Trustee Photo Competition

The theme for our first ever photo competition is ‘Harrow‘ and we’re accepting entries from Trustees and #Trustee2B’s.

Not sure what a trustee is? Anyone responsible for the general control and management of the administration of a charity. (For more detailsclick here)

Not sure what a #trustee2B is? Anyone who wants to be placed, or is in the process of being placed, into a trustee role.  (For more detailsclick here)

Competition details: 

  • Entries must be in by 16th July 2013 @12pm 
  • You must be a Trustee or #Trustee2B of a charity to enter
  • The competition will be judged by VAH members.

Winner will be announced, and rewarded, at our Harrow Trustee Network Event (16/07/13 @7:30pm).


Your local photographic, video and advertising studio will be running a half day professional shoot for the winner. This will include sessions on studio layout, lighting set up, understanding SLR cameras and a photo session with a model.

or e-mail Alex ([email protected])

Becoming a Trustee

Written by a non-trustee

I have never felt the urge to become a trustee because I felt I lacked the skills and experience. But I have realised people at my age, 27, can become a trustee as long as they have an interest in the organisations work and the relevant skills. It’s so important for charities to believe in younger people like me to become trustees, then so many more charities can benefit from the investment they put into new recruits as they are more likely to stay longer and make a real difference for their charity.

Trustees are passionate people who volunteer their time because they believe in their charities’ cause. They are usually people who have a passion for what the charity does and they are keen to develop a more cohesive society. The volunteers play a behind the scenes role effectively, designing strategic plans to take their charities forward and deal with a number of matters, including finances, marketing and project development.

During Trustee Week 2012 we, Voluntary Action Harrow, were really busy putting on events and increasing awareness of trusteeship. At our quarterly trustee networking event, there was a lively discussion on how and why charities should recruit more young trustees. Next, we had a ‘tea and cakes / celebration of our new office event which was thoroughly enjoyable. That wasn’t surprising as one of our members mother baked a range of delicious cakes, which was consumed by various trustees, volunteers and colleagues from Harrow’s voluntary community sector organisations.

I am not a trustee, I am still waiting to find that right charity, but, after being heavily involved in Trustees’  and Trustees development I have been actively searching for appropriate trustee vacancies that match my interests and skills. I have a number of interests so please, charities: post your board roles far and wide you’ll never know who you might recruit.

Robert Range

[email protected]

Thank You Trustees!

A MASSIVE THANK YOU to every single Harrow Trustee for getting involved to publicise #trusteesweekWith particular thanks going to Victoria Silver (@VictoriaSilver4) for getting us so many great photos, you’re fantastic. 

Harrow Trustees you’ve gone national: Click Here

It has been an INCREDIBLE week and VAH know it has inspired a lot of people, to find out more about becoming trustees. Which is BRILLIANT!!

To show our appreciation to the trustees that gave us their photos we have quickly created a trustee collage which you can download and print to show off the great Harrow trustees.


Young Trustees!

It’s not all about age

Speaking to Alex Swallow, founder of Young Charity Trustees at our October Harrow Trustee Network brought home to me just how important it is to get young people to join groups as trustees. I meet groups all the time who say to me “we really need more young people like you” (great for my ego, being over 35), I really must start asking them “why?”.

“We’re all getting older” they say and it feels like often that’s the only reason they want younger people. I’ve rarely heard someone say “we need someone with skills that can help us reach out to get young people as members…. involved in our campaigns….to help us with social media”.

I became a trustee at 23 years old because I wanted management experience and I was interested in green stuff. The person who approached me said by being a trustee I could help manage an environmental watchdog. My point is that when you’re young you’re making choices that are shaping your views, your ambitions and want to be part of something worthwhile, something that can make a difference to you and maybe others too.

Young people can offer a lot as trustees. Enthusiasm, an alternative perspective on campaigns and service delivery, increase networking opportunities, harnessing technology for example. The Charity Commission wants to encourage charities to think seriously about the benefits of involving young people and says “it’s best to focus on young people’s skills and experience, rather than assuming that they “represent” their peers. It is too easy to fall into a tokenistic approach to diversity”

So, maybe it’s time to rethink your recruitment strategy for trustees. A survey carried out by Charities Aid Foundation in advance of Trustees Week shows a third of young adults would consider a trustee role. 

And don’t forget! Like all trustees they’ll need support when joining your board and if you want to retain them. So, once you have them give them an induction, invest in some trustee training, pair them for peer support with another trustee and ask them regularly if they are ok and ….and offer to pay their travel expenses.

Sarah Kersey


Trusteeship Responsibilities

“With great power comes great responsibility” even in a small community group

In the last year there has been so much debate in the national voluntary sector journals and blogs about the Charities Act Review, payment of trustees, fines for late submission of accounts to the Charity Commission, regulation of fundraising and trustee development and support.

It’s obvious the spotlight is upon the sector as the country is strapped for cash and funders are keen to know that money is going to be put to good use in well governed organisations. Trustee are regularly being encouraged by umbrella bodies to recognise the importance of impact assessment, social investment and evidencing need in their organisations.

It’s interesting reading the Charity Commission’s report Charities Back on Track 2011-12 but  the findings are not a big surprise if you’re involved in supporting organisations. Over half of the investigations completed by the Charity Commission in 2011-12 involved concerns about poor governance or poor trusteeship, including concerns about breaches of governing document, unmanaged conflicts of interest, and concerns about fundraising governance.

Now, you may think this doesn’t apply to your group. But ask yourself these questions. Has everyone on the committee read the constitution? How did the people on the board get recruited? How do you know all the money from your quiz night fundraiser was banked? Sometimes we just assume everything is working well but as a trustee we have a duty as an individual and collectively to ensure the checks and balances are there.

For some this might feel like an extra burden upon the trustees. But maybe these trustees need to be reminded that the Charity Commission says it is their responsibility to ensure their group “is solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it has been set up”.

But it isn’t all doom and gloom because there are rewards for getting it right including more success with funding, increased recognition for the benefit to the community, time saved and services delivered by attracting efficient and experienced volunteers. And there is support locally, on the web and many, many great examples of groups of all sizes both locally and nationally who can inspire good practice and will want to tell you about it.

Sarah Kersey