Thursday, 6 October 2011

Sean O'Halloran's story...

Sean O’Halloran is Chair of the Young Advisors Charity and is a Young Advisor in Waltham Forest, North East London. The charity trains young people between 13 and 21 to advise community leaders and decision makers, ranging from community councils to central government, on best practice in engaging with young people.

Sean has worked with local and national Children's Rights movements since he was 11 and has been a Young Advisor since he was 15. He has been Chair of the Board since April 2009.

Sean supported the launch of Trustees’ Week last year, and although he has faced a challenging last 12 months in his role as Chair, he says it's not been all bad: Like many charities over the last year, we've been challenged with cuts in government grants and the economic downturn as it starts to leave its mark on the sector. During this time my role as a trustee and as Chair of the board has been to oversee efficiency savings, and making incredibly hard decisions about redundancies in what is already a very small charity with a very big impact.

“However, over the last year I've also had so many opportunities as a trustee - from speaking at national rallies, to sitting on panels with Government ministers. One of my biggest highlights was being told in March that "we might just survive this" before being shown a list of new grants and income that we managed to generate despite being one person down. The sense of elation really made me confident that our charity had a great staff team and that as trustees we'd steered it properly, avoiding most of the turmoil.

“It's so important for Charities to have outstanding trustees, and unfortunately there aren't enough of them. Trustee's Week raises the profile of charity governance and hopefully will encourage those would-be outstanding trustees to get involved in a charity they care about, if they otherwise wouldn't have done. It's also extremely important to celebrate the incredible work that trustees do - we really couldn't manage without trustees.”

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