Trustees Week 2021 | Reflections of Cllr Liz Green

 

This Trustees’ Week, longstanding active volunteer, Cllr Liz Green shares her reflections on volunteering and becoming a trustee. 

Whilst I’ve been a volunteer in various organisations for many years, I took on my first voluntary board member role earlier this year. The organisation is St Martin of Tours, which is a housing association for people with complex mental health needs. A lot of my volunteer roles have centred around mental health, as it is an issue close to my heart, so it seemed an obvious step.

I was warmly welcomed by the other board members and officers and got stuck straight in. It was different to the more personal volunteering support I was used to, but it is just as rewarding. I’m looking at the financial sustainability of the organisation; the long term vision and goals; the quality of services; better working with stakeholders and the community; and the set of the organisation itself. Because of my skillset, I’ve joined a subcommittee looking at quality and compliance, including resident and stakeholder satisfaction. As a regulated services working with NHS and local authorities, there are multiple aspects to this work, but putting clients and service users first is a must for me. They come to us via various methods, but all of them need support and care to help them move on to more independent living and live the best life they can. Their voice is vital in the running of the service, so we take time to listen to what they want and need.

I was worried that the time element would make it difficult for me, but that hasn’t been the case. We have board meetings every other month in the early evening, then there is a few emails and papers a week to read through, some mandatory training videos and occasionally away day. I can fit this into my schedule without any problems and mostly work at a time that suits me and my family.

I know that by being a board member, I am helping shape the organisation to provide what the organisation and the clients need. The reward of joining a board comes in knowing that my work will help change their lives for the better and there is nothing more satisfying than that. I’m glad I made this step. I’m still doing personal volunteering in other organisations, but this has given me the chance to help with wholesale changes that need to be made to give the best services to this vulnerable group of our community.

Would you like to become a Trustee for a local charity? Check out some of the active roles here or speak to our team to find a role that’s right for you.

 

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