Community Links Chairman of Trustees Michael Smyth writes here about the search for people with talent, energy and passion to become new members of our trustee Board
“I am a serial trustee. A charity recidivist. You know the line in the gangster movies: every time I try to leave, they keep pulling me back in”
This was the opening line of a piece I was asked to write last autumn for Third Sector magazine about being a trustee; so it’s no surprise that I’m keen encourage to others to take up the challenge – and what better place to start than with us?
Community Links is seeking to appoint additional trustees to our Board. Ideally we are looking for experts in: 1) procurement and contract management, and 2) external affairs and communications. However we encourage anyone with talent, energy and passion to apply.
Organisations like Community Links rely on volunteer governance to steer progress and guide their strategic direction. Trustees with backgrounds in business and public sector management can provide invaluable expertise. It is not just the charity that gains benefit from the relationship. Our founding Chair, Stan Harris, wrote about what he gained personally from his time as a trustee “I think it must be like those other great experiences that some people get from religion or from great art, sporting achievement or from brilliant music”. I too have found my time as a trustee in several organisations some of the richest experiences of my life.
That’s not to say it’s easy. The UK charitable sector is undergoing fundamental change in a very difficult economic climate. Community Links is witnessing an increased demand for our services as the resources to deliver this vital work become harder and harder to secure.
That’s why it is important that we build and maintain a balanced Board with the right mix of skills, expertise and experience to support and promote our work. We are aiming for a good mix of people who share our vision and values. We need expertise to support our activities and analysis to plan our direction.
New Trustees will join us at a particularly exciting time as we launch our new strategy setting out our unique role in delivering a Living Legacy for east London. If you feel you have sound, independent judgment, and are willing contribute to the success of Community Links, please take a few minutes to consider the details of the Trustee role. You just might find that you too get hooked!