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Trustees Week 2022 runs this week from 7-11 November, and this year celebrates how volunteer trustees make a difference in times of change.

Across the country, charities and community groups, both small and large, are supported by an army of passionate volunteer trustees. Trustees make sure an organisation delivers the services and support it was set up to deliver and that it has the money and resources to do so.

Trustee boards are a masterclass in teamwork. Each person brings their unique skills and experience to the table, for the benefit of the organisation as a whole. For many people, being a trustee is a rewarding and flexible way to volunteer and use their skills and experience for the benefit of their community.

But, as Solette Sheppardson, CEO of Voluntary Support North Surrey explains, charities need people with a wide range of skills and experiences:

“Some people are put off by the idea of volunteering for a trustee role. There is a perception that people need ‘professional’ experience, often at a senior level in an organisation. That is simply not the case.

“Evidence shows that having a diverse board brings fresh and useful perspectives and, while professional skills are important, people’s life experiences and ability to see the bigger picture are essential trustee qualities. Many charities are looking for trustees with lived experience of the type of services that they offer.”

Increasingly, charities are looking to recruit younger people to their boards. Voluntary Support North Surrey’s own board was recently joined by Lewis Russell:

“I’m a business manager at the McDonald Peacock Centre, Woking. I wanted to gain a better understanding of my community and be part of that community and felt that volunteering could give me a better understanding of who lives and works in the local area and what the need is.

“Being a trustee offers me the opportunity for professional development and to gain further experience. It also provides me with the ability to make a real difference to individuals and society as a whole. As a Business Manager I can provide the board with extensive business knowledge and practices to ensure that goals are achieved. Working with an organisation like VSNS means I can have a positive impact on local services, business and local residents. Volunteering in this way is how I can help those that live and work around my local area to feel proud of their communities and encourage them to put more back into it.”

At Voluntary Support North Surrey we support organisations’ trustee boards, including offering free trustee training and matching volunteers with trustees roles. There are several local charities looking for new trustees in Runnymede, Spelthorne and Surrey Heath. Why not take a look and find a role that suits you?

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