Diane Rai

SPDC Manager

I have worked in the charity sector for over 20 years in Sandwell and joined SPDC in December 2007.  Prior to that I had worked at the Volunteer Centre,  HomeStart and also for SCVO.  I have a Foundation Degree in Voluntary Sector Management and also  completed a BA Honours Degree in Working with Children, Young People and Families through Leicester University as a mature, part time student in 2009 whilst working part time at SPDC.  When I joined SPDC in 2009 it was on a part time, one year contract and I can’t quite believe I am still here today!  Without doubt it has been the most challenging but also the most rewarding job I have ever had, and I still enjoy it immensely.

I think the most exciting thing I have ever done is get married on a beach in the Caribbean in July 1995 – and yes we are still married!

I am…


Unorthodox (hence the wedding on the beach!)


In 2009 the Government introduced the ‘Aiming High for Disabled Children Programme’ focusing on Short Breaks for disabled children and this came at a brilliant time for SPDC.  This Programme provided us with our first funding stream to focus on our core work and in Sandwell it was led by people from Sandwell MBC who embraced SPDC and its ethos.  Aiming High gave us the platform to build the organisation we are today and I will always look back on that time with really good memories.

Favourite superhero – unorthodox again – I’m a season ticket holder at WBA so my superhero is Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown

If I could have a superpower it would be Time Travel. Not really because I’d like to explore other times, although if I did it would be the 1920s – looked a lot of fun!  But really because I hate travelling so if I’m going somewhere it would be great to just click my fingers and get there.