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Planning Retirement Online

Volunteering in later life


REACH, the charity that places professional and business people in part-time voluntary jobs, opens its files to laterlife..  

Name: Neil Ferguson


Previous employer: Dean of the City of London Polytechnic.

Specific experience: With a background as a chartered accountant, and with much administrative experience, he ran many courses for small businesses.

Any special request? Didn’t want a routine administrative job and wanted to be within reasonable distance of home in north London.


Now volunteering with: Lightning Ensemble theatre collective.  This company has staged several productions of new works at the Soho Theatre and has received favourable coverage in the press as well as sell-out runs. The company is self-financed, relying almost entirely on the subscriptions of members, as well as striving to ensure that productions cover costs.                      

What he does: Trustee and Company Secretary.

What he says: “ I am delighted to have the opportunity of helping young people to develop their skills in what is often a difficult and challenging profession. I hope that we can supply the framework to enable them to concentrate on their work, while we help to deal with the administration. I look forward to seeing and, in some small way being part of, their next production.” 

What Lightning Ensemble say about him: Sarah Weatherall, one of the 29 members of the Ensemble, says, “We needed three experienced trustees, Neil being one of them, and REACH moved so quickly and efficiently in finding them for us. We were looking for people with a thorough and sound background in company administration and accountancy to advise us on good general practice and to share the responsibility of submitting annual returns to Company House and the Charities Commission with the company’s treasurer.”  Sarah and the other 28 are all professional writers, directors, actors and musicians, who meet weekly to share their skills to develop new work for public performance. 


For REACH: tel 020 7582 6543 or visit the website:

For Lightning Ensemble: Sarah Weatherall or Imogen ‘phone: 07740 708 724  

Also see our previous series of reports from the Reach Files



laterlife interest

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also regular columns of a more specialist nature such as healthwise, reports from the REACH files, and a beauty section called looking good in later life.

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