IN CONVERSATION WITH… SANDRA WHITE
- May 27, 2020
- Posted by: Aran Knowles
- Category: Uncategorized
We caught up with Sandra White, a brand new addition to the Through Unity board, who holds a wealth of experience delivering change within communities. We spoke to Sandra about her aspirations for Through Unity and her message for members.
We hope you enjoy the conversation. If there’s anyone you’d like to see us in conversation with, please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi Sandra. Before we begin, could you give the readers a quick introduction of who you are and what you do please?
Hello everyone, I’m Sandra White, and I’m currently director of a small charity called Principle Factor. I only started it in January this year due to redundancy, and what I’m hoping to achieve with it is to run a number of residential homes for children. In those homes, we will provide them with programs to transform their lives so that when they do leave, they’ve got the skills to set up their own lives.
I also have another trusteeship with a group called Manhood Academy Global, who do rites of passage programmes for young people. I’m a non-executive director for EduAction, which is a multi-academies trust for alternative provision for three alternative provision schools; and I’m a committee member for Harlesden Neighbourhood Forum.
So that’s what I’m doing at the moment!
What is it about Through Unity that inspired you to join the board?
I’ve been aware of Through Unity since 2010, and I’ve always lauded the work that they do. Justice and how we use our humanity are really important to me, and Through Unity stands up for justice in a humanistic way.
The fact that society has largely ignored people who have suffered great loss infuriates me. And so, to be able to do something about it, and to be able support others to do something about it, is very important to me. That’s why I’ve joined Through Unity.
What kinds of experience are you bringing to help the Through Unity family?
My greatest skills are in partnership-working. Over the years, I’ve made good connections that I can go to for advice around things like funding, policy and how to challenge policy. I’ve even got a couple of connections in the House of Lords that we might be able to tap into from time to time.
As well as those connections, I bring twenty years of knowledge working with young people and skills around bid-writing, tackling policy issues and capacity-building.
What are your ambitions for Through Unity, Sandra?
I want Through Unity to become a household name. I want people to not just be aware of Through Unity because they’ve had a loss, but aware of the work that Through Unity are doing and aware of the changes they’ve brought about in society and in policy.
I want us to be known by government as an organisation people can come to for advice and known by the families who’ve experienced loss as the organisation they can to come to for guidance. And I want us to be recognised by schools.
I want us to be recognised by the right people in society who are currently ignoring the issue. We’re going to turn them around, wake them up and make them realise that this is an organisation that will stand up for those who are grieving and that we won’t allow them to be ignored.
That’s my vision: to be seen as an organisation with integrity, known for what we do, doing it well and that we are listened to by policy makers and the like, when we speak on behalf of our members.
If you had to describe what is special about Through Unity, what would it be?
They’re our strength. They’re our reason for being. It’s their courage, their strength and their fortitude to overcome such difficult situations and still help others in the same situation that make this special.
These are people who have come with their hearts broken, but are still prepared to stand up and fight for others. That for me is incredible.
Finally Sandra, if you had a message for the supporters reading this now, what would it be?
For me, Through Unity comes from the sentence ‘strength through unity’.
We have to unify together to create the change that we wish to see. And we will do that: through our partnerships, through our friendships and through all of the people involved, be they members, supporters, funders. We will do it together.
Strength through unity. That is my message.
If there’s anyone you’d like to see us in conversation with, please send your suggestions to email@example.com.