Trustee Interview - Alice

Q: How did you become a Trustee? 

A: I was previously a volunteer for Home-Start and I visited two families on a weekly basis to provide them with support in their own homes.  Since working full time as a Trainee Solicitor I wanted to help Home-Start in a way that I could do around full time work and studying so I decided to become a Trustee.


Q:In what way has being a Trustee helped you in your career?

A:I have only recently begun my role as a Trustee but I envisage that it will help my career by being able to develop different skills outside of my normal work environment.

For example marketing, which I would never normally have the chance to do in my day job.


Q:You’re a very busy person, how do you manage to juggle being a trustee too?

A:I always think the saying “If you want something done, ask a busy person” is very true….Somehow everything just has to get fitted in!


Q:What is your motivation to be a trustee for Home Start Havant?

A:My motivation is knowing how families truly benefit from the scheme and how much Home-Start is needed in Havant.  I saw my two families’ progress when I was a volunteer and I want many more families to have the same opportunity.


Q:What are the requirements for someone to be a trustee?

A: A Trustee needs to be 100% supportive of Home-Start Havant and what it achieves. A Trustee needs to want HSH to succeed and grow and have the motivation to assist this in any way they can. 


Q:How transparent are the workings of trustee meetings? Are they required to provide a clear account of how decisions are made?

A:Completely clear, every Trustee has a say.  There is a clear agenda and minutes taken to account for every decision made.


Q:What is the relationship between trustees and the management of the charity? Can the management or the committee of the charity exert influence of the trustees?

A:They are two distinct roles however we work very well together.  The Trustees understand that the management know Home-Start Havant inside out and deal with the day to day running of the scheme.  Their views are always taken into account.  That said, the Trustees have to be objective when making an decision which the best thing for the charity overall.


Q:How do you see the “third sector” developing over the next years? Will we see more local groups become charities and take more of a direct role in our day-to-day lives, where traditionally local government would provide these roles?

A:Local government do not have the funds to play the role they are used to.  But then again neither do charities.  It is a tough time for everyone and whatever happens, we need to be prepared to embrace change.


Q:Reflecting back since you have taken on your Trustee role, what have been the best moments and the worst?

A:I am fairly new to the Trustee role so right now my best moment was being accepted as a Trustee and I cannot say there has been a worst moment so far!


Q:What is the biggest challenge for trustees at the moment?

A:The biggest challenge is to always be looking a few years into the future.  It is easy to say we are fine now; we have enough money to last the next year.  No, we need to be asking where will we be in

5 years time?


Q:What can young people bring to charity trustee boards?

 A:I think Trustees should be a range of ages and backgrounds as each person has had different experiences and different ideas about the world which affects their opinions.


Q:If you could change or influence any aspect of the Trustee ‘world’, what would that be?

A:I’ll get back to you on that once I’ve been a Trustee for a bit longer!........


Q:If there was one tip, one piece of knowledge / wisdom you could pass onto those who are inexperienced or new to a Trustee role, what would that be?

 A:Just go for it, try something new and give it everything you can.