As we enter the final months of what has been the most extraordinary year in living memory, Rebecca Kennelly MBE, the Chair of Trustees at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF), reports on recent changes to the senior leadership team at the Foundation. HIWCF is a specialist grant-making charity, supporting the projects and resources of local charitable, voluntary and community groups on behalf of a range of donors.
The Foundation has experienced significant changes in recent months, as our excellent Chair, Jonathan Cheshire, was finally ‘allowed to retire’ by his fellow Trustees after seven years on the Board, and three years as our Chair. We are all extremely grateful to Jonathan for guiding us with his gentle humour, commitment and above all complete dedication to supporting disadvantaged people across our region and he remains a great friend to the Foundation. I am delighted to have been asked by the Board to succeed Jonathan, having worked with HIWCF as a trustee for the past ten years and we are already working hard to ensure that local community groups can stabilise, respond and recover from the devastating impact of Covid-19.
Secondly, it is with sadness that I must announce the departure of our current Chief Executive Grant Cornwell MBE at the end of January 2021. Having made the decision some months ago to relocate outside the county, Grant has decided to step aside to allow the Board to appoint someone more ‘local’ to take the organisation forward. Grant joined HIWCF just over two and a half years ago with a specific remit to review the organisation’s strategic operating model, lead on fund development and the development of key partnerships, drive growth of HIWCF’s profile and make us the local leading community based grant giving charity in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and there is no doubt that he has delivered on all of those objectives. We are very sorry to see Grant go and on behalf of the Board I wish to thank Grant for everything he has achieved during his tenure, his achievements leave us in the strongest position going forward.
Grant Cornwell MBE, HIWCF Chief Executive added:
I have appreciated the unique privilege of getting to know and hear about all the amazing grassroots activity and community organisations that keep this county going. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is truly blessed with a vibrant and active voluntary sector and I’m convinced that without them stepping up during the pandemic, many more people’s lives would have been drastically impacted. It is also humbling to consider HIWCF achievements during the pandemic, which were only made possible thanks to the contribution of so many incredible individuals, partners and donors. This year we managed to raise almost £5 million in charitable income, nearly £2m of which is for long term endowment building, distribute over £2 million in grants reaching over 350,000 beneficiaries across Hampshire & Isle of Wight and fund over 400 charitable organisations. I would like to thank my team, my Board of Trustees and all of our supporters without whom our work would not be possible.
HIWCF focuses on the smaller and less well known community and voluntary groups working on the frontline in our communities who often only need a few hundred pounds to make a difference to local people’s lives.
Photo: Grant Cornwell MBE & Rebecca Kennelly MBE