Doreen smiling in front of green wildflower meadow

Doreen Massey, Trustee

A chartered accountant experienced in both financial and management accounting at a senior level, Doreen has extensive experience in charity finance and governance having worked for The Royal Shakespeare Company for the past 11 years.

Doreen’s ideal family leisure time is spent walking cockapoo, Ruby, in the local countryside and finding new places to explore.

I am delighted to be a trustee of the Heart of England Forest, helping to deliver Felix Dennis’s dream of establishing a 30,000 acre Forest here in the heart of the country. I am drawn to the aims of the charity on two levels: one a very personal, community level which provides a fantastic natural resource and environment for people to enjoy; and secondly on a more strategic level whereby the expanded Forest will help to counteract the devastating effects of climate change.
Doreen smiling in front of wooden panelled wall

Q&A with Doreen

When did you become a trustee? 

May 2020.


Why did you choose to give your time and get involved with the charity?

I had previously volunteered on the Finance and Audit Committee for the charity in an advisory role, so had seen the work the charity was doing and the scale of its plans for the future. The legacy left by Felix Dennis to help facilitate the planting of a 30,000 acre woodland in the heart of the country is an ambitious plan that will massively benefit both the local area - where I live with my family - and the global environment. With such an inspirational vision, I could not turn down the opportunity to become further involved with the charity as a trustee.

 

What expertise do you bring to the trustee role?

I am a chartered accountant with thirty years’ experience of working in all sectors, but for the last twelve years have been working within the charity sector. As Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee I hope I can provide a critical friend role to the brilliant senior management team to help them safeguard the charity’s assets, but also to continue to provide the stable financial base which will allow the organisation to fulfil its ambitious but achievable plans. 

 

What aspect of the charity’s work interests you the most?

Our education work is amazing, and I love seeing the groups of young people coming to learn and have fun in the Forest, which was even more important during the pandemic. It is brilliant to think that most of the work we are doing now is to benefit not just ourselves but future generations – that makes me feel very proud.

 

How do you think the Heart of England Forest is making the most difference?

The charity has inclusion at the heart of its vision and some of the projects that have been completed recently demonstrate that so well. We have recently finished two holiday cottages in Dorsington which are beautiful and accessible and provide accommodation that enables everyone to enjoy spending time in the Forest. Similarly, the accessible route at Morgrove Coppice provides a 0.75 mile flat and stable pathway that is particularly helpful for anyone with buggies or people with limited mobility.


What are the challenges facing the charity over the next 12 months?

The next twelve months will be challenging in terms of regaining stability and normality following the impact of the pandemic. Some of our projects have been delayed, so we will be hoping to push on with those; we need to recruit the best staff to meet the needs of our growing organisation; and, of course, to plant as many trees as we can! Climate change is a major challenge for us all and we will continue to do whatever we can to help our environment.

 

What 3 words would you use to describe the work of the Forest?

Important, inspirational, and joyful.
 

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