GDA used Penleaf Limited for a fixed period to find and secure COVID-19 emergency funding for the charity.

Trust fund applications are one the best tasks for a charity to outsource. It’s the type of work that requires peace and quiet, which can be hard to find in a busy office environment. It is also the kind of work where performance is easily measurable. 

How we helped

About the organisation
GDA is a local charity providing vital practical and emotional support to adults, children and young people living in Gloucestershire and its surrounding areas who are deaf or hard of hearing. Through its wide range of services, GDA’s purpose is to help each person live more confidently at home, work, and out and about. 

The challenge
Nothing could have prepared GDA – or indeed any charity – for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. GDA’s dedicated staff found themselves working ever longer hours to cope with the dramatic upturn in need among its service users of Deaf sign language users and older people with acquired hearing loss. Alongside that, GDA was faced with a sudden and steep downturn in key funding streams: income from hiring out rooms at GDA’s community centre disappeared overnight; community fundraising events had to be cancelled; the charity had to invest to switch to full-time video relay interpreting when face-to-face interpreting became impossible due to social distancing.

The role of Penleaf
GDA used Penleaf for a fixed three-month period to find and secure COVID-19 emergency funding for the charity. The total grant money achieved provided a very worthwhile return on investment. More than that,  by placing the task of grant applications out of house, GDA enabled its senior manager to focus her energy on pivoting the organisation’s services and resources to the new operating environment.

Jenny Hopkins has worked for GDA for a three-month period supporting with grant applications. She adopted a holistic approach involving horizon scanning to research potential opportunities in addition to bid writing which added much value for GDA. Jenny is extremely professional, producing all her work in a timely manner and writing in a persuasive and compassionate way to successfully secure funds.

Sharon Bryant

Chief Executive officer, GDA

What we do

Katie Parker, Community Partnerships Manager, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust

'Jenny brings great insight and clarity to any project or programme she is working on. She is able to engage and collaborate across organisations and systems, and lead with clear values and integrity. An articulate communicator and a valued colleague, Jenny brings depth, knowledge, experience and most importantly compassion and humanity to everything she does.’

Peter Maynard, Practice Business Manager, Horfield Health Centre, Bristol

‘Jenny has the rare skill of being able to distil down difficult and complex matters into logical and succinct reports, so that I always feel I have enough information to allow me to question, debate and decide what to do. The fact she does all the above with good humour and grace is just the icing on the cake.’

Peter Gibbons Chief Security Officer, Network Rail

The ethics and values Graham brought to Network Rail represented a clear change to a more compassionate and engaged senior team, which really helped me develop our capability in my particular area of the business.

Siobahn Ritchie, Resourcing Business Partner, Network Rail

Graham is one of the most collaborative, authentic, approachable, and inspiring leaders I have met. I am grateful that I had the chance to work with him.

General Counsel

I have huge respect and admiration for Graham. Definitely the first time in my 12 years I found an exec to be completely approachable and treat everyone the same.



Things we care about

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