Catherine Randle, Retail Director, BP
"Pilotlight takes me out of my comfort zone. You just hope you can help a bit because there’s a real need."
BP’s retail director, Catherine Randle, has worked on two Pilotlight projects, the most recent one, Home-Start Newham.
”I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to say my two projects with Pilotlight have had quite a profound effect on me. First of all, I would hire Shadna [Home-Start's CEO] any day for her engagement and total dedication. It is humbling and troubling to work with a charity that actually needs very little money but it does need a bit. And in these times, securing that is proving difficult. Their need is urgent, what they do with very little is utterly amazing.
"I’ve personally got so much out of my two Pilotlight projects: I’m taken out of my comfort zone, my colleagues don’t know my strengths or have preconceived ideas about me; we are in a serious environment but one very different to my usual area of work. It’s made me much more aware of the charity sector and all the work there is to be done.
“On my first Pilotlight engagement the team was great, very cohesive. When we fed back at the end, we all agreed that it had changed the way we all thought about how hard we worked and the point of it all. Seeing a sector up close that is financially dependent but not financially driven is eye-opening.
“My current project, Home Start, is an incredibly humbling experience. It really touches me: the director and deputy, are impressive and their situation is precarious, I feel a real sense of urgency. They need and want so little yet it is very difficult to source that bit of funding and make them secure. You just hope you can help a bit because there’s a real need out there for what they do.
“I know how to solve problems in my day to day life but this problem I don’t know how to solve, and that’s troubling, you feel completely out of your comfort zone mainly because the solution is not obvious, this is real people with real lives. In this Pilotlight role I need patience and that’s not my strong point.
“The thing I like about Pilotlighting is that it’s completely different but a relatively safe environment to try out things which you can’t do at work. Personally, I’ve got a huge amount out of it. You’re in a serious but very different environment. It’s made me much more aware of the charity sector, the roles to be filled and the work to be done.”