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Financial fundraisers show their passion for Practical Action

Two brave staff members, Gita Patel Practical Action's Global Head of Finance and Lesley McIntosh, Head of  Internal Audit have taken up the challenge of raising funds for Practical Action during our 50th Anniversary year.  Gita turned 50th this year and Lesley will turn 50 next year so  they decided to set themselves a challenge to raise £25,000 over a period of 12 months as  a perfect opportunity to mark their personal passion for Practical Action.

Their campaign kicked off in February with a pizza lunch for the office, which raised just under £100.  With larger sums in mind they sought the help and expertise of Community Fundraiser Stacey McNeill and Facilities Manager, Jon Gudorf to put on a Murder Mystery evening..

What an evening it was!  Bourton Hall provided the perfect venue for a 1920's themed evening.  Staff, their families and friends eagerly snapped up the tickets.  Rehearsals for the roles took place in quiet corners during the lunch hour and Jon Gudorf, a keen photographer, produced beautiful sepia tinted photos of the cast, all of whom were members of staff. 

Everyone was surprised by the huge, untapped well of acting talent in the building.  The theme proved popular with most of the 90 guests dressing up. Not only was it was a fun-packed, entertaining evening but it also raised over £2,000 and certainly will be a night to remember!

It proved that in spite of the hard work, fundraising can be great fun!   The event certainly demonstrated great team work and motivation amongst staff as everyone pulled together to make the night a success.

Watch this space for details of future fundraising events.

“I want Practical Action's amazing work to become better known, including amongst my friends and family."  said Gita.

"We'll be working hard over the year to reach out to our business and social contacts for support. Our aim is to raise £25k to support the re-build of a local village in Nepal following the earthquake where many people including children are still suffering and we want to help them rebuild their lives. Lesley added: "And we want to organise events that brings people together socially within work and outside work where we can make fundraising fun but to also challenge ourselves by doing  things that are out of our comfort zone!"

About Gita

Gita was born in Uganda, but her family came to live in Coventry in the 1970s when the dictator, Idi Amin expelled Asians from the country.  She studied Accounting and Computing at university in Leicester and spent time working for the Royal Society for the Blind.

After graduating, Gita worked for a while in the commercial sector but always felt that her heart was in the charity world. So when the post of programme accountant was offered to her in 1991 at what was then ITDG, she jumped at the chance and she has been here ever since. Gita was promoted to Global Head of Finance  at Practical Action 10 years ago and reached her 25th anniversary with the charity this year.

She married Raj in 1992 and moved to Leicester, where she brought up her two children, Aaron, 21 and Alyshea, 18. 

Gita is also a trustee/treasurer for Mental Health charity BasicNeeds and feels passionate about the important work they do.

About Lesley

Lesley was born in Clydebank and was brought up near Loch Lomond in Scotland.  She left school at 16 and went to work for the Royal Navy at the Clyde Submarine Base, during this time she qualified as an accountant.

After 13 years it was time for a new challenge and she moved to the USA to work as the Head of Finance for the British Defence staff at the British Embassy in Washington DC.  After four years she joined the Defence Logistics Organisation at their headquarters in Rheindahlen, Germany where she became Head of Corporate Services and Governance with a team of 88.

After 27 years with the Ministry of Defence it was time for a change! Lesley joined the Management Accounts section at the Department for International Development (UKAID) at the start of 2010. As she has always wanted to work for a charity she couldn’t resist applying when the Head of Internal Audit job came up at Practical Action. She joined the team in November 2013 and has loved every minute it!

Lesley met her husband Bill on her very first day at work and they have been married for 26 years. They now live in Rugby with their miniature dachshund Ellie.

Lesley also supports the local homeless charity Hope4Rugby where she helps cook and serve meals and collect donated items for the homeless people of the town.

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