February 27, 2024

Trustee Philippa Gitlin reflects on the 'tangible impact' of CPT's grants.

Philippa Gitlin was appointed as a trustee of The Charles Plater Trust in 2023, having worked in the UK social action voluntary sector for more than 30 years as the Director of Fundraising for Depaul UK, CEO of FSU, a national social work organisation and Director of the Catholic Social Action Network (CSAN). Reflecting on her appointment to CPT's board Philippa writes:

"As I sit down to reflect on my role as a trustee of The Charles Plater Trust, I have a sense of fulfilment and purpose. It's not just a position on a board; it's a commitment to fostering positive change rooted in the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. Having worked in both paid and voluntary roles in the voluntary sector during the last three decades, I've come to cherish every aspect of this role and the opportunity it presents to give back to society for the common good.

"One of the most rewarding aspects of being a trustee is witnessing the tangible impact our grants have on social welfare organisations. Knowing that our financial support enables these organisations to carry out their vital work fills me with immense pride. Whether it's providing shelter to the homeless, supporting refugees, or empowering disadvantaged communities, each grant represents a step towards building a more just and compassionate society. The commitment of every single person I have met in the projects we have funded is deeply impressive and humbling.  I have also been very impressed in those projects by the genuine sense of staff and volunteers 'walking alongside' their service users, being there for them, and being determined to make a difference for the better.


"Drawing on my extensive experience in the voluntary sector, I believe I bring a wealth of knowledge and insight to the table. I've seen first hand the challenges faced by charitable organisations, from funding constraints to bureaucratic hurdles. As a trustee, I'm able to leverage this experience to support The Charles Plater Trust in making informed decisions that maximise our impact and ensure responsible stewardship of resources.


"But it's not just about the numbers or the logistics; it's about the values that underpin our work. Catholic Social Teaching provides a moral framework that guides our grant-making process, emphasising principles such as human dignity, solidarity, and the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable. These principles serve as a compass, guiding us in our mission to create a more just and equitable society.


"Being a trustee allows me to continue to contribute in a meaningful way. It's a way of giving back, of using my skills and experience to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. Whether it's through reviewing grant applications, participating in strategic planning sessions, or engaging with funded organisations, every aspect of my role as a trustee is infused with a sense of purpose and fulfilment.

"Moreover, being part of a foundation that aligns with my values allows me to integrate my personal and professional passions seamlessly, in alignment with my beliefs and convictions. It's not just a job; it's a calling to live out the principles of social justice and solidarity in a tangible way. 

"In essence, my role as a trustee of the Charles Plater Trust is a privilege, a responsibility, and above all, a labour of love. And as I continue on this journey, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world, one grant at a time."