Publish Date: 03/04/2013
We meet Rob Cookson, Director of Business Development at The LGF.
Describe your role in one sentence
LGF Strategic lead on sexual health and commissioner liaison across a range of health areas.
What attracted you to The LGF?
As a gay man, doing my bit for the lgb community I am proud to be a part of.
What is your proudest achievement?
I’m proud of the quality and amazing range of services we provide to lesbian, gay and bisexual people, each and every day of the year. My personal proudest achievement is ensuring testing and ‘know your HIV status’ is at the heart of our sexual health programme.
What is the best part of your job?
That every day is different! It is really rewarding knowing that the work I do is making a difference to people’s lives. I enjoy partnership working and being able to develop new services which impact upon people’s lives, such as working with Ruclear to provide home sampling postal HIV kits for gay and bisexual men.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Making competing priorities and constantly making sure that I do the best possible job for the benefit of lesbian, gay & bisexual people who currently use our services or, for whatever reason, might need to access the LGF services in the future.
Currently, what is your biggest challenge?
Securing the funding to make sure our range of services exist and grow is a recurring challenge. Funding is the biggest challenge facing not just voluntary organisations but also statutory partners.
What or who inspires you?
I’m constantly inspired; by the fantastic staff and volunteers at the LGF who make a difference to LGB people; for me, they are all Homo Heros.
What keeps you awake at night?
My wonderful Dog Ruby! She likes to sleep on the bed, but sometimes wakes up early and creeps around the bedroom in the middle of the night!
The best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Always fight for what you believe in.
If you left tomorrow, what would you want to be remembered for?
I’d like to be remembered at the LGF as someone who ‘got it;’ who got that we are only as good as what are service users say we are; who got that our services have to regularly be reviewed and adapted to remain relevant to lesbian, gay & bisexual people; and who got the importance of living the values of the LGF in their day to day work.
What is the greatest challenge facing the sector today?
Two interlinked challenges; maintaining funding and demonstrating impact.
Your top tip for a work/life balance?
Deal with the difficult jobs first. When work is hard, remain why you are doing it.
Where would you like to see The LGF in five years?
Continuing to make sure our range of services touch the lives of all LGB people who need them – Wer'e Here If You Need Us.
You can follow Rob on Twitter @LGF_Rob. He is also, along with his partner Richard, supporting our Love Equal Marriage campaign. To read their story, click here.