Learn more about becoming a Trustee & the latest opportunities in Sefton
Trustees are vitally important to the Voluntary, Community & Faith (VCF) Sector. Legally, charities cannot exist without a board of trustees, so without people volunteering as trustees there would be no charities in the UK! Imagine all those local and national charities no longer delivering services.
On this page we will cover: :
- What are Trustees?
- Who can be a Trustee?
- Why become a Trustee?
- What skills a Trustee needs
- Current Trustee vacancies
What are Trustees?
Trustees are volunteers who take decisions to help a charity to run smoothly, and help it to grow. Their decisions determine the direction of the charity.
An organisation’s trustees must work collectively to govern the charity and take decisions. Together they form a charity’s Trustee Board.
Trustee Boards will meet regularly (either face-to-face or remotely) to review how the charity is operating and to make necessary decisions about the organisation’s continued development.
Trustees may also be known as governors, councillors, management committee members of directors.
Some trustees may have specific roles such as
The Chair , who leads meetings of the Trustee Board.
They may take on additional tasks such as supervising and supportinng the charitiy’s head of staff, managing communication between the staff team and the board and may also represent the charity at functions, meetings or in the press.
The Treasurer helps trustees carry out their financial responsibilities to the charity.
This might include presenting financial reports to the Board andn overseeing the preparation of annual report.
In smaller charities the Treasurer may take on some more practical roles such as book keeping, budgeting and preparing reports.
The Secretary organises and takes minutes of Board meetings and take on minor administrative tasks
Trustees’ work is often behind the scenes, rather than being involved in the day to day running of a charity. However, this may depend on the size of the charity.
As well as being part of the Trustee Board, trustees may also take part in sub-committees which focus on particular areas of work, such as Finance or Personnel.
However, many Trustees limit their activity to attending their Board meetings only.
Who can be a Trustee?
Trustees can be from any walk of life but generally need to be aged over 18 years of age. They cannot have been previously dsiqualified as a trustee or company director, be an undischarged bankrupt or have certain unspent criminal convictions.
Why become a Trustee?
There are many reasons to become a Trustee, notable that you would be contributing to your community and a good cause. It is an opportunity to put your time, enthusiasm and skills to good use and, as a Trustee, you will be in a position to see the difference to your charity and those it supports.
Volunteering as a Trustee can also help with career development. These roles are a great way to develop your skills in a range of fields including critical thinking, problem solving, analysis, people management, finance and more.
Being a Trustee can also provide you with opportunities to widen your networks. They often volunteer alongside other professionals or, during the course of their duties, have the opportunity to meet with key decision makers and others involved in strategic work across the VCF Sector.
What skills do Trustees need?
All Trustees will need to demonstrate values including honesty and integrity. They should be committed to the charity and its aims and objectives.
While Trustees do not necessarily need to have any particular skills or experience to volunteer, some charities may be looking to recruit people with certain skills, depending on the needs of the organisation.
Experience of working in finance can be very useful, particularly for Treasurers. Knowledge and experience of legal issues, human resources and managment are examples of other useful fields of expertise.
There are also softer skills which people may have developed through day-to-day life, such as problem solving, team working, decision making and actinng as a critical friend, asking sometimes difficult questions in the best interests of the charity.
However, life experience can be just as useful as ecperience in the workplace. Trustees need to have an understanding of the communities they serve. So having knowledge of your local community, or lived experinces of the issues that the charity deals with, can be invaluable.
Current Trustee Vacancies
Sefton Advocacy offer a free, independent and confidential advocacy service to help adults to be involved in decisions that affect their lives, giving them choice and control over their lives.
The charity is currently recruiting new trustees and more details can be found here.
Brighter Living Partnership is a healthy living centre in Southport, delivering a range of activities to improve people’s health & wellbeing.
They are looking to recruit new trustees to further strengthen their Board of Trustees.
More information can be found here.
Woodvale & Ainnsdale Community Association is a Southport-based charity which delivers a range of daytime, evening and school holiday activities for local people. The activities involve health & wellbeing, hobbies, youth activities and more.
They are currently looking for volunteers to join their Board of Trustees and more details can be found here.
.Sahir House is Merseyside’s multi-award-winning HIV support service which has been offering HIV support, prevention, information and training since 1985.
They are looking to recruit new volunteers with certain skills and experiences to join their Board of Trustees.
Further details can be found here.
The Cornerstone Library was formed after the closure of Churchtown Library with the aim to provide a replacement service for their community.
They are currently looking to recruit a new Treasurer to join their Board of Trustees.
Find out more here.
Opera Viva is a Sefton based group that aims to “Bring People to Opera by Bringing Opera to People.
They are currently recruiting new trustees, ideally with practical experience of administration and financial management to help them in their organisational planning.
More information can be found here.