Lloyds Bank Foundation today announced two new appointments that will strengthen the Foundation at both senior leadership and board level.

Harriet Stranks has been named the Foundation’s new Director of Grants. Harriet, formerly Director of Grant Making North and Wales at the Foundation will assume responsibility for a grant-making portfolio of around £16m p.a in her new role.

Harriet has been a pivotal member of the senior leadership team at Lloyds Bank Foundation for five years, overseeing its grant making in the North of England and Wales. One of her most outstanding achievements has been to design and deliver the Foundation’s innovative ‘grants plus’ programme for charities, which has seen over 500 charities benefit from a bespoke programme of support and capacity building to help them become stronger and more fundable.

Harriet’s new role brings together for the first time all aspects of the Foundation’s grant making across England and Wales from initial approach, through application and assessment to approval and monitoring. As Director of Grants she will be responsible for the Foundation’s 12-strong team of regionally based Grant Managers, as well as the central Service Delivery Team.   

The changes to the management structure are intended to give greater clarity, consistency and focus to the Foundation’s grant making, alongside its work to develop and support charities to be stronger and to influence policy and practice.

Harriet has 15 years’ experience of working in grant making, and also spent six years working as a fundraiser, both in community fundraising and event fundraising. She has specialised in grant making since 2003 when she joined BBC Children In Need as Regional Manager for the North of England for nine years. Prior to that she was a fundraiser for Magic Radio and Christie’s Hospital.

Paul Streets, Chief Executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales said:

“Harriet has been a key player in shaping and developing the Foundation’s mission over the last few years as part of the leadership team. Her track record, her excellent skillset and her passion for strengthening the charities across England and Wales make her ideally placed for this new role of single Director of all aspects of our grant making to small and medium sized charities on the frontline of tackling disadvantage. We are delighted that Harriet will head up our national grant-making arm, helping us realise our ambition to transform the landscape for charities and through them, the lives of the people of those they support.”

Harriet Stranks, Director of Grants said:

“At a time when demand is rising and funding for small charities is increasingly hard to access, the role of grant-makers is become ever more important to sustaining the services making real impact in local communities. We are passionate about our commitment to funding the core costs of charities punching above their weight and supporting those with the most complex needs in our society, who often turn to their local charities when everyone else has given up on them. These charities matter, and they need our backing.”

Alongside Harriet’s appointment, the Foundation also announced Sara Weller, Non-executive Director at United Utilities, Department of Work and Pensions and at Lloyds Banking Group will join its Board of Trustees.

Sara brings a wealth of business experience and insights to the Foundation’s Board having undertaken roles including MD at Argos and as a senior leader at J Sainsbury plc, Abbey National and Mars. As non-executive director at Lloyds Banking Group, Sara has been instrumental in shaping the bank’s approach to Helping Britain Prosper, and will now further her impact working directly with the Foundation through its Board. Her expertise from several non-executive directorates in FTSE 100, government and third sector roles, combined with her expertise in business strategy and customer driven culture change, will add fresh challenge to the Foundation in its vital role in tackling social disadvantage through funding and supporting small and local charities on the frontline in communities right across England and Wales, as well as championing broader social change.

Baroness Rennie Fritchie, Chair of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales said:

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Sara. Her insights and experience will be invaluable to the Board as we look to increase the impact we have on tackling disadvantage and through funding and supporting small and vital charities that are the lifeblood of local communities. We are embarking on an ambitious year as we look to strengthen them further at a time when they face significant threats, yet are more relied upon than ever. We look forward to Sara’s contributions to a Board that is already of an extremely high calibre.”

Sara Weller said:

“The work of the Lloyds Bank Foundation is truly inspiring, and an important part of Lloyds Banking Group’s desire to Help Britain Prosper by tackling social disadvantage in communities right across the country. I look forward to supporting the Foundation both day to day and in its strategic development, as it seeks to help more people and charities and to leverage from the work it funds and the insights it gains to influence the wider environment.”