Why I support the charity by Paul Pindar

25 May 2012

Paul Pindar, Chief Executive Officer at Capita Group Plc, explains why he supports Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.

One of the things that appeals to me about Great Ormond Street Hospital is that there is a very tangible correlation between money that is raised from donors and the outcomes that are achieved by the hospital, whether they are new buildings that can be constructed, new equipment that is able to be bought, or research that improves the outcome for children.

Successful outcomes

The size of the charity also makes me feel that I can make a difference. The fact that the charity is looking to raise something in the region of £50 million a year makes it a meaningful charity, but equally not so big that the money doesn’t matter.

It’s rewarding seeing children that are getting successful outcomes. The calibre and commitment of the doctors who work in the hospital are outstanding. And the other thing that always strikes me is that when you walk around the hospital, you can’t help but think there is still actually quite a lot to do – a lot we can help with as supporters.

Corporate Partnerships Board

One way I’m involved with the charity is through the Corporate Partnerships Board. There are 15 of us who help in three main ways. Firstly, it is an unashamed attempt to get people to use their business contacts to introduce them to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

Secondly, the board is utilised to leverage favours from friends. So, if the charity wants to sell 500 tickets for its F1 event, the board uses its network to get family, friends and individuals into a room, who you know are pretty well-off and are likely to spend money. Thirdly, it’s coming up with mutually beneficial fundraising ideas, where a company is also going to be better off as a result of an involvement with Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The Tick Tock Club, which I’m also involved with at the charity, is a very good concept. I think the selection of the right sum of money and the right number of members is very clever: asking people for £25,000 a year for three years. I think to a lot of wealthy people, £25,000 is a meaningful amount of money, but something they can afford to give.

Supporting the charity

I don’t support the charity because I particularly want a great deal out it, but personally I do find it interesting. I meet a diverse group of people, many of whom are different from the people I would normally meet in my working life, and engage in an activity which is fundamentally different from the business world. You just meet a different set of people and some of those people have become very good friends as a result of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

I’ve got two children myself who I completely adore and I have a great relationship with them. In the one or two instances when they’ve not been very well, or I’ve had to sit in hospital with them, it has been pretty devastating. So when you’re walking around the hospital and you see parents doing the 24-hour vigil with their child, and not in a great state, your heart goes out to them and therefore you want to give them the best chance of making sure that they get their child back home again in one piece.

A chartered accountant, Paul Pindar joined Capita in 1987 from 3i, after advising the company on its management buy-out, and became its chief executive in 1999. Since taking over at Capita, he has seen the company’s turnover grow exponentially from £285 million to £2.7 billion, establishing it as a leading member of the FTSE-100 index, and providing outsourcing management services to a diverse group of clients including the Criminal Records Bureau, the TV Licensing scheme for the BBC, and Zurich UK’s life and pension policies.