What have been the challenges and discoveries of the lockdown What have been the challenges and discoveries of the lockdown period?
Lockdown has been challenging. I have two small children. We’re lucky enough to have a little garden but it’s been quite hard work keeping them both entertained and occupied.
To add slightly to the chaos, I changed jobs during lockdown. I was running a social investment fund called CAF Venturesome and then I moved to Fair4All Finance as Investment Director – literally in the heart of the pandemic. This has been an incredibly exciting change but not without its challenges.
What are your hopes and visions for social finance, in light of the pandemic and other recent events?
I think it’s quite an exciting time for social finance, particularly in the UK. We can show the power of social investments, supporting organisations with money and other resources – and money that is flexible and affordable.
I think having an investor who can step forward when things are going awfully wrong is helpful.
On the downside, realistically, we’re about to go into what’s probably going to be quite a big recession and therefore people’s willingness to possibly take lower financial returns is going to be tested.
What does Women in Social Finance mean to you?
I’ve been a member of Women in Social Finance for a couple of years. The group has been really supportive during lockdown. When a lot of events were being cancelled entirely in the early days of Coronavirus, Women in Social Finance moved some of their key networking breakfast events online so we had this brilliant online meetup immediately.
Just being able to have quite honest conversations with people who were finding it equally pretty challenging was helpful. I do miss the drinks, don’t get me wrong, but the online breakfasts are good!
I definitely feel like I’m one of the more junior members of the group so, for me, it’s learning from some incredibly experienced women who have had these fascinating careers and are so engaged in social finance and so keen to support each other. That has been really inspirational.
What item or items have helped get you through lockdown?
The object that I think has got me through lockdown is a super-soaker. Basically, a water pistol! I’ve got 2 small sons and I have always been very anti-guns to the extent that I refused to ever buy them water pistols. When lockdown started, and when it became clear how long it was going to last, I relented. And the next day, two super-soakers arrived and they have made a huge difference to family morale.