Pilotlight Blog

Developing strategic charities: Mama Youth Project

At Pilotlight I’m consistently inspired by the journeys our charity partners and our skilled volunteers (‘Pilotlighters’) go on. Charities often leave us as stronger, more strategic organisations, and the Pilotlighters become better, more versatile leaders. When I discovered that one such journey involved a charity called the Mama Youth Project moving part of its operations into SKY’s HQ, I had to find out more.


Founded in 2007 by veteran media editor Bob Clarke, the MAMA Youth Project (MYP) provides production training to young people from under-represented groups and those with limited educational or employment opportunities. MYP also works with the media industry to get young people into employment following the training continue…

Why I work at Pilotlight: the power of small charities

Imagine you’re a grandmother. You love your grandchildren, but after a busy day taking care of them you’re happy that your own children are grown! Imagine then, that your daughter starts to experience mental health issues that affect her ability to look after her kids. What would you do?

This was the dilemma Carol* found herself in. She decided to step in and brought her grandchildren to live with her. Her husband had to work overtime to financially support them all, Carol experienced health concerns and her grandchildren were of course affected by everything going on, making them harder to look after. On top of all continue…

How Pilotlight helped one operations and logistics leader give back to Scotland

I’ve spent over 25 years working in the corporate arena in a variety of large operational and logistical roles. At board level for the past ten years, my work has become more and more strategic and can result in being removed from the people on the ground. I’d been thinking about how I might give something back to my local community for a while, although I didn’t know what that would look like. When I came across Pilotlight it clicked with me instantly. I signed up to work with local Scottish-based charities straight away. 

My first project was coaching and supporting the CEO of Adventure Centre for Education (ACE), an organisation that harnesses the power of adventure sports to broaden the visions and aspirations of young people living in Girvan, south-west of Scotland. The charity was looking to strengthen its financial structure, refresh its continue…

Why Active Change Foundation became a Pilotlight Partner Charity

Our charity applied to Pilotlight to improve and strengthen the governance of our organisation, to make it more sustainable and increase external confidence for future funders and donors. At the time we were facing a number of drastic funding cuts which forced our trustees and management to rethink the entire organisational strategy. We were always really good at delivering the work of the charity, the management team did not always prioritise the strategic planning required to ensure sustainability beyond the current funding from statutory institutions. 

From the in depth application process to our final meeting, our charity has benefitted from every action during the Pilotlight Programme. Initial project meetings focussed on the Pilotlighters (the business mentors) gaining a well-rounded understanding of our staff, work and beneficiaries. This was followed up with a consultative continue…