people create positive change and enjoy fulfilling lives.

Corra Foundation works closely with other charities and funders, communities and policy makers to encourage opportunity, fairness and growth of aspirations which improve quality of life.

People have asked me why I was so keen to become a Trustee and my answer is simple. Having seen communities work together and prosper in the past, I have always been fascinated by community spirit, often in the face of great adversity.

Years ago, I joined the Children’s Hearing system and trained to be a panel member. It was a humbling experience and brought home the diversity of children’s backgrounds and circumstances.

It was apparent in so many cases that children often needed the support of others outwith the immediate family.

It also opened my eyes to the challenging task social workers face on a daily basis.  We only had one hour-long session to understand a child’s situation and what would make a difference for them. It is the follow up, the support mechanisms and creating a sense of worth and love that involves a vast range of people who are all trying their best to assist.

At the same time I was working in PR in government with the then Housing Minister and I was introduced to many communities and groups who were achieving unbelievable change for their own folk, right on their doorstep.

Their sense of community was very apparent. They cared for each other and dreamt of a brighter future. They met their own local challenges head on and pulled together to introduce small changes to start with which in the longer term worked to the advantage of the communities and the lives of people living there. It was inspiring and infectious and it made me look at other communities in a very different light – how they embraced a sense of hope and actively sought to change for the better.

It may be considered unusual for a Managing Director of one of Scotland’s leading PR and Public Affairs agencies to become so involved with charity work, but Indigo has always been different in this respect.

Indigo has always lived by the creed that it is an ethical business that wants to give back to the community.

Long before CSR became a watchword for company responsibility, Indigo engaged in pro-bono work for charities and continues to do this today.

We work on the premise that we can work with a charity, assist them to raise their profile and then, as they build and grow, we transfer that pro-bono resource to help another charity.

Having supported Corra on a pro-bono basis at Indigo, the time is right for me to embrace the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and become a Corra Foundation Trustee.

I can bring my communications and life skills to the Board and hopefully add value to the next stage of the support Corra Foundation brings to our communities, as they develop and change for the future.