Meet Kathryn Slack
What is your name?
What is your role with Action Planning?
I am an Associate and part of the Action Planning core team leading projects on small charity and business proposals.
What is/are your area(s) of expertise?
- Strategic planning & marketing
- Understanding impact
- Partnership working
What roles have you held and for which organisations?
Lots of interesting roles! I began my career as a Cardiac Nurse, then worked in sales, marketing, and business development in the healthcare sector for over 20 years, developing a passion for delivering social value and creating impact.
I have worked for a broad range of organisations across profit and non-profit sectors, from very large corporate businesses to small startups, and this experience helped me to understand my strengths and passion for small, responsive and innovative working environments.
One of the most interesting roles I had was at the Skills Council for the Life Science industries, where I developed and delivered a skills funding programme for SMEs.
In 2020 I started my own business and joined Action Planning as an Associate shortly after.
What inspired you to work in the charity sector?
My first experience of volunteering for a charity was when I started University in London, where I was struck by the amount of homelessness. I volunteered with The Simon Community. The experience had a big impact on me and helped me to understand more about the role of charities, both in and for the community.
Working as a Sales and Marketing Director, I was often approached by charities to explore potential opportunities to fundraise; however, I felt that more could be done to collaborate in a different way. I wanted to share my knowledge and skills to make a positive difference in the lives of others. My dream is to inspire and empower charity leaders to create a bigger and better impact on the world.
What attributes do you bring to your work?
Authenticity, creativity and the ability to create a positive space for sound judgement.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Focus on what you want to do, not the competition.” This advice was given to me in my early career by Vince Kerr, MD of Williams Medical Supplies, who is sadly no longer with us.
And the best you’ve ever given?
Listen to understand – I believe in empowering others to make their own choices rather than giving advice.
Who have been your role models, past and present, and why? (3 max)
In 2000 my dad became ill with Hodgkin's lymphoma. When it was diagnosed, he was already stage 4. After aggressive chemotherapy he fought and spent over 15 years in remission.
For seven years following his recovery he hosted a charity Valentine's Ball to raise money for the Aintree Leukaemia fund. Twenty years on, the cancer returned and even in the middle of a global pandemic he battled through a further six rounds of chemotherapy and won.
He is my inspiration to be grateful for and make the best of every day.
What makes you laugh?
My family; the things my six-year-old niece says; Liverpool people’s sense of humour; clumsiness – mainly my own!
What makes you cry?
People who have overcome the odds and happy films.
How do you relax?
Being outdoors, I live by the sea and love walking through the pinewoods and along the beach.
How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who made a positive difference to the lives of others in some way.