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Northwich businesswoman Joelle Warren on the work of the new Cheshire Community Foundation

PUBLISHED: 18:36 12 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:04 20 February 2013

Joelle Warren

Joelle Warren

Northwich businesswoman Joelle Warren has many important roles in the community, including that of Vice Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire. She explains the work of the new Community Foundation

The Cheshire Community Foundation a body that matches philanthropists with local causes and charities has raised an incredible 3.5 million in its first year of operation under the chairmanship of Vice Lord-Lieutenant Joelle Warren.

The executive chairwoman of Warren Partners, the Northwich-based executive search company that has grown to be the biggest of its kind outside London, was appointed to the position by the Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs.

The Duke of Westminster and the Lord-Lieutenant had identified the fact that Cheshire seemed to be the only county in the country without a Community Foundation and decided to do something about it, explained Joelle.

It was a great honour and a huge privilege to be asked to chair the new foundation at a time when the current and very difficult economic challenges we are all facing is having a real impact on charities, many of which are struggling to raise the funds they need to do their work.

The county of Cheshire has areas of great affluence alongside huge pockets of deprivation. People may want to give to charities and worthy causes but may not know how. Our job is to make it easier for people to donate to the Cheshire charities of their choice and enable them to help the needy on their doorsteps, she added.

The Cheshire Community Foundation is all about making Cheshire a better place and the significant sum of money we have raised in our first year will be put to good use by supporting local charities.

At the time of her appointment as chair of the Cheshire Community Foundation, the Lord-Lieutenant David Briggs said of her: She brings with her considerable experience and skills from the commercial world and, in addition, a significant knowledge of and commitment to the voluntary sector.

She is, as a result, ideally qualified to help me in the achievement of my aim to act as a bridge between businesses and charities and to ensure that the Cheshire Lieutenancy adds value to our community.

Born in Liverpool and raised in Withington, Manchester, Joelle studied at Durham University before joining Lloyds in London. She worked in corporate and retail banking and then leadership coaching for about ten years before deciding to return to the North with husband Andrew, a head teacher, and their two sons, Jonty and Ben, now aged 21 and 18.

She was offered the post of Finance Director with a national head-hunting firm in Manchester and enjoyed the experience so much that she decided to move in to the executive search field herself and set up Warren Partners.

We set up our first office above a branch of the NatWest Bank in Northwich, recalled Joelle. I set up the business because I started feeling there was a better ethical way to do executive search than the experience I had as a candidate, employer and head-hunter, based on the philosophy of treating others as we want to be treated.

Ive been privileged to be joined on that journey by some fantastic like-minded people, and our clients and candidates have appreciated that we do what it says on the tin. This approach has underpinned the sustained growth of Warren Partners into a significant and highly respected consultancy.

When shes not involved in her duties as chair of the Community Foundation or Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire or advising on Executive and Non-Executive appointments at Warren Partners, Joelle can often be found to be giving something back via her charity endeavours.

Joelle and her family have chalked up an impressive list of achievements in the name of charity work. They have scaled Africas highest mountain, the 19,341 feet Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, cycled 500 kilometres along the Great Wall of China, trekked the ancient Machu Picchu trail to the city of the Incas in Peru and even cycled across the Caribbean island of Cuba.

As if that wasnt enough Joelle is a member of the Cheshire Business Leaders group, serves as chair of the Advisory Board for Manchester Metropolitan University, Cheshire, is a Bishops Selection Adviser for the Church of England and serves on the Leadership Team of her parish church, Christ Church in her home town of Alsager.

And I am particularly proud of the fact that last year I managed to qualify as a ski instructor, added Joelle who confided that it was a qualification that she was encouraged to pursue by her husband and sons who are all keen skiers.

For information about Cheshire Community Foundation please visit www.cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk

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