2019 has seen Link UP London’s volunteer pool go from strength to strength, culminating in a steady stream of high calibre individuals who are all looking to contribute their talent for social good and ultimately reconnect with their local community. When Clive first got in touch with Link UP, he was looking to continue the incredible work he had been doing in his own part-time public practice H R C Lewis & Co; supporting small organisations to find their footing in the confusing world of starting up with advice on accountancy, taxation, and financial matters. All of this on top of spending the last 16 years as Head of Enterprise for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), also having close ties to Wandsworth business.

In general, when advertising opportunities to volunteers, Link UP staff sends multiple opportunities that could interest the volunteer and compliments their skillset. After receiving two volunteering opportunities, Clive quickly jumped on both chances to support local organisations in both Lambeth and Wandsworth.

Eye to Eye, based in Lambeth, were in need of accounting and business support to decide on the most appropriate legal structure they should adopt in order to continue and expand their activities. Eye to Eye provides theatre based workshops for young refugees in South London, developing their English skills, confidence, creativity and problem solving ability whilst remedying social isolation.

Following over a year of operating with an informal structure, Eye to Eye founders, Rachel and Elsa, were ready to formalise their programme for children and prepare for grant applications. In order to make these changes, they needed to ensure they had a formal business structure which was as tax effective as possible and their articles of association accurately represented their intent.

“We will be able to set up the company and understand the impact of our choices. And make sure we’re following the correct legal procedure. Link UP London has enabled us to set up our business legally and with way less stress” – Rachel, Eye to Eye

With decades of experience as a tax accountant, Clive was able to clearly advise on the merits of different company structures as well as explaining relevant accounting, tax and Companies House requirements. He also helped the organisation to understand the importance of profitability and cash flow. He prepared relevant documentation in advance and offered informed responses to their specific questions in the face-to-face meeting. Clive also provided a number of printed materials and online links that would support their planning and decision-making process.

Simultaneously, Clive was also working closely with Battersea Park Business in Wandsworth, supporting them with accountancy consultancy. Battersea Business Park (BPP) needed accounting advice to support their vision of engaging local businesses to create an ‘eco-system’ where businesses can support one another. One of BPB’s key objectives is also to serve as an advocate for the local area by working to improve the public spaces and environment in North Battersea, to build a thriving and attractive commercial quarter for the benefit of residents, businesses and people that visit the area.

BPB did not employ any members of staff and did not have the resources to engage paid accounting services. They had legal obligations to HMRC that needed to be clarified and complied with in order to support the company’s 2019 objectives; to secure and manage larger grants and funding. Clive met with the organisation on several occasions to offer advice from his decades of experience, working in-house at listed companies and as a volunteer accountant supporting charities with their compliance. He offered them strategic and practical advice on their accounting, membership record-keeping, company law and taxation compliance. As well as general advice, Clive delivered a clear list of targets with deadlines to help the company meet its obligations. This template will continue to be used as a precedent in the future.

“We are extremely happy with the help that was offered by Link UP London and our volunteer Clive. The service was highly professional and every effort was made to ensure the service was meeting expectations. We received regular follow up from Clive to check that we were making progress with the recommendations and if any further advice was required. Highly recommend the service and hope to work with Link UP again soon!” – Hajir, Battersea Park Businesses

Following his work with Battersea Park Business and Eye to Eye, Clive instantly moved on to another volunteering project through Link UP, this time with Global Urban Design (a social enterprise based in Lambeth that provides urban design and placemaking services). Clive is currently supporting them with their Companies House filing.

It is the dedication of Clive to his local community and beyond that makes him our choice for Volunteer spotlight on!

If you would like to get more involved in your local community or for more information on meaningful volunteering opportunities get in touch with us on hello@linkuplondon.org , or fill in a sign up form on our website!