My Trustee Story by Sally Page. Trustees’ Week 2021.

Finding my motivation

I have volunteered on and off, in some shape or form since I was nineteen, generally in creative, learning roles with young people. Volunteering for me has always been a way to put my strengths forward, develop skills and confidence, whilst supporting a cause I care about.

As someone who struggled with, but stubbornly pursued, academic qualifications, I care about organisations that offer individuals ways to learn about themselves and their community, outside of a classroom and in a way that suits them. This saw me volunteer with museums, galleries, and youth organisations.

A few years ago, I took the decision to take a career sidestep, from the heritage to the charity sector, to work in volunteer management. After settling into to my new role, I found myself wondering how to maintain a connection to heritage, a sector that I had always cared about, but no longer worked in.

It’s all in the timing

After some time, I saw an advert for a Volunteer Lead Trustee with the Museum of Cambridge and that got me thinking.

I would often, apparently like many women, discount myself from roles, that I didn’t seem to tick all the boxes for or have the extent of experience that I thought was needed. I saw this mirrored in my female friends and colleagues and it became something that I wanted to challenge, at least in a small way. After talking to trusted friends, I decided to make a change and put myself forward for something out of my comfort zone, becoming a Trustee.

I got told off by my Mum, but it was worth it

It was a strange and risky time to get involved as a trustee, as we headed into the first Covid-19 lockdown, however I quickly saw the difference I could make, supporting staff and volunteers, reviewing policies, and planning for the future.

I won’t lie, as someone who works full time, it took a few phone calls to convince my Mum that I wasn’t going to burn out after taking on this responsibly – turns out early 30’s is not too old to get told off by your Mum!

I’ve worried that I don’t have enough time or expertise for the role, and I have definitely questioned my decision, after spending the odd Sunday working on a volunteer policy, rather than sitting in a pub – but these have all been fleeting thoughts.

The reward and sense of achievement from being part of a team, who all care deeply about the museum, are supportive and experts in their fields, is hard to describe. I am continuously learning and as I head towards my third year as a Trustee, I have no regrets.

So, if you’re on the fence and looking for a new challenge, find the right organisation for you and go for it, it’s not as scary as it first seems!

#TrusteesWeek #Trustees #NeverMoreNeeded #Volunteers #SmallCharities

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