For Jeremy Pemberton, the family connection with the Evelyn Trust is a very strong one. His father Peter was for many years a trustee and patient of the Evelyn Hospital and was closely involved with the creation of the trust following the sale of the hospital.
However, for Jeremy, it’s much more than just a family affair.
“I have a home in Cambridge and was brought up here – the Evelyn Trust is very much a charity for Cambridge and the county. That resonates with me. Professionally, I’m also closely involved with the development of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, which is one of the largest centres of health science and medical research in the world, so the support the trust provides for the incredible research that happens here is both very relevant to my day job and enormously interesting,” explains Jeremy.
Jeremy has been a trustee since 2009 and he brings to the role a wealth of IT experience, garnered from his own IT outsourcing business, Conosco, which he launched 15 years ago. This background in information technology has helped the trust to implement secure systems and maintain a professional response to the rapidly-changing opportunities and threats that technology brings to the third sector.
“It’s fascinating to learn about the research projects we support and the wider context of research in Cambridge. The role we play in supporting young researchers with great potential is vital: we know we are plugging a gap, giving ‘seed funding’ to possible breakthroughs and helping to launch some high flyers into glittering careers in Cambridge research. We want to nurture them and help them to make Cambridge their home, rather than be tempted to work elsewhere. I believe in the power of innovation and if we can ‘pump prime’ some of these projects, the results could benefit patients across the world.”
While Jeremy acknowledges that top-notch science is exciting and high profile, he stresses that it’s also incredibly satisfying to help local voluntary groups and smaller charities tackle disadvantage in Cambridge.
“There’s incredible wealth in and around the city now, but of course it doesn’t filter down to everyone and that’s where we have a key role in supporting health and well being projects across Cambridgeshire. And, just an importantly, to me, we help those small providers to collaborate, professionalise and reap the benefits of economies of scale. We don’t just hand out funds, we offer advice and direction from our collective brains – that is so satisfying for me as a trustee and where the Evelyn Trust can make a real difference in the community.”