My first week at LandAid: My head’s spinning from the opportunities we have

Last week our new Head of Programmes & Impact, Sean Tizzard, joined the LandAid team.


We’re so excited to have Sean on board, and his first week was a busy one which saw him travelling around the UK, learning more about our grant programme, our charity partners and some of the amazing work we’ve been able to help fund across the country.


After a first week filled with so much new information, Sean collected his thoughts and wrote us a blog detailing what he has learned, and what he is looking forward to, after his first week at LandAid.


It’s Friday evening and I’m travelling back home on a pretty crowded train after a day of vibrant meetings in Manchester.


My first week at LandAid is done; my head is spinning with all sorts of ideas and laden with a ton of new knowledge. Mostly, I’m excited about the future as I allow some time to pause and reflect.


Earlier this week, I sent a short introduction email out to some of our key grant-holders. It’s been great to receive such positive responses. It’s clear that LandAid’s grant programme, enabling charities to tackle youth homelessness, is exceptionally well regarded by our charity partners.


It’s also clear that our grants are significantly important in helping to change the lives of homeless young people.


But I’m a simple sort and, to me, some of our processes feel unnecessarily complicated. I’m going to enjoy working with our partners and LandAid staff to work out how we might get even more impact from our grant programme whilst freeing up our charity partners to get on with the things they’re great at.


In my previous role(s) at the Big Lottery Fund, I used to chat with a lot of charities about how they made (or in most cases didn’t make) links with the private sector. I confess I grew to pretty much believe the much-recited myth that businesses are rarely interested in charity’.


If I’ve learnt anything this week, it’s that this is so not true about the property industry.


I’m seeing lots of individuals and firms within the industry desperate to get involved. I’m astounded to discover that LandAid’s free property advice offer has the supply but not always the demand. We want more charities to approach us so that we can match them up with the great, free property support on offer. I’ll look forward to prodding the third sector with this as time progresses.


My short tour’ of the North West this week has been eye-opening. The themes have repeated across meetings. Yes, we should continue to make grants and yes, our pro-bono service is such a valuable resource.


But, perhaps, there’s even more value we can offer when brokering and facilitating conversations between the property industry, local authorities and charities.


It’s this opportunity to join things up, to aid collaboration, that really excites. And, although there was never really any doubt, it’s this that’ll spur me on into my second week at LandAid.