Over the past 2 years, we’ve sat with trustees and chairs to learn about their journey to becoming an effective trustee. We have rounded up some of our favourite answers to the question:

What’s your favourite part of being a trustee?

Nazreen Visram

Lay Trustee, KCLSU

Learning from others. I really enjoy the multigenerational aspect and diversity of our board and listening to the perspectives of the student trustees and sabbatical officers.

It really brings diversity of thought and challenges you to think differently. It’s the most diverse board I have ever been on. By the way, they gave me a really tough interview! I also enjoy reverse buddying, which has really helped me to broaden my knowledge. Reverse buddying involves being mentored by a student officer

trustee. It’s a great way of learning more about their role, the challenges, and the opportunities they experience. In addition, you are able to provide your perspective and experience to help them navigate their role. It’s interesting for me to understand and learn through the eyes of a student and has challenged some of my thinking and vice versa.

Read Nazreen's interview here

Henry Gregg

Trustee, Gingerbread

Even though it’s also a challenge, my favourite part is having the strategic oversight, without having to get into the operational side.

Not having to get caught up in the details means that I can provide value by encouraging the executive team to think about things a little differently, without the direct concern of stakeholder management and the in-depth detail – you’re able to give your thoughts completely freely.

Watch Henry's interview here

Elaine Lilley

Trustee, The Edge Foundation

For me, it’s seeing the organisation grow, change and develop.

Despite the extraordinarily challenging circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Edge Foundation has done so much. To feel that as a trustee I’ve contributed in some small way to the purpose and development that the Foundation and the staff have shown during this time has given me a real sense of achievement.

I also think the true value of an organisation shines through when it is seen as an acknowledged expert in its field, and when it is consulted and listened to. This is fantastic to see developing at Edge.

Read Elaine's interview here

Ian Adams

Vice-Chair, Single Homeless Project | Trustee, Unite Foundation | Trustee, London Handel Festival

The best part is definitely having opportunities to see the impact that your organisation has on the ground, through meeting frontline staff and clients or beneficiaries. For me, this presents many learning opportunities and I enjoy reflecting on my varied experiences, especially when I can see the difference a charity is making on the ground. One question I often ask staff and clients when I meet them is – what key messages should I take back from my visit to share with the rest of the board?

Read Ian's interview here

Síofra Healy

Vice-Chair, Association of Charitable Foundations | Trustee, Bryson Care

I enjoy having the opportunity to input into the direction of ACF and the hugely important role it plays for and with foundations in Northern Ireland and across the UK. My favourite part is the connections I can make and the lightbulb moments I get when meeting and working with others through ACF.

Read Siofra's interview here

Do you have some of the qualities that make for a good trustee?

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