Meeting the Team is a series of Q&As with the team behind Greater Change. Get to know the people working hard to keep this platform going, with serious questions about their motivations and experiences, and silly questions about where their thoughts wander on a long tube ride...
Wrapping up our Team Q&A is our founder, Alex McCallion! Let's hear from him on the origins of the idea behind Greater Change, and how that idea has grown and changed with the help of our amazing team.
1. Describe your Greater Change journey.
The idea really began when I was at university. I was shocked by how many people were homeless. Some of my friends were doing outreach sessions so I decided to also get involved with that. It was always enjoyable to speak to people and I could see the positive impact it had on people's days, so I wanted to get more involved with local charities and do more. What became really clear when volunteering with charities was that there were often many barriers facing someone trying to leave homelessness behind. People tried really hard to overcome them and support workers could assist effectively with many of the barriers.
However, one frustration came up over and over again. People who were homeless and support workers would often tackle many non financial barriers, then face a financial one, they could see how someone could move forward, but they could not realise that, because there often was not the necessary personalised funding in place to help someone leave homelessness behind for good.
At the same time there are many generous people who want to help. Many of them would be more generous if they could support someone in a really long term way. So I created Greater Change - a way of supporting someone to leave homelessness behind for good.
2. What is the greatest thing you’ve achieved whilst working at Greater Change?
I am always overwhelmed when Greater Change supports someone to move forward with their life. Of course, it's not Greater Change's achievement, it's the person who made that happen but I'm delighted that Greater Change and all our donors could help them get there.
One person we supported is Mary. Originally she used Greater Change to save for a rent deposit. Then she got into stable, privately rented accommodation using this deposit. Through her own experience Mary massively believed in Greater Change and started volunteering with us. Her enthusiasm, dedication and experience mean that the work she does (supporting new members and building partnerships with new charities and companies) is vital. She has started working on Greater Change on a salaried basis and is doing brilliantly. For Greater Change to have helped her get to this point and to have done similar for other people is amazing.
3. What surprised you the most about working for Greater Change?
I am consistently blown away by the passion and energy of the team we've put together. I'm really proud this group of people are driving forward what was previously just an idea. We have the drive and passion to make things happen, grow and support more people!
4. What do you think about when you’re alone on the tube?
I hate the tube and cycle everywhere: when I'm on the tube I tend to think about how much I'd rather cycle!
5. Share a memory that makes you smile.
When we finished our crowdfund campaign and I knew that because of everyone's support Greater Change could happen!
6. One fun fact!
[Alex would like to apologise as he was unable to think of a fun fact - he's too busy working hard on Greater Change!]