Johnston Carmichael partner raises £1,500 for accountancy social mobility drive

Graham Marjoribanks

Graham Marjoribanks

Vice-Chair and Head of Audit & Assurance

13 June 2024

A Johnston Carmichael partner has raised much-needed funding and international awareness for a campaign promoting social mobility in the accountancy profession.  

Graham Marjoribanks, who is also Head of Audit at top UK independent business advisory and accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael, is among a group of 25 Chartered Accountants (CAs) taking on a challenge to raise funds for the ICAS Foundation, which was founded in 2012 to support young people from less advantaged communities to study accountancy and finance degrees.  

The charity campaign aims to raise at least £25,000 for the organisation, which relies solely on donations.  

After completing the Edinburgh Half-Marathon last month, Graham – who wasn’t previously a runner – has secured more than £1,500, including donations from his international network. Graham, who is a Global Scot, spent 10 years working in Canada before returning to Scotland to take up his role at Johnston Carmichael. 

He said: “I’m overwhelmed by the support I’ve had from colleagues, clients and contacts all over the world. My fundraising target was £1,000 so it’s extremely rewarding to have exceeded this but just as importantly, taking part in this challenge has allowed me to raise awareness of the need for greater diversity in the profession.  

“Accountancy typically attracts people who have known other accountants – a family member or friend – and who have been on track to pursue higher education and a good job from a young age. But what about the people who haven’t had that inspiration in their lives, or who don’t have degrees, but are equally as talented and capable? Or those from disadvantaged backgrounds who struggle with the financial investment required to complete a degree? 

“At Johnston Carmichael we are committed to giving the widest possible pool of people a chance to join us and develop their careers. We want the best people, and to secure them, we are doing everything we can to engage with candidates from a variety of backgrounds.” 

Last year Johnston Carmichael formed a groundbreaking partnership with the ICAS Foundation, providing bursaries to support two accountancy students through their studies.  

The financial package aims to help with the cost of living, as well as pay for materials related to their studies, including textbooks and computing equipment. The students will also benefit from mentoring with experienced accountancy professionals, as part of the ICAS Foundation’s ‘Nurturing Talent Programme’.  

To help a wider cohort of accountancy students, Johnston Carmichael is also coaching young people in employability skills which are usually learned on the job or passed down from friends and relatives, such as networking and interviewing successfully.  

Sanjay Singh, Director, ICAS Foundation, said: “The commitment from Johnston Carmichael and Graham has been hugely supportive for the ICAS Foundation, and all those young people that we support from lower income backgrounds.  

“We see how our programme changes hundreds of lives every day, but we couldn’t do it without the support of firms and individuals going above and beyond to make a difference.  

“Graham’s commitment to take on a half-marathon as a non-runner to raise funds for our cause is inspiring to me, but also shows our young people, that with focus, drive and determination, what may have seemed out of reach, can become achievable.”    

To donate to his fundraising drive, please visit his JustGiving page, here

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