Lucy has witnessed many changes in the composition and focus of the Foundation team during her 10 years at the College. We caught up with Lucy to find out more about her role and the important work she and her team do.
I joined Radley in 2013 when a former colleague who was working in the Development office recommended me to the Development Director, Anthony Robinson, who was looking for a PA. Anthony and I hit it off immediately; I loved the College and the role appealed to me, so it all worked out incredibly well! The team was very different at that point. Anthony is an OR and former parent, previously on Council but also an entrepreneur in his own right, and he helped set up the Radley Foundation in 2000. There was also Jock Mullard who worked on publications and of course Hamish Aird who was here for 50 years in all. The team has changed a lot in 10 years and I realise I have now been here the longest!
What is the Foundation team’s role within the College?
Our focus is on engagement with the Radley community and fundraising. I work alongside Elisabeth Anderson (Development Director) and Henry Cosh (Associate Director, Radley Foundation) who are responsible for most of the fundraising, from major gifts to legacies, wider appeals and campaigns. The main remit of my role is stewardship. That means when someone has given a donation my role is to update them on the impact of their gift – it’s a truly lovely thing to be able to do.
Can you give us an example of the stewardship you’ve provided to donors?
The Hamish Aird Foundation Award was set up when Hamish left Radley – those who have generously donated to this fund had an emotional connection with Hamish and with Radley and wanted to give in his name. I organised a filmed conversation between Hamish and the three current Radleians who are in receipt of these awards. It was incredibly heart-warming to see the boys and Hamish connecting through their stories and memories of Radley – they developed a brilliant rapport by the end of the filming. Once edited (thank you Max!), the film was sent directly to the donors to this fund and shows not only how these talented boys are making the most of all Radley has to offer, but also how much Hamish enjoyed talking to them.
What makes Radley a special place for you?
It’s such a pleasure to work in such beautiful surroundings. I have a great team, who I get on with very well and who are all extremely good at their jobs. But aside from all of those important things, there’s something intangible that makes Radley very special – I think it’s to do with the emotion and the memories connected with Radley – friendships and triumphs, sad and joyful memories. When you walk through the College with an elderly OR, you see the longer view and there’s something powerful in that.
Can you pick a highlight from your time here?
Yes – it’s one that encapsulates my stewardship remit and is related to the Armed Forces Fund which supports the children of service personnel who are killed or injured while serving their country. I was privileged to be able to trace the journey of one of the recipients of this award, Seymour Shaw. When I first arrived at Radley I worked on a film telling the stories of some of the families connected with the Armed Forces Fund, and his was one of the families I met through this, when Seymour was about eleven. I kept in touch with Seymour’s mother throughout his time at Radley and she was always so very grateful for the fund and the difference she felt it had made to their lives in what was a very dark time for them. When Seymour reached 6.2 I wanted to film a second video of Seymour and his mother talking to the Warden about the impact of the fund – it’s a very moving story.
What’s changed during your time here?
I think the biggest change came with JSM’s appointment as Warden in 2014. Our department shifted focus to help deliver the vision that John created with Council, particularly in terms of funded places which have become integral to the strategy of the College. The change in strategy brought the Foundation into a more central place within the map of the College’s future. While that aspect has changed, the feel of the place has not changed a bit.
Outside of work, what would we find you doing?
I love baking, and somehow became the Team Baker for a little while! My ‘Lucy Signature Cake’, which was always requested without fail for birthdays, is a strawberry sponge with fresh cream – now the team is a lot bigger I’ve had to step down as Official Baker in Chief!
What’s on top of your to-do list right now?
I’m currently putting together the itinerary for the Warden and Development Director’s trip to the Far East in March. I’m contacting the Radley Community there to set up meetings and social events. I try to create a tightly packed schedule so their time is used as effectively as possible!
Can you describe Radley in three words?
Beautiful. Memories. People.