Monday, 5 November 2012

Rachel Stephenson's Story...

Rachel, based in Oxford, is a trustee of both Movember and Student Hubs, which raise funds and awareness for men's health and encourage student involvement in charitable activities respectively.

Rachel says: I co-founded Student Hubs in 2007 and, since then, I have played both executive and non-executive roles. Early on, I sat on our trustee board when the charity was starting out and had just four branches - in the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, and Southampton - before becoming a staff member after graduating.

Recently I have moved in the other direction, taking up a role on the trustee board once more as I now work at another charity, Movember. This seemed like a natural way to continue to contribute to something I care in a useful, meaningful way. It is very different now, as the charity has grown to eight branches and has opened a sister social enterprise.

Trusteeship has been a really important part of my journey with the organisation, and I am lucky to have the opportunity to draw on my previous practical experience of the start-up and growth phases in this role.

Being a trustee teaches the importance of long-term and strategic thinking. As I am still in the early years of my career this is experience I might not be able to gain at the same level through my job. I enjoy the challenge of being legally responsible for an organisation which is reaching for high impact, whilst also learning from the wisdom and experience of both my fellow trustees and the incredible staff team.

Whilst my experience of trusteeship has so far been with an organisation I co-founded, I would definitely seek out a similar role with another charity in the future. As a young trustee, I certainly don’t have decades of experience to draw on, but I can bring my enthusiasm and an open mind to the table.

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