Trustee, Francis Moore talks about the importance of caring for the most vulnerable
How long have you been a Field Lane trustee?
I am the longest serving trustee, having been with Field Land for nine years. I have seen a lot of change over this time, especially during the first few years of my tenure. In those early days, I was involved in making some substantial structural and financial changes, putting in place robust procedures to ensure the charity’s survival and future growth.
Why did you choose Field Lane?
I come from a privileged background and felt strongly that I wanted to give something back, to help those people who are most vulnerable in society, those who have limited or no choices in life. I was struck by the real heart that was apparent throughout Field Lane, from the CEO to the teams working in our projects, our people really care.
One of my early tasks as a member of the board, was to improve our efficiency, so even more of our resources could be used to the direct benefit of our clients. As treasurer for the board and chair of the finance committee, I ensure this happens. Field Lane is a very efficiently run charity – more so than many. At the same time, it never loses sight of its core purpose – providing the best care and support for clients. I come from a hard-nosed environment, having worked in the commerce and finance sector for many years. I have learned so much from being involved with Field Lane and the dedicated and compassionate staff who work here. It is heartening to witness such a high level of care across all of Field Lane’s projects.
What do you wish other people knew about Field Lane?
I would like more people to understand how essential our service is. All our clients are living with huge challenges, which Field Lane is supporting them to overcome and to live the best and most independent lives they can. It is difficult for people outside to understand how much of the funding reaches the end user, but I believe the level of scrutiny provided by the board is much greater here than elsewhere.
What are the key challenges facing the social care sector?
Perhaps the biggest challenge we face relates to staffing – being able to recruit the right people, with a heart for the job, and a fit with the values of working in the care sector, within a competitive marketplace. Limited funding is another area of concern. The government is challenging organisations to keep costs down and we will always feel squeezed. To survive, so we can keep helping vulnerable people, we must continue to run our organisation efficiently.
What is your hope for the future of Field Lane and the social care sector more generally?
I would like us to continue growing so that we can help even more people. We deliver top quality care and lead the way in our sector. The care sector is increasingly on the government’s agenda, and it needs to be better funded. There is a saying, “society is judged by how well it treats its weakest.” This is very true of social care and how we support the most vulnerable members of our society, including our clients. It is so important that we care and provide high quality support, enabling them to enjoy the best possible lives.