I have lived in Cambridgeshire for over 30 years and work with local, UK and international companies which have the health and welfare of people and animals as their core principles. Before becoming a charity trustee, I volunteered on an ad hoc basis for like-minded groups. Taking on a trustee role formalised the support I gave to various charities and showed me that I wanted to contribute on a more solid basis, using my career skills to benefit others.
It was time to give back: I wanted to be involved in a local charity. The Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service (CCVS) offered the perfect opportunity to do this, educating and supporting small and evolving charities in the area.
I am also a trustee for StreetVet. The charity’s team take their experience out to people living on the streets, delivering veterinary care and support to them and to their pets, thus benefiting their combined well-being.
Becoming a trustee is a relevantly straightforward process so long as one realises the responsibilities this entails. It is important to engage fully in the charities’ activities and to understand the importance of decision-making and support for the team running the day-to-day work.
As a trustee for CCVS, I have gained greater insights as to the support needed in my locality and how I could use my skills in strategy, decision making and communications to support the CCVS team. I really enjoy the engagement I have with them. During the pandemic, the role of trustee presented no problems as the meetings are virtual and we have continued as before. However, it is lovely to meet face to face as this brings a different dimension to our meetings.
CCVS are very successful in delivering education and support to other charities and members. We have made significant changes in the way we deliver this support. This has proved invaluable during the pandemic..
If you are considering becoming a trustee, it is important to think about the time commitment, responsibilities and legal implications involved. Overall, it is a very fulfilling volunteer role.