9 November 2022
Trustees Week: Andy at Sport In Mind
As part of celebrating Trustees Week we’re doing some quick questions with trustees we’ve helped place at Volunteer First!
Here’s Andy, trustee at Sport In Mind.
How long have you been a trustee and how old were you when you first started?
2 years now! I started when I was 27.
What was the appeal to you of becoming a trustee?
Like many people, I spent time during the 1st COVID lockdown reflecting on how I lived my life and the contributions I made to wider society and my local community. I decided that I wanted to volunteer more of my time to charity but wanted to utilise my skillset and experience from my professional career in the corporate world. Being a trustee felt like a great way to do this!
What surprised you most about becoming a trustee?
The value that I could bring straight away, with my own experience, skills and energy!
What is your time commitment as a trustee, do you often go to meetings?
It varies significantly through the year depending on projects or work that I am supporting with. I’d say it averages at around 10 hours per month. I’ve met with the other trustees once every 2 months – virtually (Teams) since I started.
Do you meet as trustees socially at all?
There are semi-regular events that are organised by staff or Trustees from the charity that we are very welcome to go to. However, it has been more tricky over the past couple of years with the pandemic!
What is the hardest thing about being a trustee for you and do you feel sufficiently trained for this role?
Balancing my time and headspace between my full-time work role and my Trustee role. I do feel kind of trained – it definitely felt like I was learning on the job, but the rest of the Trustees were very supportive and there are plenty of courses and documentation online to help.
What would say to someone considering becoming a trustee?
I would say definitely go for it! It’s important to find a charity that you are passionate about and once you do, just throw yourself into it. Be confident about your own expertise and what you can bring, but also it’s fine not to have all the answers – an attitude of being willing to learn and give your energy towards whatever is needed is more important than any specific skill or experience. In my experience, you’ll be supported all the way by the rest of the team! Ahead of joining, make sure you ask what is expected from you in terms of time commitment and be comfortable that you can give that time.
How would you describe what you do to someone who is unsure about being a trustee?
The role of a Trustee is a fine balance between ensuring the charity is delivering in line with it’s mission and holding the CEO to account on this, and providing help and support to the team, whether that be an extra pair of hands or providing your specific expertise on something. On a day to day basis, the core role is to attend the regular Trustee Board meetings, where you will have a chance to vote or give your opinion on a range of subject areas, such as future strategy/goals, new initiatives, fundraising plans or day to day operations of the charity. Outside of that, it depends on your role in the group, but it could be attending meetings or events, networking with other organisations or working on standalone pieces of work with specific staff or trustee members. It’s very varied though and really depends on what you’d like to do!
What is the best, most positive, thing for you about being a trustee?
I am super proud of the contribution I have made to the success of an incredible charity, it’s incredibly rewarding!
I have learned so much, whether that be new skills, experience or just understanding how a different organisation works.
I have loved meeting and working with people from all sorts of backgrounds and ages, who all have passion for the charity in common. It’s a great team and I love to be a part of it.