A critical friend for the Inspire & Achieve Foundation

When Pippa Carter of the Inspire & Achieve Foundation needed a mentor to act as a 'critical friend', the East Midlands Business Champions programme put her in touch with experienced Chairman and Director Jon Towler.

Mentoring as a 'critical friend'

Jon Towler is an experienced Chairman and Non Executive Director in both private and public sectors and graduated with a double degree in International Business Administration. He has since acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience in business management and volunteers to assist charitable organisations with sustainable development and growth.

Pippa Carter, a Director of the Inspire & Achieve Foundation, approached Business in the Community in the hope of engaging a volunteer business mentor through the East Midlands Business Champions scheme. She requested a mentor to act as a ‘critical friend’ and support her with the management and strategic planning required to help secure the future of this valuable charity. Pippa has to take responsibility for the vast majority of the strategic, managerial and operational activities and wanted the benefit of a business mentor to be a ‘sounding board’ for her, to advise and encourage her in her decision making.

Jon assisted with business planning, board governance and with the tracking and monitoring of participants. His suggested improvements have now been embedded in day to day operations across the organisation.

Says Pippa of her mentor, "I cannot thank Jon enough. He’s been an absolute rock for the last year and has taught me so much. The dedication and passion he showed in our cause, and the amount of time he was prepared to volunteer was brilliant, unexpected and inspiring. The result of the Business Champions scheme for us has been the evolution of a more efficient and effective charity that has a firmer grounding for its future."