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Life as a Trustee

What do you actually do then as a Trustee? This is a question I’m sometimes asked by my nearest and dearest – who I’m sure suspects that most of my time at the Furniture Scheme is spent in meetings drinking tea and eating biscuits.

Well – time to confess. There are meetings, hot beverages are available and there are sometimes biscuits too!

However, there’s a bit more to being a Trustee that tea and biscuits. I’m going to try and explain what being a Trustee of a charity or not for profit organisation involves.

As a Trustee, I’m one of a small group of people who are responsible for making the key decisions about how the organisation is run. At the Furniture Scheme, there are 6 of us – all from different walks of life and backgrounds. None of us get paid – we all give our time because we support what the Furniture Scheme is doing and want to help it be a success.

We meet every 3 months or so as a Board to make sure the goals of the Furniture Scheme are being achieved, that we are managing our finances properly and we have a plan for future activity. The Furniture Scheme is a bit more complicated than you might expect – we run community centres, retail shops, a carpentry workshop and a warehouse. At every Board meeting Trustees have opportunities to question the Chief Executive and senior managers on how things are performing – and suggest action we can take to deal with problems or to improve what we do.

Why do it? Well I can’t speak for all Trustees but for me it gives me a chance to use skills and experience from business and life in general to help an organisation that in turn helps people in my community who may be in less fortunate circumstances. I’ve met new people and been able to learn things and join a great team.

Life as a Trustee can occasionally be challenging and often stimulating – but there’s always tea and biscuits!

Chris Boote – Furniture Scheme Trustee

May 11, 2017

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