Trustees’ Week is a time to celebrate and thank trustees across the UK. This year’s theme is ‘Making a Difference in Changing Times’. And what changing times they are. A lot has changed in the last few years. BREXIT, COVID, and now a cost-of-living crisis. But one thing has remained the same. Our trustees have adapted, and helped steer our Charity, to where it is today.
Hi, my name is Sara Langston, and I’m a Trustee at the YOU Trust. It’s Trustees Week! That festive time of year where charity trustees look forward to putting up our fire-safe and budget-friendly Trustees Week decorations. Gathering around the boardroom table and taking a vote on whether to exchange gifts of rubber stamps and calculators now. Or treat ourselves to reading our favourite policies first.
If you had asked me 6 years ago what a trustee was, that’s actually not far off what I’d be imagining. But probably with fewer decorations and more copies of the Financial Times. The truth is, I had no idea. I knew charities had trustees, but it wasn’t something that came up in conversation, ever.
Until a colleague at work casually suggested over coffee that I become one and arranged for me to meet with our COE Nicki Youern. And as you can’t meet Nicki without feeling immediately inspired, of course I applied. And I’ve been proud to be part of the YOU family for over 5 years now!
So, what does a trustee do? The short version is that charity trustees make sure the charity works within the law and looks after its money. But it only really started making sense to me when I got to see the board in action.
What I do
Today I’m attending our Trust Executive Meeting. The Chairs of each committee meet with the CEO to discuss our agendas for the upcoming committee meetings. I’m the chair of Organisational Development Committee, which makes sure YOU has the processes and resources in place to run effectively. Like recruiting enough brilliant staff and providing the right training.
One of the things we’re doing at the moment is updating our Trustee Review process. This makes sure that, as a board, we have the best balance of skills and experience. If not we arrange training or recruit to fill any gaps.
It’s interesting to see what motivates Trustees, so we’ve profiled a few to give you a general understanding.
First up, is Marcia Nquyen.