'Meet a...' is Groundwork Youth Hub's new careers series aiming to highlight the people behind the job titles and introduce you to a range of roles inside and outside of Groundwork. Meet our staff, partners, friends and supporters and find out their journey to where they are now. We hope these interviews inspire you!
Our first feature is with Groundwork UK's Partnership Manager, Joe McIndoe. Our Campaigns Officer, Siana, caught up with him to find out what a day in the working life of a Partnership Manager looks like. Here's what he had to say...
Gwk Youth/ SB: What is your role at Groundwork?
JM: I’m a partnership manager for Groundwork UK. This is a relatively recent change for me to a job that focuses on corporate and individual fundraising.
Gwk Youth/ SB: Describe your typical working day
JM: It's something like this -
- Maintaining relationships with existing partners
- Developing relationships with new prospects through meetings, phone calls and emails
- Developing & reviewing team strategy – supporting business plan development
- Developing proposals for funding support, designing financial responses
- Maintaining close working relationships with senior Trust development colleagues
- Managing budgets
- Managing development and implementation of Groundwork’s fundraising events including Go Green for Groundwork, Pride of Plate and the Community Awards
- Contributing to wider business development activities
- Contributing to EBS, Green Doctor, and Water industry cross Trust working groups
Gwk Youth/ SB: You keep yourself busy! How long have you worked at Groundwork?
JM: I joined on 16th March 2005, so verging on almost 13 years within Groundwork!!
Gwk Youth/ SB: That's a long time. Is your current job the first job you had at Groundwork? If not, what was your first job?
JM: No, I was recruited as Income Generation Manager for Groundwork UK in the South East Region in 2005. I was promoted to Regional Manager in 2006, spending half my time working within the Regional Development Agency SEEDA – a key partner to Groundwork – managing delivery of over £500k of investment each year via them. I spent a year winning and mobilising a large water meter initiative with Southern Water in 2009-2010, one of our biggest corporate partnerships at the time, and a precursor to the work we do now with Thames Water.
I moved to the Midlands in 2011 and joined the central team at Groundwork UK (although I was always a Groundwork UK employee) and took on the role of Business Development Manager, focused on drawing together tender responses for bidding opportunities, usually in the public sector.
Gwk Youth/ SB: What a journey so far! What do you enjoy most about working at Groundwork?
JM: Two things actually -
The first thing is the people – we employ some fabulously committed and inspiring people who do great work. I love meeting them and hearing their ideas.
Secondly the variety – we do so many different types of projects! I’m always coming across excellent ideas and activities that really have a transformative effect on the communities we support. My recent faves include:
HM Pasties – a social enterprise that employs ex-offenders to make pasties which are sold generating the funding to support more people
Energy Gardens – sustainable community gardens installed across 50 London Overground stations
Rivington Terrace Gardens – a major landscape renovation project on a fabulous, and large, hilltop garden on the Pennines
Gwk Youth/ SB: Amazing. It's National Apprenticeship Week this week as it happens. Have you ever completed work experience/an internship/apprenticeship? If so, tell us more about it
JM: No I haven’t formally but to get into charity work I volunteered 3-4 days a week for a year at a charity called Workforce in London. I started as a support worker in the communications and fundraising team, helping to recruit celebrity ambassadors. When a job became available as Corporate Fundraising Officer, I applied and was successful – even without experience – as they knew me by then!
Gwk Youth/ SB: That's a great example of making your mark. Did you go to University? If so, what did you study?
JM: I went to Wolverhampton University for two years, but I was employed throughout working for a nightclub as a DJ. I chose to end my university career with an HND and concentrate on work and earning money!
Gwk Youth/ SB: You were a DJ?! Wow! What did you study at uni?
JM: Graphic Design and Marketing – It became clear that I was never going to be inspired to sit in front of a Mac all day designing!
Gwk Youth/ SB: What was your first job (before your years at Groundwork)?
JM: My first proper paid job was as a building site labourer! My first office based job was for BT in sales – first residential and then business sales… I was there for 4 years. I then worked in various advertising sales jobs, before making the switch (as a volunteer) to charity. Whilst I was volunteering I worked weekends for an architects' firm called John Thompson and Partners helping to set up their planning weekends, community events and conferences.
The experience I gained was basically in talking to people and selling – pretty much what I do now, but the product is far more inspiring!
Gwk Youth/ SB: What was your favourite subject at school and why?
JM: Geography – particularly glaciology and geology – I love mountains and rocks!
Gwk Youth/ SB: And what did you want to be when you were younger?
JM: I honestly can’t remember! Probably a professional tennis player as I used to play every day…
Gwk Youth/ SB: That's impressive. If you could swap roles with anyone in Groundwork for one week who would you choose and why?
JM: A youth worker or Green Doctor – both support people to improve their lives.
Gwk Youth/ SB: What advice would you give to your younger self about your career (knowing what you know now)?
JM: Stick to university – I do regret not completing my degree, even if I wasn’t going to use it. Look for options that suit your skillset or your ambition and if that’s learning on the job through an apprenticeship, so be it.
Gwk Youth/ SB: And what’s the best career advice you have ever been given?
JM: Control the controllable and don’t stress about things you have no power over. Also, had some fabulous advice on constructing a CV to get across the things an employer wants to see. And now, having interviewed lots of people, a concise well-written CV, that is easy to navigate, is well received!!
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