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Inside TWCP: Meet our Governance Manager Margarida

Hello everyone, I am Margarida! I love spreadsheets, cycling, video games, cartoons and I believe that with love and community, we can make the world a more welcoming and lovely place for us all. 

I first came across TWCP through a friend who had just joined a new project there. The person who was supporting my friend was going on holiday, and she shared concerns about what that could entail. I offered to help and supported the team with some data analysis and tweaking some procedures and systems for that program. It was extremely gratifying to feel so appreciated and useful. At some point I met Matt. We had a great, long chat about our long life commitment to building community, social change models and we shared some of the stories we’ve gathered along our activism journeys. 

I’ve been involved in the volunteer sector for over 20 years and although my passions and the projects that I choose to give myself to are broad in scope and ever-changing, building community and improving the lives of marginalised groups has always been at the centre of what I do. 

Early this year I covered a maternity leave as Executive Director of a small organisation that works with families with young children in Barking and Dagenham, Early Years Cocoon C.I.C. . I got to know the needs and concerns of our families by working very closely with them. I also realised that families believe there is a huge lack of support and/or are unaware of the available services in the borough. There’s a lot of work to be done in this regard. 

When I learned about the Governance Manager vacancy, I knew I wanted it! 

What is Governance, you might ask? Governance is “the systems and processes concerned with ensuring the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of an organisation” (according to The Governance of Voluntary Organisations, Cornforth 2003).  

I believe good governance in a resident-led charity is essential. If the regulations and procedures are well designed and clearly communicated, they empower and support staff in their work and help the organisation run smoother, which makes for a better service for everyone, therefore creating a self-feeding cycle of trust within the charity and everyone we encounter. This trust is essential for residents to participate and get actively involved; without which it’s very hard to fulfil the charity’s objectives. 

I feel privileged to be working for an organisation that is actively seeking to bring about improvements for the community through social change. I’m excited to get to know the residents and to put my experience in service of a cause I believe in. 

Margarida Lopes

Governance Manager

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