Patron Profile: Rob Bould

In our latest Patron Profile, former LandAid Chair, and Founder of the LandAid Patrons Network, Rob Bould discusses his initial idea for the Network, his vision for the impact it can make, and how he sees it supporting a social movement within the industry.

What motivates you to continue to support LandAid through the foundation and development of the Patrons Network?

I’ve been involved with LandAid since 2006, when one of the original team who set up the charity, Life President Mike Slade reached out to ask for my support.

Since then, I’ve seen LandAid grow and grow. Now, the charity is making huge waves to help the industry develop a social movement for good, tackling a crucial societal need.

Following my departure as Chair of the Board of Trustees, it seemed crazy to end it there and simply depart, having made all of those important connections in my role.

LandAid already has its Ambassadors, those who are at the beginning of their property careers; there are the seasoned professionals who support our events, donate their time through the Pro Bono Programme, or sit on our Boards; and now the Patrons Network allows us to foster all the experience and expertise of the people at the top of the industry, who can help us make even greater connections.

Why does the Patrons Network in particular appeal to you as a means to support LandAid, to help end youth homelessness?

The Network is now 68-strong.

In my last year as Chair of Landaid I talked to the Board about an idea I had about how to expand our social movement to the senior members of the industry. I suggested that maybe we could find just 25-30 people to support in this way.

Once we started approaching individuals, virtually everyone has said “Yes, I’m interested in that!”

These people are important because, although they may not be participating in all of LandAid’s events and activities, they are in an environment where at some point they can make a comment on ESG and charity, and they can introduce LandAid into the conversation, or use their network to inspire brilliant fundraising. All it takes is just 3 minutes for them to ask others to consider how LandAid fits in to their work and responsibilities.

It is advocacy at that very senior level. Advocacy by seniority is hugely powerful.

How do you seek to inspire your contacts to be part of the Network?

My pitch is simple: Societally, the Western world (maybe even the globe) is broken. It’s broken because the rich are getting richer, and wealth is being concentrated in to a smaller and smaller group of exceptionally privileged people.

It doesn’t take a lot to be sensitive to the resulting deprivation in our society, an element of which is the youth homelessness problem in the UK. It is great that we are doing something and making a difference. When I see what we are doing to help with that, it is hugely satisfying.

We make a difference, not only to individual lives, but to society.

What is your advice for how members of LandAid’s Patrons Network can use their own connections to make impactful connections?

It’s about advocacy in all of the things that they are involved with.

Think in their own organisations or those they are involved in; how does LandAid fit in to their ESG policies?

Think about any Pro Bono opportunities they or their teams or contacts could support.

It could be as simple as making a small introduction to someone in the LandAid team. You never know what a huge impact that small connection could have for the charity.

The Network recently celebrated its first anniversary with an exclusive reception. Why is it important for the Network to come together in this way?

Some of the Patrons feel they could do more for the Network and for LandAid. If you get everyone in a room together, you can foster this enthusiasm and help to reinforce their place in the Network.

It’s an anchoring event. It helps us to reignite people’s thinking about LandAid and their part in it.

Even if some of the Network members only give us a few moments of their time, it gives us a big opportunity.

What are the highlights from the first year of the Network? Is it shaping up as you had envisioned?

As I mentioned above, my expectation was to only get a network of 25-30 people, and already we are closing in on having 100 by the end of the calendar year!

There have been some fantastic pieces of work to come from the small connections which have already been made, and which are helping LandAid achieve even greater impact for young people experiencing homelessness.

How would you like to see the Network grow, and what extra potential do you see the Network having?

I love to see everyone, all together, doing something which makes an impact on our society.

Financially, LandAid is bigger than it’s ever been. And I’m looking forward to having 100 people who are able to back that growth up with senior advocacy, helping to share how LandAid is helping to solve some of society’s problems.

If our Patrons can be in the right places and the right time, to help to explain the impact that LandAid has and develop even further connections, I would be over the moon about that.

I would like to thank all our Patrons for their input so far, big and small ideas alike, as well as those still in the making!