Social Good Six Interview 65: Cecile Gillard

Social Good Six Interview 65: Cecile Gillard


Cecile is a specialist in charity and company law, her work supports charities, social enterprises (including CICs) and civil society organisations, as well as their professional advisors (in particular lawyers and accountants) in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Cecile advises on legal and regulatory issues, governance, corporate administration and constitutional matters for charities, social enterprises and civil society organisations. She also leads trustee training, board development and board assessment activities. Clients include faith based groups, churches, arts organisations, museums, heritage organisations, medical and scientific charities, community transport organisations, community and village halls, social welfare and family support charities, organisations supporting people with disabilities, community amateur sports clubs and community interest companies.

A regular speaker at conferences, seminars and other events, Cecile is also an author whose current titles include: Charity Checklists (ICSA Publishing) How to Run a Charity (ICSA Publishing) Charity Law and Governance Handbook (ICSA Publishing) Charities Administration Service (Jordan Publishing) Jordans Company Secretarial Precedents (Jordan Publishing) Charities and Not-for-Profit Entities: Law and Practice (Wildy, Simonds & Hill She contributes regularly to professional journals and sector-specific publications, including ICSA The Governance Institute’s Governance and Compliance magazine and Chartered Secretary’s Review (published by Lexis Nexis). Cecile has served on a number of ICSA and Charity Law Association working parties, helping to produce best practice guides and comment on proposed charity and company law reform. Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in recognition of her work with the charity and civil society sectors, Cecile is a member of the Charity Law Association and an Affiliate of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries. In her “spare” time, Cecile is a voluntary charity secretary of a wildlife charity, a trustee of a local church music arts charity and a trustee of a community based educational sports charity, supporting disadvantaged young people. She enjoys birdwatching and loves showing members of the public the 2 magnificent peregrine falcons that breed in the Avon Gorge. She also enjoys classical music and is a lifelong Bristol City fan.


1-       In no more than three sentences, please explain what you do 

Professionally, I advise and support charities, social enterprises and civil society organisations on the implications of relevant law and regulation, offering practical guidance on how to work effectively within those parameters. This includes advising specific organisations, writing books and leading training and development activities. Personally, I’m a charity trustee and volunteer, football fan, wildlife enthusiast – and lots more!


2-       Who inspires you? 

The wonderful charity people I have the privilege of working with, both in my professional role and in my personal volunteering – and St Francis of Assisi. Born in 1182 into a rich and privileged social position, he grew to be a fun-loving, rather self-focused and wild, young man. He went off soldiering, was captured and held hostage for a year. Once freed and back in his home town, several deep spiritual experiences led to a complete change of direction – into a God inspired life of wandering, prayer and service to the poor, sick and socially excluded. Over 800 years later he inspires tens of thousands of people across the world to devoted loving service of those in need. That is truly inspirational!


3-       What is the biggest change you want to see in the world? 

A worldwide ‘norm’ of respect and gentleness. If we respect and are gentle with ourselves and with others, our cultures and our relationships will naturally move into deep and lasting care, sharing, mutual support and peace.


4-       What would you like to be remembered for? 

Helping make a difference for good.


5-       What is the most interesting new idea you’ve come across in the past year? 

Modern friaries for the 21st century – faith-based local community spaces with particular focuses on the life of faith, community, the arts and families.


6-       Finally, how can people engage with your work if they’d like to learn more/help?

They are welcome to visit the Burton Sweet website charity pages


find me on LinkedIn


follow me on Twitter @cecilegillard


or get in touch direct 0117 9142057





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