SMV appoints new leader for 2023-24

The Society of Merchant Venturers (SMV) has appointed a new leader for the year ahead. Mike Bothamley, a member since 2010 and a former High Sheriff of Bristol, will be driving forward SMV’s charitable objectives with purpose in 2023-24.

Already Mike is exploring the opportunity for SMV to deliver a pivotal change in the support that it provides to young people. He said: “With Venturers Trust approaching a merger with a larger multi-academy trust, SMV has the opportunity to recalibrate the support that it provides to young people.

“Our members hold fast their commitment to help young people succeed, and in particular to transition from education into the workplace with ambitious career goals, armed with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be successful.”

Mike is also closely involved with SMV’s work supporting older people in the region, both through the organisation’s own activities and through his longstanding connection to the St Monica Trust. As trustee of the Cote Charity, SMV is responsible for Katherine & Griffiths House, a residential and dementia care home for 49 residents in Westbury-on-Trym. Mike said: “Earlier this month, Katherine & Griffiths House won the Care Home of the Year Award in the Care and Support West annual awards. A well-deserved win, the award recognises the calibre of the team and the fantastic residents, who together make a very special community.”

As a social purpose organisation, the consistent theme across all SMV’s activities is to address the inequalities that exist across Bristol. Mike said: “Our members share a determination to help close the gap by volunteering their time, expertise and resources to make a difference. SMV has been around for a long time, but the modern-day organisation is defined by its members and not by its past.

“The work that we’ve been doing to diversify our membership continues to be a keen focus for SMV. While we’re still a membership organisation established by Royal Charter more than 450 years ago, by increasing our transparency, especially about our history, we’ve been able to attract new members who are dynamic, forward looking and collaborative, and who are already making a significant contribution to our social purpose across the region. I hope that even more like-minded change-makers will choose to join us in the year ahead.”

SMV traditionally appoints a new leader every year on Charter Day in November, commemorating the date when the Society of Merchant Venturers was granted the Royal Charter by Edward VI in 1552, endorsed by Charles I in 1639.