Society Diary interviews... Richard Kramer

24 Nov 2023 Interviews

CEO of Sense, Richard Kramer, tells Diary who his dream dinner guests would be and why he has a tattoo of a monkey...

Richard Kramer is CEO of Sense

Greetings dearest reader, and welcome to another installment of Diary interviews – where very highbrow questions are (not) asked to charity CEOs. 

After interrogating the CEOs of RSPCA and RSPB, Diary recently sat down with the chief executive of Sense, who willingly agreed to be interviewed, before you ask. 

Richard Kramer told Diary about the intricacies of his favourite takeaway order, the greatest compliment he ever received, and his favourite holiday destination. Read our exchange below. 

How are you? 

“I am feeling good, thank you. Last week, we had our leadership team away day in Birmingham. We talked about our strategy, having a sense of pride about our achievements, and being an emotionally intelligent leader. I also visited some of our wonderful services in Peterborough and Barnet and saw the personalised support, compassion, and energy from our staff. I also had a productive and collaborative meeting with my counterpart at Deafblind UK. By working together, we can achieve so much.”  

What’s the biggest compliment you’ve ever received?

“I have talked about my history of depression, my recovery and how it has made me a stronger and better leader. Lots of people reached out to thank me and to tell me that they or someone they care about related very deeply to my story.

“Reading about another person’s struggles and what tools have been used to help them also helps me a lot. The response has been very affirming.”

If you could be another animal, which would you be?

“A monkey. I was born in the Year of the Monkey, my father’s middle name was Simeon, and I have a tattoo of a monkey. I am also inquisitive, quick-witted, and fairly mischievous too!”

What’s your favourite takeaway?

“Indian: Onion Bhaji, Chicken Curry, Basmati rice and Garlic Naan. I also make a mean Chicken Korma.”

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“Five years by David Bowie. It’s a song recorded in 1971 saying that the ‘earth was really dying’ which seems to have come true. His best line: ‘My brain hurt like a warehouse. It had no room to spare.’”

What is the TV show or film you recommend the most?

“Past Lives. A film about love and sadness, the choices we make about relationships, and the consequences of those choices. Best film of 2023.”

Favourite holiday destination?

“Anywhere in Cornwall. Greatest place in the world!”

Who would be your three dream dinner party guests? 

“Barack Obama, David Attenborough and Jacinda Ardern. Some dinner guest choices need no further explanation.”

What did you want to be when you grew up?

“A criminal barrister.”

If you were to be made minister for common sense in government, what would be the first thing you do?

“If I was minister for common sense, I would address the chronic underfunding in social care and invest in the social care workforce. That would be a common sense approach to more effectively meet the needs of disabled people.”

Finally, could you please tell us a joke?

“To the person who stole my trainers and my hi-vis jacket… You can run, but you can’t hide.”

Please do volunteer if you would like to be next ([email protected]). If not, Diary will pick its next target at random...

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the free Civil Society daily news bulletin here.