Victor, one of our development officers, plays a vital role in supporting charities in Southwark with capacity building and creating networks. Outside of work, he is also a trustee for two charities!
This week (4 - 8 Nov) is all about celebrating the vital contributions Trustees make to charities everywhere, so we caught up with Victor to hear a little bit more about his experiences.
How do you find being a Trustee?
My first experience of a trusteeship role 18 years ago was by chance, when a colleague at work asked me to step in for her to attend a charity board meeting, as she was on leave. Few months later I stepped into the role on a permanent basis! This was the start of a journey into a captivating world of governance where you get to make key decisions with profound implications.
Trusteeship takes you into the world of charities and social action. It is both exciting and challenging; being part of how charities tackle significant issues in the community and local area. It is also about the learning opportunities and possibility of helping to achieve positive changes in the organisation and the wider community which you become part of.
I am currently involved with two charities as a trustee, which I have enjoyed so far and requires time commitment and management. The reward is immense - new skills and strengthening existing ones in areas of org management, governance, community development, charity finance and lots more.
What has been a trustee taught me about myself?
That passion equates to energy and drive. That showing empathy is fine as long as it is followed up with taking action.
What would you say to people who are thinking about being a trustee but haven’t taken the first step yet?
Trusteeship can be fun and rewarding and could help you to develop new skills. You also get to meet new people and work collectively as a board. Time and commitment is important as is willingness to represent the charity at external events when required.
You should set aside time to read some of the governance information provided by, for example, the charity commission, which will help and equip you in your role and ensure you are ‘on top of things.’ Above all, it affords you the opportunity to gain a lot of insight into the charity world.
When have you felt most appreciated as a trustee?
There are numerous opportunities to be part of a positive change as a trustee. For instance, knowing that my involvement and role in board decision making has in effect contributed to positive changes to individuals and communities. Also being acknowledged and invited to be part of a European level task force on migration.
Do you have any tips for people thinking of becoming a Trustee?
Be open-minded on issues that may present itself along the way.
Set aside time to read key organisational documents that you are responsible for and make decisions on.
See more on #TrusteesWeek here.
Also, read more about what to expect when becoming a Trustee here.