Former Consortium COO appointed Community Foundation Trustee

By Ben Carey on 17 September, 2021

Former COO of The Consortium, Mark Barnett, has been appointed as a Trustee of the Wiltshire Community Foundation.

Mark has been working with the charity for seven years as a fundholder and grants panel member.

The Foundation provides funding and advice to grass roots charities and voluntary groups to help them support the most disadvantaged people in their communities. It also provides educational opportunities to young people through individual grants.

In 2020/21 it awarded £2.1 Million to groups and individuals and has pledged to invest £10 Million to help the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon thrive over the next five years.

Mark and his wife Melanie, who met while working at education products supplier The Consortium, set up the Teal Barnett Family Trust with the Community Foundation in 2015.

He said, “The groups it has funded are often about supporting children with educational needs or helping disadvantaged children get out of their particular situations.

“We had already set up a family trust on our own but what we struggled with was finding local good causes and particularly being able to support people with small amounts that make a difference to their lives.

“That’s where the Community Foundation has had a strong part to play, in being able to take away the difficulty in getting your money to the right place and being confident that it will deliver the outcomes that you want.

“The Community Foundation achieves a remarkable amount. I think if it didn’t exist there would be a huge hole left in charity fundraising in the county.”

Mark says that helping the Community Foundation meet the challenge of supporting Wiltshire and Swindon’s voluntary sector in the wake of the pandemic is exciting.

He added, “There’s the need to support charities that haven’t had enough money and make sure they survive. Obviously, there are also the people they support, whose need is going to be far greater than in the past because of the challenges that Covid has brought.”

Wiltshire Community Foundation Joint Chief Executive, Fiona Oliver, said, “We are delighted to welcome Mark on to our board of trustees. He and Melanie have already made a huge contribution to our work through the fund they have set up with us and taking part in our grant panels.

“Now we are going to benefit from Mark’s experience even more and that is very exciting.”

Find out more about the Wiltshire Community Foundation