Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are under threat as never before. A well-known example is Lodge Hill in Kent where developers Land Securities […]
A benefactor had offered the 12-acre site Foxearth (pictured) to A Rocha UK at a special rate of £45,000. Such an altruistic gesture seemed to open the floodgates, as many responded to an online prospectus and magazine appeal in November.
When donations poured in for the initial appeal, A Rocha UK’s former CEO Mairi Johnstone said it was one of the best campaigns ever. ‘We’re genuinely humbled by the response – especially against a backdrop of a challenging financial climate,’ she said at the time.
That was closely followed at Christmas by matched funding campaign The Big Give, producing a further £20,000 to pay for a part-time ranger. Now the purchase has been made of this haven for dragonflies and damselflies.
Two environmental pioneers will share a speaking platform when A Rocha UK’s Dr Ruth Valerio and Friends Of The Earth’s Andy Atkins give keynote […]
Head of the organisation for the past two years – having previously been its Finance and Administration Director – she moves on at the end of February to become CEO of the Methodist Ministers Housing Society.
Mairi’s journey through A Rocha UK started at a meeting with former Chair Richard Hall. He visited Mairi early in 2010 to persuade her to become a trustee. She ended up becoming CEO.
‘I’d never have thought it was possible for so much to suit one role,’ said Mairi, ‘strategist, lawyer, leader, preacher, manager – all sitting alongside my long held love of the natural world! Did Richard spot all of this?’
She said one of her greatest pleasures was how she’s been able to use that mix of her own qualifications and experience to help strengthen the organisation, particularly its financial base. ‘It’s been my absolute privilege to lead A Rocha UK through some very interesting times,’ said Mairi. ‘It was important for us, a couple of years ago, to develop a new strategy – and we did that.
‘We now have new projects, opportunities and partnerships. We have excellent plans in place so we can keep showing how it’s possible for Christians in the UK to make a real difference when it comes to conservation and environmental education – to be salt and light in the world.’
They have given generously in two recent campaigns. They donated £60,000 through The Big Appeal for core funding – in a combination of one-off gifts and increased or new standing orders. They gave a further £20,000 through The Big Give and accompanying magazine appeal for new nature reserve Foxearth.
The Big Appeal saw 30 staff, trustees and volunteers engaging with supporters via phone and email. The Big Give is a matched funding scheme.
‘It’s been humbling to be on the receiving end of such affirmation,’ CEO Mairi Johnstone said of The Big Appeal. ‘I want to thank our supporters for responding so positively. It shows how well they understand the cost of running a national charity.
‘I also want to thank the A Rocha UK team – paid, volunteer and trustees – who committed time to phoning and emailing people, updating our database information as they went along and reporting back so well.’