Trustees are delighted that Lloyds Bank Foundation has re-joined WM Funders Network. The Foundation is represented in the Midlands by Peter Cunnison, WM Regional Manager. Nearly 6 years ago, Peter was a committee member when the Network was known as Charitable Trust West Midlands. Since then Peter’s role and responsibilities have developed and changed as the strategic priorities of the Foundation have evolved.
Peter’s working career started at the early age of 19 as an entrepreneur – starting up his own business with his brother, after securing funding from the Princes Trust. Though this only lasted over 2 years it was seminal in shaping his interest in development and people focused support. The ending of his business indirectly led to him volunteering with Wolverhampton voluntary bureau, where he supported vulnerable people across a number of different needs. After obtaining a business administration qualification, Peter then became a Civil Servant after joining the then Benefits Agency for several years followed by a move into Further Education with a role establishing accredited courses within community organisations. As this was coming to an end an opportunity arose at the then relatively new National Lotteries Charities Board, where he held a number of roles and built his experience in the field of funding. In 2008 he joined the Lloyds Bank Foundation as Regional Manager for the West Midlands.
Peter is an experienced and knowledgeable grants manager, but his philosophy is that he is forever listening and keen to learn. A key focus for Peter is to build connections with those with lived experience and a social purpose. Then to support them where possible and inform his work. He is keen to build relationships with other funders and have open and honest conversations and discussions on funding in the region.
He is of Jamaican ethnic heritage, but Black Country born and bred. Peter is one of the few Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people working in the UK trust world. 2020 was an unprecedented year for all of us, but for Peter it bought about a re-awaking of his personal commitment to racial equality and the role he can play in using his experiences in the sector. You can read more about his re-awakening and how he sees the positive difference he can make in his role at the Foundation to racial equality in funding.