Turning passion into purpose as a Trustee
We’re nearing the end of Trustees’ Week, where the volunteers who help guide charities like Volunteer Centre Hackney have been celebrated. But what is a trustee and why would you want to be one?
Trustees are volunteers that support a charity, making decisions on behalf of that charity as part of a collective team or ‘board’. They can come from all walks of life, and whilst some charities seek trustees with specific skills like marketing, finance or management, they also want to recruit trustees with real lived experience and local knowledge, as well as people from communities who might be traditionally under-represented on charity boards.
We spoke to Jade Tan, Hackney resident and volunteer, about her journey to become one of VCH’s newest trustees.
“I first became aware of the work VCH was doing towards the end of 2020 when, like many others, I wanted to do my bit to help my community during the pandemic. I initially signed up as a telephone befriender reaching out to a local Hackney resident in need. I remember at the time being struck by the level of care for volunteers shown by VCH – from the online training session, ensuring everyone was well briefed and comfortable dealing with any potentially difficult situations, to the careful pairing up of volunteers and service users.
A few months later I learned that VCH were leading the vaccination programme in Hackney, and I began working as a Volunteer Supervisor, helping manage the hundreds of volunteers signed up to help with the huge undertaking of getting Hackney vaccinated. Over the space of almost a year I had the privilege of meeting so many amazing Hackney residents from all walks of life, some more than a century on this earth – both as patients and volunteers… It made me realise what an incredible community made up of so many different cultures we live in, with so many stories to tell.
I got to experience first hand how volunteering could help connect people, build confidence, create friendships and provide stability against a backdrop of such uncertainty. As the programme began to wind down, I made the decision to return to my role in TV, but having seen the impact VCH had made on the community, and the lasting effect on me personally I wanted to stay connected with the work of the charity. I became a trustee because I’d seen first hand the great work that had been done, and as a Hackney resident myself, I wanted to find a way to continue giving something back to the community and to make a real impact. Having worked with some great people at VCH, the thought of playing a small part in the future of the charity really excited me and I very much look forward to being part of its next chapter.”
We’re excited about Jade taking on her new role with VCH. If you’re interested in giving your time as a trustee, discover more here with trustee stories. Find out how you can support Hackney charities – search the latest roles on Volunteer Connect, with trustee roles from organisations including St Mary’s Secret Garden, MRS Independent Living, Hackney Playbus and more.
VCH is planning its own informal Trustee Information session for early 2023. If you’re interested in finding out more, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org