Scottish Fundraising Awards and why you should nominate

NESS Chairman John Legg and NESS Fundraising Coordinator Neil Skene

Guest Bloggers | 31 May 2018

When Neil Skene received the runner-up Excellence in Fundraising Award at the Scottish Fundraising Conference 2017, everyone at North East Sensory Services was so proud of his achievements and the contribution he and his team had made in the work of NESS. He lives our strapline of 'Achieving Independence for Blind and Deaf People'.

At NESS we have been through a significant journey over the past few years. This has seen the organisation change from being a social care service that supported blind and partially sighted people (then known as Grampian Society for the Blind) to a sensory provider, i.e. supporting deaf, hard of hearing and deaf blind people. We also expanded our area of operation from Grampian only to include Tayside. Eight years ago we rebranded to become NESS.

As CEO throughout that time of change, I needed reliable and innovative people around me to help and contribute to the necessary changes. Neil Skene was one of those people.

When I joined NESS as CEO 13 years ago, Neil was in post as a fundraising assistant. He didn’t report to anyone and was struggling away with fundraising on his own. Neil was an inspirational character and his abilities weren’t being fully utilised.

We promoted him to Fundraising Coordinator with a new job description, benefits and targets.

Today, Neil has two fundraising assistants who report to him, and our fundraising team has grown with two more staff members.

I nominated Neil for the Scottish Fundraising Awards, Excellence in Fundraising Award 2017 because he had shown true loyalty to NESS and to the people we support. He developed a wide range of skills, contacts and is as enthusiastic about his job today as he was when he first came through the doors at NESS. Further, Neil reached his 20-year milestone as an employee of GSB/NESS last year and it was timely that he should be recognised. When Neil received the runner-up award we were all so proud. 


The process was very straightforward: a simple online form and a phone interview following the shortlist announcement.


Graham Findlay, Chief Executive at North East Sensory Services

Pictured above: NESS Chairman John Legg and NESS Fundraising Coordinator Neil Skene


Institute of Fundraising Scotland awards are open until 29 June 2018. View the categories and submit your nomination



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