Message from the Founders:
Who would have thought all those years ago when the FSI was just a flicker of an idea, a sense that the answer to so many of the problems facing children, young people, older people, people facing disadvantage, those who care passionately about our planet and those whose compassion for the animals that share our space lay with the very many small charities that are simply the glue that holds society together, that the FSI would flourish to be the charity it is today.
Emma Harrison CBE and Pauline Broomhead CBE, our founders did believe – they believed that there was a need for a charity that supported small charities to be the very best they could be. And so with this belief, with this dream the FSI was founded.
Emma has been passionate about changing the world - whether through business or through working with charities, her sense of improving people’s lives has been at the core of her efforts over many years and the FSI was the culmination of that commitment. Her determination to support both financially and emotionally the concept of the FSI and to ensure it thrived through the founding years is a testament to her resolve; without this support the FSI could not have grown in to the vital support charity that it is today.
Pauline, having worked with Emma on the NSPCC Full Stop Campaign understood her drive and added to this her own commitment and expertise to ensure that the work of grassroots organisations had the opportunity to thrive in an environment of learning and opportunity. Her drive was to ensure that small charities had the knowledge and skills to be as sustainable as possible and so started the most extensive learning programme specifically designed for small charities across the sector. Alongside this there was a determination to raise the voice of small charities both to the public and to government and so the development of initiatives like Small Charity Week were born.
The Founders never wavered, always asking the questions “are we doing the best for small charities?”, “are we delivering the right opportunities?”, “are we delivering in a way that is accessible to all small charities?” and importantly “are we talking to small charities and giving them the opportunity to speak out?”. Answering these questions ensured that the FSI grew to be a trusted friend, an ally, a shoulder to cry on and a safe place to go to for support and help, as well as a great friend to celebrate with when breakthroughs happened.
Emma and Pauline are now not actively involved in the day to day activities of the FSI but they remain close, they remain firm friends and they will always be there if needed for support. But they have released the FSI with love to the care of others who can take the charity forward on the journey to be the best it can be for those small charities it supports and believes in at its very core.