Society Diary interviews... Jane Ide

07 Jun 2024 Interviews

ACEVO chief executive Jane Ide lets slip her long-held dream of opening a cheese shop while writing murder mysteries in her spare time...

Jane Ide, chief executive of ACEVO


Dearest readers, welcome back to another stellar interview with Society Diary’s latest victim – or interviewee, as they say. 

This month, ACEVO chief executive Jane Ide shares her list of comfort TV shows and explains that if she was not a charity CEO, she would probably be writing murder mystery novels while running a cheese shop. Obviously. 

You can read our exchange below. 

How are you?

“Really good, thank you. I genuinely feel as though I have the best job in the world, I get to see the hills of Derbyshire every day and my kids are well and generally happy. Sorry if that sounds sickeningly smug! Life hasn’t always been like that so I genuinely appreciate that it is now.”

Sweet or savoury?

“Trick question. Both, obvs.”

If you weren’t a charity CEO, what would you be?

“Unemployed!  And probably unemployable, so I’d have to revive my long-held dream of opening a cheese shop while writing murder mysteries in my spare time.”

Do you have a comfort film or TV show?

“Bake Off, Sewing Bee, Great Pottery Throwdown – all those lovely, kind, gentle shows where you see nice people doing crafty and creative things and enjoying the process of learning from each other. Joyful.”  

What is your favourite part of the UK?

“Without hesitation, the Peak District National Park. There are many beautiful places in the UK but there is nowhere more beautiful, and I know that I’m deeply privileged to live here. Second favourite is St David’s on the Pembrokeshire coast. I go there to stand on the cliffs and breathe in the sea – it always settles my soul.”

If you could travel back in time and tell yourself one thing when you were younger, what would it be?

“You’re doing great, and the choices you are making now are taking you in exactly the right direction. So don’t worry so much. Also, invest in your pension.”

What’s one thing you cannot go on holiday without?

“Redbush tea bags.”

What’s the worst thing about being a charity CEO?

“It genuinely can be incredibly tough, and especially so if the relationship with your chair or your senior team breaks down. That becomes very isolating very quickly, and you don’t know where to turn.

“I’ve seen that at close quarters more times than you can imagine, and I’ve been in both those situations in the past – which is one reason why I love my job at ACEVO so much, and also why I love my personal network of peers that have supported me through the toughest of times.

“When you’ve been in the worst of places you really appreciate it when you find yourself in a much better one, and you really appreciate having people around you who have your back when you feel completely alone. Love you chicks!”

What is your all-time favourite album?

“In the singular? You’ve got to be kidding! Carole King – Tapestry, Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer. ELO – Out of the Blue (I helped choose the name for that album, long story).

“Foo Fighters – In Your Honor, K.D. Lang – Ingenue, Mary Chapin Carpenter – Stones in the Road, Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon, Lady Blackbird – Black Acid Soul, The Cure – Seventeen Seconds, Vivaldi – Four Seasons...”

That’s quite a selection.

“And about a million others. Don’t make me choose!”

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