User Group


About the User Group

CFG has set up a volunteer User Group of people  from diverse small charities.  The groups purpose is to make sure that the small charities programme development is user-led and that the programme team hears and listens to what those who work with finance in small charities need and want, so that they are able to do a good job and help to strengthen the organisations as a whole.  The group interacts face to face or via email, the type of things the group is asked is for strategic feedback about the programme and how it is developing.   So far the group has been visited and all 6 small charity finance training modules were reviewed, there feedback was fed back to specialists who are consulted about the programme and the trainings were tweaked accordingly.  The group is also engaged on an ad-hoc basis to review different aspects of the programme.



Meet the User Group

CBT 2013

Ruth Chapple
Head of Operations
Campaign for Better Transport

“I’m the Head of Operations at Campaign for Better Transport and just celebrated 8 years with the organisation (making it 13 years in the non-profit sector as a whole). My charity campaigns to improve public transport across the UK, with a particular focus on making rail franchises more passenger friendly and saving bus services from local authority cuts. My role is very diverse covering finance, HR, IT, business planning and many other things, as it common in smaller charities!

I’m very keen to support other people from small charities as it’s common to have to take on important areas of work, such as finance and budgeting, without necessarily having a formal accountancy background or really knowing where to start. I very much valued support from my peers when I started out in the sector and think CFG’s training programme is an important part of the network.”



Hatixhe Demushi (TJ)
Finance Manager


Hatixhe Demushi (also know as TJ) working for a small charity, IARS International Institute, as a Finance and Grants Manager, She started to work for IARS since April 2011.  Hatixhe is involved and working with European Commission grants’ management and monitoring of all financial activities for the charity. She is responsible for ensuring that international partners are implementing the EC Finance policy, regulations and procedures.  Hatixhe has been working about 20 years in public finances in different charities and in different roles such as Finance Officer, Finance Manager, Accounts Assistant and Treasurer at School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Right Organisation (IKWRO) Shpresa Programme, SunRay Ultra, ROTA.  Hatixhe was nominated from Redbridge Council for her long-term commitment in working in the public sector where she offered her financial expertise and was seen as a role model. As a result, she was awarded ‘Bronze’ for the ‘Long Service Award’ in the Community.




Francis Slack
Finance and Administration Director (Maternity Cover)
Southbank Sinfoniarsz_1fslack-final

“I currently work as Finance & Administration Director (Maternity Cover) at Southbank Sinfonia and prior to this worked for Grant Thornton as an Audit Associate.  As a charity which has grown significantly over the past 10 years, the financial strategy and knowledge of Southbank Sinfonia has had to develop rapidly. Even small charities can face complex and often unique issues and I feel that it is important that these are addressed, which is something that the Charity Finance Group Small Charities Programme aims to do.  I am also a Trustee of The Berkeley Ensemble, a much smaller charity than Southbank Sinfonia and feel that the Small Charities Programme is particularly relevant to organisations who are run on a voluntary basis.”







Maritha Lightbourne
Company Secretary and Head of Finance and Operations
Pensions Policy Instituteppi-maritha-lightbourne-resized-1

“I am Company Secretary and Head of Finance and Operations at the Pensions Policy Institute, a small research charity. I am responsible for the day to day operational duties of the Institute, accounts, IT, HR, and I work closely with the Trustees and Senior Management on Governance. I am on the leadership team of a small church group that started a few years. I have almost twenty years experience in the voluntary sector with small start up organisations and have seen the difficulty many go through in setting up their accounting and administration systems. I welcome the introduction of the Small Charities Programme and look forward to assisting in its development.”








Julia Devote
Operations Manager
Early Education


Early Education is a national charity supporting early years practitioners with training, resources and professional networks. It campaigns for quality education for the youngest children. As Operations Manager I am responsible for managing and directing the internal administration and
support functions of the organisation, including finance, human resources, corporate governance, IT and facilities management, as well as taking responsibility for major events management and other assorted projects. I have worked in this sector for many years and have often seen people develop within their original role to progress through an organisation as opportunities arise without necessarily receiving formal training. They learn on the job with the support of colleagues and I believe that the training offered by the Small Charities Programme can widen and consolidate that learning.







Brenda Ford
Senior Accountant
I’ve recently joined the VAST finance team having previously been the finance manager at a local charity. I am involved with preparing accounts for smaller charities as well as offering advice and training in setting up and improving financial procedures. I have also worked in practice, education and industry and am keen to use my diverse experiences to help charities manage their finances effectively.