Tom Fitzgerald

Carney's Community

Tell us about Carney’s Community

Carney’s Community works with disadvantaged and excluded young people, diverting them away from a life of crime by giving them skills, discipline, and self-respect. Carney’s approach is inspired by the late Mick Carney, boxing coach legend at Fitzroy Lodge (Lambeth), primarily using boxing (as well as several other activities) as a medium to initially engage young people and subsequently provide sustained, one-to-one mentoring as well as sessions focusing on education, employment, and personal development.

What made you want to become a trustee for Carney’s Community?

I joined Carney’s board of trustees as Treasurer and Company Secretary in February 2021. It was very important for me to become a trustee at a charity like Carney’s which directly and meaningfully touches the local community at the grass roots level, removing the several layers of bureaucracy seen at similar organisations. Carney’s has uniquely created a tight-knit community built on the immense efforts of its co-founders and team members, delivering continuity of services and resource intensive one-to-one mentoring focusing on long-term change (instead of short term and KPI driven results).

Did you know much about Carney’s Community before you became involved as a trustee?

I boxed for Fitzroy Lodge under the tutelage of Mick Carney and Mark Reigate, with the latter co-founding Carney’s with George Turner in 2011. The Lodge was a huge part of my development into a young man providing me with lifelong skills. Through the Lodge, I was very aware of Carney’s work in the community and was delighted to be asked to contribute.

What do you feel trusteeship adds to your personal and professional development?

Trusteeship has afforded me the opportunity to develop my critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills and closely work alongside a talented board of trustees from a wide spectrum of backgrounds and ultimately contribute towards a great cause which is very close to my heart.

What value have you been able to add to your charity with your personal and professional experience?

I have worked at the largest US Investment Banks in the Mergers and Acquisitions departments before transitioning into the private equity industry, investing in relatively early-stage companies across Europe. I have been able to utilise my extensive finance experience to provide the Board of Trustees with valuable insights into the cash position, expected cash flows and introduce new financial reporting layouts to better track income and expenses versus budget and prior periods.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about becoming a trustee what would it be?

Trustee role gives back just as much as you put in, so it is important you are passionate about the charity and its objectives, otherwise you will likely under-invest in the role and ultimately provide a disservice to the most important people, and that’s the ultimate beneficiaries of the charity’s services.

Tom Fitzgerald