Maureen Lewis


Your journey

I started working in the voluntary sector after having my third child, in 1991 I met a lady who introduced me to Walsall Black Sisters Collective and asked me to apply for the Administration Officer vacancy which I did and was successful, I worked in this role for three years by which time the organisation was struggling with funding resulting in the manager leaving, and my paid administration position coming to an end. I stayed on despite this and worked to develop the organisation with the Management Committee by taking on the task of raising funds, which was something I had never done before.

I learned many of the skills needed to run an organisation as a volunteer and was eventually successful in securing a three-year grant that enabled the organisation to develop projects that addressed the needs, disparities, and inequalities facing BME communities living in deprivation.

Accomplishments you are exceptionally proud of

Being instrumental in ensuring a local women’s charity is still here after 30 years makes me feel proud, especially seeing the work and lives that we have helped to change.  Working within the voluntary sector, I can say that I found my passion for helping people less fortunate, and I hope to continue to impact change, empower people and promote a Walsall that is inclusive of its diverse communities.

What inspires and motivates you?

My faith inspires and motivates me; it enables me to overcome any obstacle and if I were to pick a person that inspires me, I would say, Oprah Winfrey, because of her achievements and the difference she has made for others during her journey.

The obstacles you have faced getting to where you are today 

My main obstacle has been the lack of self-belief in my capabilities, I was always a shy child and lacked confidence in myself, however, I have grown through the ups and downs of running a charity, developing my character, skills, and abilities.  Starting with basic admin duties to now being the CEO of an established and reputable charity has enabled me to remain humble and grateful.

What would you say to your younger self with the benefit of hindsight? 

Believe in you, every obstacle, every challenge is there to shape the person you are meant to be.

A quote or saying that you live by

As above

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