When I interviewed Elizabeth McPherson as part of our Scarborough Business Heroes project, it was clear that she gets immense satisfaction from her job.
Elizabeth is the CEO of Scarborough and Ryedale Carers Resource, a registered charity limited by guarantee, based in Snainton. She’s worked for the charity for 16 years and has been CEO for 9 of them, working her way up from support worker, to assistant manager to CEO. She told me modestly that she just feels lucky to be allowed to do something that makes positive changes to people.
Scarborough and Ryedale Carers Resource is the only charity that supports unpaid family carers in Scarborough, Ryedale and Whitby, no matter what the issues are. There is no other support available for young carers and Scarborough and Ryedale Carers Resource provides a support service that fits their needs. The staff are all very professional, all highly trained, skilled and paid.
From our conversation, it’s clear that Elizabeth’s personal strength in the business is great insight into managing and motivating her people to get the best out of them. She supports their development, although managing staff through change can be a challenge. People typically fear change and it can be difficult bringing people all on board with change. Elizabeth has 19 employees and believes that open and transparent communication is key in facilitating changes.
Scarborough and Ryedale Carers Resource relies heavily on grants and tenders though Elizabeth is very clear that the charity is run properly as a business which is expanding. They’ve nearly tripled their turnover under her leadership. Half of their money comes from the Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Groups as a result of successful tenders and the remainder is through continual fundraising, Big Lottery, and Children In Need.
What’s the key to the business expansion? Elizabeth thinks it’s delegation. They’ve become more professional in their bid writing so have been awarded more tenders. She created a new post for a development manager and employed someone better than herself so she hasn’t had to do all the money raising. In doing so, she’s freed up her time to focus on other issues such as staff development and welfare which are key.
When I asked Elizabeth what she loves most about her business, she said it is “Making the difference. It’s a great feeling and a privilege to be able to make a difference and provide support through difficult times”.
The challenges the Carers Resource face are ensuring its financial sustainability. The ethos associated with a charity is that they don’t charge but they have to rely on funding to ensure they get to keep skilled staff.
Transport and having to travel can also be a challenge. The Carers Resource is based in rural Snainton. It is on a bus route but parking is a problem so the team will usually go to the carers. They’d love to do more, Elizabeth said, but they are limited in resources. Having to turn anything down due to limited staff capacity is a big frustration. They’re working on raising their profile with local corporates in efforts to encourage further fund raising initiatives.
To find out more about Scarborough and Ryedale Carers Resource you can visit their website at http://www.carersresource.net/
If you’d like to take part in our Scarborough Business Heroes project, you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or via my website at https://actioncoach.co.uk/coaches/ros-jones/#contact