Encouraging and supporting Young Trustees

National Trustees’ Week is drawing to a close and VANEL’s five days of Trusteeship and Governance related events are now finished. Thanks to everyone who attended or supported one of our events. Feedback has been positive and we’ve had discussions across the week that have helped us teach and learn in equal measures.

On Tuesday we help our “Young Trustees Wanted” workshop from which we’ve lots of issues and ideas to take forward.

We learned even more about the gap between young people and charity boards and about some of the issues that need to be addressed to get everyone to come together.

Younger people need to know more about Trusteeship – what it is, what it involves, how to get started, how to find an opportunity, how to be supported and so on.

Charities and groups need to change their approaches – the way their business is conducted could be more ‘young people friendly’. And an attitude shift is probably required to get boards to embrace the idea of getting younger people on board (lack of years of experience does not mean lack of passion, capability, enthusiasm, perspective, energy and value!).

And where young people do become Trustees or take up leadership positions, then support needs to be there to help them thrive and grow into those roles. The benefits are then there for everyone – the charities and the young people alike.

What we’ve been reading:

Some news

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is running a Young Trustee Survey, which will feed into a guide CAF is producing on engaging young trustees. ‘Young’ is defined for the guide as anyone aged between 18 and 30. The survey asks for input on experiences and difficulties of organisations engaging young people as trustees.

There’s more about this on the Grimsby Telegraph too, as Leon Ward is fronting this as well.

The survey is here and we’d like to encourage anyone who thinks this is a worthwhile issue to spend the time contributing to the survey.

What next?

At VANEL we’re looking for ways to move forward in supporting younger trustees. If you are one of those people blessed still with your youth, then we’d like to know you’re interested. So contact us so we can chat and keep you informed with anything local that could help you.

If you are a charity (or board or committee) that would value a younger person on board, then we’d like to hear from you too.

We’re looking on creating support programmes around this theme, so the more people we can talk with about it the better.

In the first instance you can talk to Karl Elliott at VANEL via karl@vanel.org.uk.

And keep an eye on this blog on vanel.org.uk for ongoing updates on governance issues.