As we continue our series of blog posts to celebrate our 70th anniversary we are delighted to share the stories of some of our excellent trustees, who have generously supported our work over the years.
What is a Trustee?
Trustees Oversee everything a charity does. They ensure that their charity has a clear strategy, and that its work and goals are in line with its vision. A trustee’s role in a charity is to be the ‘guardians of purpose’, making sure that all decisions put the needs of the beneficiaries first.
They safeguard the charity’s assets – both physical assets, including property, and intangible ones, such as its reputation. They make sure these are used well and that the charity is run sustainably.
Trustees don’t usually do the day-to-day running of the charity. They delegate this to the staff, led by the Chief Executive. Instead, they play the role of a ‘critical friend’ to the Chief Executive by giving support and by challenging – in a supportive way – to help them manage effectively. However, in smaller charities with few staff, trustees may take hands-on roles too.
We are starting off the series with Tim. Tim kindly took the time to sit down with us and chat more about his role as a Trustee and what inspired him to get involved:
Tim is the chair of our fundraising and marketing sub-committee, where he works closely with our staff members to maximize our fundraising efforts and raise awareness of our work. Working as a trustee, he enjoys seeing the positive results of our charity work.
Tim was a volunteer our Tuesday Youth Group before becoming a trustee in 2019. As a professional solicitor, he uses his skills in reading, problem-solving, and decision-making to help our board of trustees run the charity more effectively.
Being a trustee for a charity is not an easy task. Tim admits that sometimes he faces tough decisions or complicated spreadsheets, but he never runs away from them. Instead, he works together with other trustees, who have different backgrounds and expertise but share the same goal: making sure that Leeds Mencap operates well and achieves its charitable goals.
Tim manages to balance his responsibilities as a trustee and other commitments, with good time management skills. He says that being a trustee has enriched his knowledge of the charity sector, as well as his passion for helping young people with learning disabilities.
One of the things that Tim loves most about Leeds Mencap is the impact that it has on the local community. He says that the work Leeds Mencap does is incredible, although sometimes hard to be quantified or measured. Tim invites anyone who is curious about the impact of our work to visit us, to see the smiling faces of the people we support, and to witness the dedication of our staff and volunteers. He says that all these things demonstrate how Leeds Mencap makes a difference for each child, their family, and the wider community.
Tim is very grateful for all the hard work of the staff and volunteers at Leeds Mencap, and he looks forward to celebrating our 70th anniversary this year. He says that being a trustee for Leeds Mencap is a meaningful way to get involved with the charity and to make a positive contribution.
Become a Trustee
We are currently looking for new trustees to join us in our mission of supporting young people with learning disabilities and their families across Leeds. If you would like to join Leeds Mencap’s Board of Trustees you can find further information and how to apply here