Shaper: Richard Robinson

Show aired on 4th November 2017


Richard Robinson

From an early career in journalism, Richard has raised the profile of a number of worthy charities in the creative arts, education and healthcare, raising over £100m in the process.

He spent time in India developing the operations and communications strategy for an international NGO to treat, educate and give a voice to people living on the margins of society. He also built strategies for major campaigns prompting celebrity endorsement and global media interest. Back in the UK, Richard spearheaded the successful launch of a charity for ex-servicemen with mental health issues and designed the £5m campaign to transform the birthplace museum of Thomas Gainsborough Museum.

He joined the Olympic Park charity as Chief Executive just before the Games in 2012, and led the drive to ensure its legacy through innovative arts, music, education and regeneration programming. It remains one of the most successful start-up charities in the capital.

Richard has a keen interest in music. He was in a signed band in the early 1990s and played viola in various orchestras. He had also built up a strong reputation for working closely with musicians, artists and performers on business planning, financing and reputation management.

Follow Richard on Twitter @HMUK_CEO.

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“We’re trying to be right in the thick of the music industry. It’s like trying to teach an old dog very new tricks.”

“I am not a numbers man. I am words and you need a different side of your brain to look at figures.”

“I like energy and yes you do need to alter your management style when you’re running what is in effect a large business, a charity these days is a large business, but I still like that newsroom attitude.”

“One of the challenges that we’re facing at Help Musicians is for people to understand how important music is to people’s lives. It’s not just about supporting people playing music, it’s about the whole eco system…”

“The idea of running something as significant as the Olympic Park Charity never occurred to me…”

“We’re not here for everything to be a success. I want people to feel as if they can take risks and learn from that situation and that’s sort of always been my raison d’etre.”

“I lip read…it is a real skill because if you’re in a glass office like I’ve got then you can see what everybody is saying, which I love. Not that I’m stalky.”

“Until April 2016 we did just support professional musicians but now it’s everyone in the industry whether you’re a sound technician, a roadie, agent, ANR, we support the entire industry now.”