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Monday, 02 November 2020 12:53

Matt Quaife, Trustee, on why he joined CWB

I am passionate about my work as a health economist, helping evaluate programmes to prevent infectious diseases in low income settings and also love cricket, so when I heard about a charity that uses cricket to deliver infectious disease prevention messages, the dye was cast.

Sport is a great way to get people together – literally on the same playing field – and outside of the benefits of being active with friends, it can be a really effective way of delivering messages around health and social inclusion.

I first heard of Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) through work where CWB were asking for input to their monitoring and evaluation strategy. This is not that common – many charities measure the activities they do well, but do not always try or manage to measure their ultimate impact. I was really impressed by the energy and motivation of Sara, CWB’s head of monitoring and evaluation, who was genuinely looking for ways to measure and refine CWB’s impact. I heard about CWB’s commitment to inclusion – “no boundaries, ever” – and how the charity was broadening activities outside of HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa, to other important issues, including FGM and refugee inclusion. In particular, I was struck by how CWB’s network of full-time ambassadors, spanning 6 countries meant that activities were led by exceptional people in their own communities, it just so happened that they were also good cricketers…

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Fast forward a few months, and CWB have a vacancy on their trustee board and are looking for a trustee with a public health background. This is my first trustee post and – to be honest – I didn’t know much about what a trustee did. But I knew I had skills which could be useful for CWB. After a few conversations with current trustees, it was clear that I could play a useful part of the CWB mission.

It was also clear that I could learn a lot from my trustee colleagues. It has been exciting to learn how to set the strategic direction of a charity, and steer a steady course through a changing (and eventful) world, and also how to manage finances openly and transparently while giving the delivery team the resources and flexibility needed to make the biggest difference.

It is still early in my time as a trustee, but I have already learnt a huge amount about the charity’s mission, the exceptional people that make it run, and exciting areas for expansion in the future.

I am extremely proud of the work that CWB does and the difference we make on important issues with a commitment to inclusion. I am really impressed with the quality of the work we deliver, and the range of skills on the trustee board and delivery group. I feel very privileged to be a trustee of this organisation. Now just to get my trainers dirty and get stuck in to some coaching!

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