As part of Trustees Week 2019, aspiring young trustee Kyle Evans blogs about his interest in becoming a trustee. Kyle has been working with the ‘Link Up’ Project in Swansea to develop his skills in preparation for trusteeship.
At this time, I’m an observing member of the trustee board. Even though I’m yet to officially join, I’ve learnt so much and feel as though I’ve contributed massively and thus helped so many people already.
1. What motivated you to become a trustee?
My true motivations were and are centred around helping people. Not just people with mental health issues, although that is a cause I care greatly about so it makes a good starting point to focus my efforts on. After research into the third sector I discovered the role of trustee and realised this is where I would be of the greatest assistance.
2. What have you enjoyed/gained from the experience?
I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I’ve spent working with the board so far. I am constantly learning more about the third sector and how its organisations are run effectively. I have gained great experience in evaluating how an organisation is doing, and planning strategically for the future. I’ve had fun getting to know some of the volunteers and hearing their stories, and enjoyed various encounters where I’ve got to meet the actual service users and see the impact the organisation is having on their lives. When you actually see people being positively affected, it makes all the effort worthwhile.
‘My true motivations were and are centred around helping people’
3. What have been the challenges?
There have been challenges, and I think for anyone joining any new organisation there would be. The first of mine was having very little experience in the third sector so a steep learning curve in the difference between that and the private sector. Other personal challenges have been mainly around time management. I have to fit the meetings, reviewing materials, and attending relevant courses around university and work so pretty hectic schedule (obviously that’s due to my commitments so that shouldn’t put anyone off becoming a trustee as everyone’s time commitments are different).
4. What do you think charities should do to encourage more people to become trustees?
I think important aspects for charities or charitable incorporated organisations in their drive to recruit more trustees are about making the role more accessible so advertising well, and making clear that they’re looking for a diverse range of people. Another thing they can make clear to people in their recruitment advertisements is about skills, not everyone has every skill, and most people automatically believe that they are underqualified for such a role. Everyone has something to bring to the table and thus no one should be afraid to at least apply.
5. What would you say to someone who’s thinking about becoming a trustee?
I would say go for it. While it’s a serious commitment, and you’re dedicating yourself to that organisation for the foreseeable future, it’s so rewarding. If you have a passion for helping people or even a small desire to do so, and if we’re being truthful here I think we all have at least that small desire, then there’s few things as satisfying as watching an organisation grow or seeing a project that will benefit people in a meaningful way develop and know you were part of making that happen.