Stephen Eccles joins Pilotlight


We are delighted to announce that Partner Stephen Eccles has joined Pilotlight as a Pilotlighter. Pilotlight is a registered charity and social enterprise which was set up to help other charities and social enterprises access to the strategic business support they need to develop their organisations.

Pilotlight’s mission is to help charities help more people more effectively. By connecting charities with their members, known as ‘Pilotlighters’, they help them to become more efficient and sustainable in the work they do. Pilotlight also believes that great causes deserve great talent.

Pilotlight and the Third Sector

The Third Sector describes a wide range of organisations that have been set up to achieve social or charitable aims and is used interchangeably with voluntary sector, community sector, civil society or non-profit sector.

The Third Sector is a major part of the UK economy. There are 168,000 charities registered in England and Wales alone, and the combined income of all voluntary organisations is estimated at £48billion. It is estimated that 880,000 people are employed in the sector.

Becoming a Pilotlighter

Speaking of joining Pilotlight, Stephen said: 

“I wanted to give something back to society and had been considering various types of voluntary work that I could undertake. Pilotlight came to my attention through its CEO Ed Mayo who I know personally and also via the social media for Pilotlight which I followed. Pilotlight seem to achieve remarkable results for the organisations that it works with. It occurred to me my time would be much better used in providing professional business support to organisations in the Third Sector rather than more practical voluntary help locally.

“The pandemic has caused considerable hardship to many, and I suspect the true impact on the most disadvantaged in society will not truly be known for some time. I contacted Ed Mayo and discussed how I could assist and quickly understood that Pilotlight would be the best way of my personally contributing and giving back.

“I discussed this with my partners at Pinney Talfourd LLP, in particular Catherine Polli, and the partnership agreed to back the project, seeing it as an important way of the firm also giving back.”

Ed Mayo, CEO of Pilotlight, welcomes Stephen and Pinney Talfourd LLP to the Pilotlight’s community of purpose: 

“Every professional firm tries to be good for clients but only the best try to be good for communities too. I am delighted to welcome Pinney Talford as a partner for Pilotlight and our charities in communities around the UK.”

Head of Partnership, Tom Leavesley-Matthews, added: 

“I’m delighted to welcome Stephen to Pilotlight. We have a fantastic relationship with the legal community and I’m confident Stephen’s insight and expertise will be of great value for our charity.”

Wheelchair Football Association

Stephen will be joining the Pilotlight Programme and will be supporting Wheelchair Football Association. Powerchair Football is a unique sport that provides opportunities for people with a high level of physical impairment to access the game of football. It is the only active team participation sport for people who use electric wheelchairs. The Wheelchair Football Association is the lead organisation for the sport and aims to ensure that the sport is accessible to wheelchair users which ultimately improves participants’ quality of life and integration into the game of football/society as a whole.

Pilotlight has provided a detailed brief and, in due course Stephen will join another three Pilotlighters to meet with the Wheelchair Football Association’s personnel to gain a better understanding of relevant issues. The Pilotlight Programme takes place over 10 months and Stephen will give around 3 hours per month.

Stephen added: “I am enormously grateful to be part of a Pilotlight project team assisting Third Sector organisations over the coming year. There will be a lot of listening involved in order to understand their issues and I sincerely hope my professional skills can be utilised and applied to achieve change to make them more efficient, effective and sustainable.”

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of September 2021.



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