The Stockport Plaza is a charitable trust that manages the Stockport Super Cinema and Variety theatre, built in 1932; the only remaining open dual use cinema and theatre in the UK. The building is a great example of Art Deco with a Grade 2 * listing, which was restored by the trust with national lottery and other grant funding during 2007/8.
Since then we have received no other grant funding and must cover our costs by our activities. We have a turnover of £1.8m and have shows, including our pantomime, and films on 280 nights of the year as well as running front of house bars and a café restaurant open during the day time. We also have a number of other activities using the building, whether educational or events such as weddings and school prize givings.
What prompted the charity to sign up to icaewvolunteers.com and what volunteer role were you looking for?
I’m one of the Trustees and perform finance functions of the charity including overseeing the preparation of management accounts and the budget process. As the Treasurer, and with experience of other charities, I knew the importance of good financial management and advice on the Board and having two other trustees with a finance background on the board ensured a greater degree of resilience and independence. We have had deficits over three years and a strategy to correct that which is now bearing fruit, which emphasised the importance of finance skills.
We were looking for trustees with skills in the areas of financial management, business and strategy planning, risk management and commerce. The ICAEW qualification gives all of this and members develop these skills further throughout their career. icaewvolunteers.com gave access to qualified people who might be interested in a financial management role with our charity.
What would you say to an organisation or individual thinking of signing up to icaewvolunteers.com?
Through the advertising process, supported by the ICAEW team, we were able to have applications from two good candidates and have already appointed one of those people. As a charity, avoiding recruitment costs and being able to access the right calibre of people, was a real benefit.
I see the website as a real benefit to ICAEW members and others, as it has supported me in my own volunteer roles, giving back to the community, as well as from the perspective of an organisation looking for volunteers. I would recommend it to fellow members.