Trustee Week (1st – 5th November) is an annual event to showcase the great work trustees do and provide opportunities for everyone to get involved and make a difference.
It is a time to say ‘Thank you’ to all the trustees playing a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about your charity’s work.
There are many reasons why individuals from all walks of life donate their time to support a local community organisation or charity. This is Robert Bruce’s Trustee journey with Trustee – St Albans Community Association, Trustee – Sandwell Community Hubs and Governor – Uplands Manor Primary School.
I became a Trustee in September 2015 when I joined the board at St Albans Community Association in Smethwick. I joined as I had a vested interest in the organisation which provides a fantastic service for the local community. I work in the voluntary sector, so I am aware of how important organisations such as St Albans are to the local community, and I wanted to support them and help them continue to make a positive impact. I also wanted to learn some new skills and gain further experience for myself and help my own development.
I have since become a Trustee at Sandwell Community Hubs, in March 2019, where I am Treasurer, and a Governor at Uplands Manor Primary School, in July 2019, where I am now Deputy Chair. In carrying out these roles, I have met a lot of like-minded people and have shared many positive debates and discussions. I have had access to training to support me in my roles and I have seen the organisations progress.
The number of meetings can vary, depending on the organisation but there will often be a minimum of seven meetings per year with six bi-monthly board meetings and an AGM. Some organisations meet monthly, and some have sub-committee meetings as well. It will also vary, depending on the organisation, when the meetings take place. In my case, there is a mixture of daytime and evening meetings. I have always been briefed prior to making my decision on whether to join or not so that I understand the commitment. I have also benefitted from an organisation induction, so I am aware of the organisation and what they strive to achieve. I feel that you do have to be fully committed and attend as many meetings as possible to help understand and influence the decision-making process and get the most out of the experience.
I think it is important to have a good mix of skills, knowledge and experience at board level and a mix in terms of age, culture, and background, ensuring that it represents the community it serves. Times have changed now and with technology and creativity, board meetings can be fun, engaging and purposeful and I would definitely recommend becoming a Trustee so that you can experience all of the above and gain personal development as well as supporting a local organisation.
Be sure to follow @SCVO.Sandwell and @LetsGoSandwell for a week of resources, information, trustee opportunities and much more!