Trustees Week – Meet Elizabeth (Iz) Powell
The 1st – 5th November 2021 is Trustees Week!
Trustees’ week is an annual event to showcase the great work trustees do and how the dedication they give to charities truly makes a difference. We’d like to take this week to thank all of our Trustees for playing a vital role, volunteering their time, and working together to make important decisions about the work we do here at Rochdale and District Mind.
If reading our stories this week has inspired you to become a Trustee, take a look at this page. We’re always looking at expanding the skills within our Board.
Meet one of our new Trustees Elizabeth Powell…
Hello! My name is Iz, I am 23 and one of the newest members of the Trustee Board at Rochdale and District Mind. I currently living in Disley with my parents, hamster Daisy, and goldfish Bubbles (original, I know).
I grew up in Romiley, Stockport where I lived, worked and studied for 18 years. Whilst studying for my A-Levels in 2015, I started working at the clothes store ‘FatFace’ in the Trafford Centre. I loved working here! I made so many friends, learnt so much about what it meant to actually work and have a job, and had a constant stream of new clothes at a cracking 75% discount – bonus! In 2016, I moved to York to study Christian Theology at York St John University. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career and thought I would stay at FatFace full time and work my way up to management. I dabbled with the idea of training as a vicar, Youth Leader and teacher but decided I was grappling at straws and never had much real interest in these paths. After I graduated university, I continued to work at FatFace (now in my 4th year) whilst looking for more full-time, substantial work when I came across a Fundraising position with a sight loss charity in York city centre. I applied, was successful and starting working there in December 2019 alongside FatFace – both were part time.
Around the same time, my mental health became very poor. I have had anxiety and panic attacks since I was in primary school, and occasionally get the odd flare up where things become quite challenging for no apparent reason. I moved back in with my parents in February 2020, left my job at FatFace and continued to work for the charity by driving the 2.5 hour commute to York every day – exhausting!
We all know what happened after that… COVID! I was furloughed from my job as Fundraiser, and spent the next 4 months doing what everyone else was doing… making banana bread, watching Tiger King on Netflix and complaining about how hot it was! Despite all the odds, I also met my partner Henry. We have been together almost 2 years now, and are currently saving to buy our first home together. In December 2020, I was offered the job as Fundraiser at Walthew House, a sight and hearing loss charity in Stockport, 20 minutes up the road from my house rather than 2.5 hours! I really enjoy working here and as a result, am also learning my Level 2 in British Sign Language. Working for Walthew House has really opened my eyes to the charity world, how important charities are, how valuable the support they offer is and also the important roles of Trustees and volunteers. About 5 months after working at Walthew House, I decided I wanted to become a Trustee for a charity who were doing work I was really passionate and knowledgeable about and then, lo and behold, I saw the position at Mind advertised – I couldn’t believe it. This particular role asked for candidates with some Fundraising knowledge so I thought I had a good chance of being accepted, I wanted to offer my skills and expertise wherever I could and in any capacity which helped the charity complete their amazing work. I have always seen myself as a sort of advocate for mental health, wanting people to know how to access help, to not feel alone, to know that what they are feeling is OK and to help fight the stigma that unfortunately mental health has. I knew the work of Mind already, having volunteered for them when I lived in York, and already supporting them financially too. Although I am new to the Board, I am excited, expectant and ready to join the team who are fighting to level the playing field for people with mental health problems, in any way I can contribute.
Posted on: 2nd November 2021