“When people hear the word ‘trustee’ or ‘director’ it makes them think of experienced, qualified professionals but anyone can be a charity trustee. I believe that many young people have something valuable to offer, if you have a good, clear, moral mind you don’t need to know the ins and outs of charity law because you can learn these in the role. Your passion about a charity’s work should be enough drive to encourage you to apply for trusteeship. Charities should be flexible and should offer you the opportunity to receive training in areas you feel less confident about; for instance I've received tailored training on charity finance because I needed and wanted it.
“As trustees we generally keep a watchful eye over the charity, ensuring good practice and comparing ourselves to our competitors. We help sustain the moral standards of the charity and make sure we comply with charity law. People are generous enough to give money to us and it is important we spend it properly. We also act in an advisory function to the operational functions of a charity which usually includes most broad aspects of the charities activities such as marketing/communications, fundraising, policy and programming work.
“Being a charity trustee is definitely worthwhile, in my experience you get to meet some outstanding and well connected people. It has given me the opportunity to learn how both a massive and a small organisation works. Equally, I believe that young people bring something unique to charity boards, it can be hard to change the institutional behaviour that organisations and their Boards have. Having young people on the board sends out a strong signal on the diversified thinking of the organisation and encourages participation by what is otherwise an apathetic generation. It shows that board and the organisation are trying to stay modern and relevant to the lives of young people."