Being a Trustee – Severn Valley Business Group

Being a Trustee

| Posted in Other Stuff

As I’ve been a member here for some time and you all know what I get up to in my business life I thought I would do a bit about what else I get up to.
Different folks have many different reasons for becoming a trustee. For me, from 1974 I have been in sales positions in industry, initially for some of the big boys – Grand Met (Sodexho now?), Autobar, Initial group etc, supplying the likes of British Airways, BT, and THF. and for the past 21 years by myself, for myself and after a health scare a couple of years back felt it was time to try to put something back into society.
I first thought of doing something for Lingen Davies Cancer fund in Shropshire, but was persuaded that being a Trustee may be a better use of my skills than making tea or rattling a tin.
I was introduced to a small charity based in Shrewsbury. Taking Part. There’s a team of just 8 staff plus a squadron of volunteers, funded in the main by Central and Local government, trying to assist people with a wide range of health and social difficulties, with whatevers troubling them.  
Trouble is of course that source of income has been progressively turned off over the last 10 years whilst demand, for various reasons, has gone up…
Traditionally a lot of small “unsexy” charities have had trustee’s boards made up of incredibly dedicated people overseeing (for want of a better expression) people of extraordinary passion for their cause. Unfortunately what is often missing is a business brain, able to take a helicopter view and contribute to the future viability of the organisation.
Taking my own example – 3 hugely dedicated trustees who have been with the charity since its inception 15 years ago  – a retired police dog handler, a nurse and a librarian. 8 staff widely experienced in social and advocacy concerns and one overworked but again hugely loyal manager. The prospect of having someone on hand with wider business acumen came as a huge relief and revitalised the whole undertaking. You could do that.
What exactly is a Trustee? A Trustee is a person who serves on the board of a charity. They may be known as Trustees, Directors, Board members, Governors or Committee members.Responsible for the general control and management of the ADMINISTRATION of their charity. Importantly they never have any involvement in the day to day delivery of the charity’s services.
For further information on the specific duties of a Trustee take a look at the Charity Commission  various PDFs on the subject
Commitment time wise varies greatly from charity to charity but personally it takes up around 30 hours a year in meetings etc plus perhaps a further 10 hours reading reports, so not too onerous.

So to Summarise 

There are quite a few charities out there in need of a bit of advice guidance and business acumen

We as business people Can add that extra dimension

I can guarantee you will derive a lot of satisfaction whatevey charity you coose (or chooses you!)


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