Meet Shivonne, GFC’s new Deputy Director in the UK

Meet Shivonne Graham! As Deputy Director, UK, Shivonne helps lead the growing team at GFC’s UK office.

Shivonne Graham

SHIVONNE, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT WHERE YOU’RE FROM AND ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND?

I’m from a town in the very north of England called Carlisle. It’s in a region called the Lake District, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of forests, mountains, and, of course, lakes! I now live in little village called Teddington on the outskirts of South West London. For any Park Runners in our global family, Teddington, or its local park, Bushy Park, is where the Park Run first started 18 years ago. I’m an obsessed Park Runner, so 9:00AM on a Saturday every week … you know where to find me. Teddington is like being in the countryside but super close to London, so I feel very lucky every day. I live with my two Shih Tzus, Minnie and Milo, and round the corner from my two nieces – life is good.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY?

I loved roller skating as a child. And even if I do say so myself, I was not too shabby on those wheels! So, during one of last year’s lockdowns, I was excited to suddenly get an urge, out of nowhere, to procure a new pair of roller boots. I can confirm that 11-year-old Shivonne was fearless, without a thought for personal safety over potential fun, and a center of gravity much nearer the ground. For 47-year-old Shivonne, roller skating is a whole different “wheel game,” mostly because I am all too painfully aware how much that ground is going to hurt when I inevitably smack down on it in the middle of a move due to my long-lost sense of balance! Anyway, harnessing the courage of fearless, fabulous feminist roller-skating women before me, I am persisting!

WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS LINE OF WORK AND TO GFC?

I have worked in the nonprofit sector for 25 years, always as a fundraiser, then adding in marketing and communications to my responsibilities. I have served as the Director of Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising at AMREF Health Africa and at Women for Women International – UK and for the last two-and-a-half years as Managing Director responsible for the organization in the UK. I am passionate about the charity sector, the people who work in it, and the impact that we can have. Having passion for what I do and being able to harness that in service to incredible causes and missions is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I am super excited to be joining GFC, and at a time when we are about to launch a new five-year strategy. What a fabulous time to join the GFC team in service of the incredible organizations we partner with.

WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR JOB? WHAT WILL BE THE MOST SATISFYING?

As I will be working part-time, and I have never done that before, that is going to be challenging to make the impact I want to make in much shorter time frames. I will have to be super focused and not such a chatterbox (although my colleagues in the UK might welcome less chatter)! The most satisfying will be making an impact and being able to bring my skills and experiences to this brilliant team at the top of their game, to join them at a time when they are getting better, more successful, and more impactful all the time. What a great time to join!

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE GFC’S WORK IS IMPORTANT?

The voices of children and young people sharing their experience and their wisdom are critical now, perhaps more than ever, to creating a fairer, more equitable, and sustainable world. GFC supports children and young people – wherever they are around the world – with actions, words, and by using our power.

 

#FunFacts About Shivonne

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY GROWING UP?

The aforementioned roller skates.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

An air hostess, a mum, and quite a lot of the time I wanted to be Grace Van Owen from L.A. Law (with her perfect blonde bob and briefcase) but not the Harry Hamlin boyfriend – not my type!

WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING YOU’VE EVER EATEN?

Ummmm, if it falls into “weird” I would avoid it …. and I love my food!

DO YOU HAVE A PET PEEVE?

Oh wow … so many!

Being judgey … we have no idea what people are going through at any time, so try to assume we are all doing our best, give people the benefit of the doubt, and if there’s a problem say it kindly, directly, and then listen to the answer. Since I became more aware of how judgmental I can be sometimes, it has made me a happier person to try to put this different way into practice.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Flying …. just take that London transport system right out of my life for good!

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Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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