Trustee, Sharleene Bibbings tells us why she passionately believes in Field Lane’s approach to care
Why did you choose Field Lane?
I became a trustee in 2016. The common thread running through my leadership roles has been mission driven work, mainly in the public sector. When looking for a non-executive director role Field Lane was a natural fit. Its vision for all people to have the support necessary to lead a full and happy life chimed with my own leadership values and beliefs. Its long heritage was also a pleasant surprise, dating back to the 1840s. Field Lane still seeks to enable people who may have been excluded, to manage their own lives by offering care, support, and accommodation.
What has surprised you most about Field Lane?
I was surprised by the level of dedication of staff alongside the quality care they provide. It’s a small organisation that punches well above its weight. This dedication, coupled with its focus on quality, mission and purpose makes Field Lane an extraordinary organisation. As a trustee, I’ve sat on both the operations and finance committees. I have seen a holistic view of the organisation. No matter where people work in Field Lane, the dedication to clients and to achieving the charity’s objectives is evident at every level.
What do you wish other people knew about Field Lane?
There are three key things I want people to know. The first is the dedication of the staff, especially during the Coronavirus crisis, when the volume was turned up and we were all caught up in circumstances that were unprecedented. The next is the charity’s Christian heritage, which is deep rooted. The organisation lives by its Christian values and welcomes everybody. Thirdly is the high level of expertise in care. This expertise is shared with other organisations through the consultancy services, where Field Lane provides leadership to the sector by sharing its experience and skills. There are areas of real specialisation, such as in autism, for which Field Lane has recently been accredited.
What are the key challenges facing Field Lane?
I think there are two strategic challenges. The first is Covid-related in that it presented and continues to present major operational challenges. It has negatively impacted the lives of clients and the long-term effect of this is especially worrying. The second is a financial challenge, with ‘giving’ being hit hard by the crisis, as many ‘givers’ have themselves have been impacted.
What is your hope for the future of Field Lane and the sector more generally?
As a Christian charity, I would like to see Field Lane rebuild its links to the church and re-invite a person of the cloth to sit on our board. The organisation’s Christian heritage is very important, it is fundamental to Field Lane’s values and the way it operates. I also hope that people donate as we come out of the crisis. I believe that supporting our most vulnerable communities is the mark of a progressive society. Everyone wins in a society where we support one another, however small the contribution, all are welcome.
At Field Lane we rely on the generous support of our donors to make a material difference to the lives of our clients – adults with learning disabilities and vulnerable families. Please consider donating. Thank you.