Meet the Board – The Solicitors’ Charity’s new Chair
The Solicitors’ Charity is excited to announce that it has recently elected a new Chair, Ginny Cannon to take up the role in early September.
Ginny is a retired in-house commercial solicitor, she worked for British Telecom for 16 years, London Underground for 10 years, and now she will be sharing her considerable experience in the profession and in the charity sector with us.
We asked Ginny a few questions to help you get to know her:
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a retired in-house commercial solicitor. I worked for British Telecom (mainly on the international side) for around 16 years, and London Underground (PPP and PFI contracts – Tube Lines & Metronet) for around 10 years. Since I retired, I have been Chair of the Friends of Moorfields Eye Hospital (providing all the 200+ volunteers for the Trust) since 2013, and Chair of the Association of Women Solicitors, London for 2020-21.
I am also a Steward of the City of London Solicitors’ Company, and Vice Chair of its Charities Committee, and an independent trustee of the Guild of Investment Managers Charitable Trust.
My husband, Richard Salter, is a practising Q.C. specialising in Banking and Financial Law, a Deputy High Court Judge, and Visiting Professor at Oxford, teaching on postgraduate BCL courses.
We are both opera-lovers and supporters, keen on supporting young singers and creatives and innovative opera companies, and we generally enjoy travel, good food and drink, and convivial company.
My particular fascination is working out what makes people tick!
Why have you joined The Solicitors’ Charity’s board as Chair?
I have great respect both for the history of the charity – supporting Solicitors since 1858 – and for its purpose – ‘We’re here for solicitors when times get tough.’
I am passionately convinced that the current direction in which the charity is developing is right, and is one which I believe I can help the charity to expand, in particular:
- Our plan is to provide holistic support – not just providing funds, but helping people understand and manage problems such as debt management, navigating through welfare benefits, supporting mental and physical wellbeing, and professional issues such as career transition and job search
- Our increasing collaboration with partners such as CAM, Renovo and LawCare, drawing on their expertise and funding access to them, and with our force of volunteers
- Our ability to provide a rapid response to emergencies – for example, establishing the Covid-19 Personal Hardship Fund in response to the pandemic
- The development of our engagement with the profession, building awareness of what the charity does and how it can help solicitors in difficulties.
What are you hoping to achieve while working with The Solicitors’ Charity?
I’d like to achieve a major increase in awareness among local law societies, firms and the profession in general of what the charity does, and what it could do for them and their members.
I’d also like to see a significant expansion of the roles and number of volunteers, along with increased collaboration with existing and potential additional partners and charities to broaden the areas of help and advice we can offer access to for solicitors and their dependents.
Additionally, I’d like us to take a look at our funding and claims mechanisms, to expand the depth and scope of the resources and assistance the charity can offer to those in need of help.
Why do you think that the work The Solicitors’ Charity does is so important?
The charity helps solicitors to bounce back from tough times. People can be sceptical that solicitors need help at all. The charity can be a sympathetic lifeline for people for whom no other resource is available, and can make the difference between them sinking or swimming.
What are the top 5 things you think the profession needs from The Solicitors’ Charity right now?
- Making our existence and what we can do more widely known. Increasing awareness that we are here, and the breadth and scope of what we can do for those in difficulties, particularly amongst the younger and more diverse demographics in the profession
- Providing further rapid response to the continuing effects of the pandemic. Many predict that there may be further redundancies as furlough support ends, and further intolerable pressures, in particular on smaller firms
- Researching and identifying where and what type of resources are needed most, and taking proactive steps to reach out to those who need them
- Broadening the scope of the areas of help and advice to which we can offer access, by exploring the expansion of areas of collaboration with partners and other charities
- Keep up the good work the charity is already doing
If you’d like to learn more about The Solicitors’ Charity’s board members, just click here. Keep an eye out for more from the ‘Meet the Board’ series coming soon!
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