Make a difference in your community as a trustee

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A charity is calling on people to make a difference in their communities as a trustee.

With Trustees’ Week running from Monday until Sunday, November 13, Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS) wants people to consider the difference they could make as a trustee.

The week is all about highlighting opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.

In the same way that behind every school there is a board of voluntary governors holding headteachers to account and acting as a ‘critical friend,’ behind every charity there is a board of trustees doing exactly the same.

Working in East Lindsey, South Holland, South Kesteven and Boston, LCVS is both a charity itself, with a board of trustees of its own, and works to support community groups and charitable organisations.

David Fannin, chief executive of LCVS, said: “Trustees bring a wealth of experience and knowledge. Having that pool of expertise helps all charities to make better decisions and stay on track to deliver what they are set up to deliver.”

It can be difficult to fill trustee positions but it is vital to enable charities to continue with the work they do.

Just a few of the organisations LCVS works with recently seeking trustees include Len Pick Trust in Bourne; Boston’s Butterfly Hospice; Citizen’s Advice East Lindsey and Grantham Foodbank.

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

They have and must accept ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of a charity, and ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it has been set up.

But their role is not just a legal requirement. Trustees enrich charities and the work they do can be enriching for their lives too.

LCVS trustee Suzi Wheatley, who lives in Stamford and is executive assistant with the Evergreen Care Trust, Stamford, ran her own business providing secretarial services for 20 years and taught IT at Stamford College. She joined LCVS as a trustee in 2014.

She said: “It’s my first trustee role and it is a gradual learning curve but I am pleased to be involved. For me, I don’t have the financial knowledge some others do but I have some experience with HR and people which I can use.

“You need an understanding of how charities operate and what constraints they work within.

“You’re there to help steer things in the right direction and keep the charity operating well for the benefit of the community.

“The only reason to be a trustee is if you feel you can benefit the organisation – if you’re interested and passionate, go for it.”

To mark Trustees’ Week, LCVS is hosting a trustee networking event in Bourne.

The event will provide an opportunity to hear from a funder directly. Adrian Smith, of Len Pick Trust, which offers funding for activities in Bourne, Dyke, Cawthorpe and Twenty. Mr Smith will talk about the types of project it can support.

The event is on Wednesday at 5.45pm at the Len Pick office in Granby Court, off Hereward Street. Places must be booked in advance via the course guide page at www.lincolnshirecvs.org.uk, e-mailing enquiry@lincolnshirecvs.org.uk or calling LCVS on 01205 510888.

You can also find out more about becoming a trustee using these contact details.