Trustees’ Week: 13-17 November 2017

13 November 2017

What are trustees?

Trustees are the people in charge of a charity. They help to make the UK the sixth most giving country in the world. They play a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about the charity’s work.

Trustees’ Week is an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do and to highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.

How many trustees are there?

  • There are approximately 196,000 charities in the UK.
  • And just over 1 million trustees.
  • From NCVO and CCNI research, we know just under half the UK’s trustees are women.
  • The average trustee in England and Wales is 59 years old.
  • There are many young trustees too with some 86,000 trustee positions held by 16-34 year olds.

Below are some Trustee Board profiles which show how rewarding becoming a Trustee can be.

Gillian’s Story

“I have been involved with Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF) as a trustee since my retirement in 2008.  Working as a therapist and latterly as a commissioner in the local NHS, I knew of VAEF and its valuable work within the local community.  I have been a trustee of another local charity, Epping Forest HomeStart until it closed due to lack of funding.  HomeStart supported local families by way of regular visits from trained volunteers.

My previous experience of working in the NHS and working with ECC and the local council, gives me an understanding of local needs, commissioning services to meet those needs and the importance of measuring their impact.  My experience of managing a team and working closely with other disciplines has been useful in my role as a Board Chair both in working with VAEF staff and with other trustees.  I am keen that local organisations work together and in the past I chaired the local Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership which brought together many different agencies working with children and young people to ensure that services were joined up and groups were communicating effectively with each other.

I have lived in Epping Forest for fifty years and am keen to be involved in and support the local community.  For me, it is important to give something back to the community.  It gives me great pleasure to see how our services help local people.  It is also very rewarding to see how volunteers are helping local people while gaining a feeling of satisfaction and worth.”

Sally’s story

“Following a career working in the Legal Profession and in Local Government I was looking for an interesting role where I could use my brain and existing skills and involve myself in the charity sector at a strategic level.

Having been involved with a few local charities undertaking more practical tasks, stepping up to become a Board Member felt like the logical next step as I find myself with a little more time on my hands.  Having an interest in various types of charities ranging from Mental Health to welfare of the Elderly, I chose to become a Trustee at (VAEF) as it is an umbrella organisation with a number of varied direct projects.  The sphere of work and people it helps is varied and truly community wide.

Since becoming a Trustee I have met some very interesting people from all walks of life and it is also giving me a chance to see how charities operate from a different perspective.  Everyone is friendly and supportive and it is a pleasure to be a part of the organisation, even in these challenging times.”

Caroline’s story

“I have been retired from the local NHS (formerly West Essex Primary Care Trust) for 7 years.  My role in Public Health in North East Essex and latterly West Essex provided me with experience and knowledge of the public health profile of the West Essex population (as it was before 2010).

I have been a Volunteer for Chigwell Pony Riding Trust for People with Special Needs for several years which enables me to follow my lifetime interest in horses, my commitment to promoting the mental and physical health of adults and young children and of course, in my dedication to volunteering. It is this background that enables me to represent Chigwell P.R.T on the Board of Trustees.

I have been very interested in the progress of the Gardening / Handyman and Learning Disabilities Projects and pursued my interest as productively and supportively as possible by visiting project teams at work and commenting on, as requested, submissions for funding and co-interviewing candidates for the project lead post.

I have listed below some of the key benefits of being a Trustee;

  • Being able to contribute to the work of VAEF in providing a truly valuable voluntary service to the residents of Epping Forest.

  • Being in a position to contribute to the health and wellbeing of the local population by supporting the Board in its role of championing the services and challenging threats to their future.

  • Having the opportunity to exercise previous professional skills and discovering new ones.

  • Appreciating the camaraderie of Trustees, Chair, Chief Officer, Secretary and staff.

  • Seeing the evidence that supports my conviction that volunteering plays such a crucial role in promoting physical, mental and social health.”

To view a sample selection of Trustee Volunteering roles, click on the links below or to carry out a personalised opportunity search use your postcode and keywords such as ‘Board’, ‘Trustee’, ‘Treasurer’ or ‘Committee’:

Trustee Board Member – FaNs
Trustee – Culture Without Borders Development Trust (EFDC/Broxbourne) – Application Deadline 24th November 2017
Legal Skills Trustee – Maldon & District Community Voluntary Service
Trustee – Families in Focus
Treasurer – Chelmsford Diocesan Mothers’ Union
Branch Trustees – RSPCA
Trustees – Essex Respite and Care Association
Trustee Committee Members – CHARMS
Trustees – Age Concern Harlow
Trustee/Treasurer – Essex Youth Build
Trustee – Culture without Borders development Trust
Trustee Treasurer – Epping Forest Sunflower Group