(David Attenborough Voiceover) “And here we see the Trustee in its 2021 natural habitat of a zoom meeting, with copious amounts of tea, coffee, and biscuits to hand. An elusive figure, the Trustee will often shy away from the spotlight in favour of busying themselves in the background. These workers are vital for the successful running of the People to Places ecosystems…”
In all seriousness, our Trustees are the backbone of People to Places. In this blog, we will pull back to veil and reveal what it really means to be a Trustee!
What is a Trustee?
Trustees are the people who share ultimate responsibility for a charity’s governance and direct how it is managed and run. Trustees are often voluntary positions that individuals can apply for. They may also be called trustees, the board, the management committee, governors, directors, or something else. You could go all out and call them the High Council of All Mighty Overlords, but that feels a bit much and that their authority may have gone a snitch to their head. There are a few do’s and don’ts for Trustees and these can be found here.
What Trustees Bring to a Charity
By law, every charity must have Trustees, with certain Trustees having specific areas of responsibility such as Chairperson, Treasurer, and safeguarding. All charities will have their own governing documents that will outline how the Trustees will work as part of the charity and how many you need. In terms of what individual Trustees bring to the table, depends on what your charity needs. For People to Places, we are always on the lookout for Trustees who have experience or knowledge of the issues that face our members and service users. This could be loneliness, isolation, or barriers to independent living for people with mobility issues. Any charity or organisation will also need people with experience in human resources, marketing, and legal knowledge. For a charity like People to Places health and social care experience is a huge benefit to our Board’s resources.
What Trustees Get Up to
When becoming a Trustee it’s kind of a given that you’re doing this because you want to support the charity! There will be a minimum time commitment as People to Places has 6 annual Board meetings plus monthly committee meetings. Usually it’s about 2 hours of ‘work’ per month (or slightly more if you are on a committee). You will be sent all necessary papers in advance of meetings so everyone can contribute to the issues under discussion. Like any opportunity, you will get out of it what you put in.
In meetings, you will cover the nitty-gritty of the charity’s operation. Discussing the broader, strategic goals that you and the rest of the Board want to see the charity take. You will also have opportunities to act as ambassadors for the charity, these could be at more formal events or just by talking about us and what we do in your everyday life. Beyond your official responsibilities, it is your choice as to how much you would like to participate in the charity’s activities. We understand everyone has different calls on their time from full-time jobs to family commitments. As long as you have the enthusiasm and a willingness to participate, we welcome any time you can give.
If all of this has whetted your appetite and you’d like to know more about our Trustees, about People to Places in general, or apply to be a Trustee yourself please contact us here.