Trustees' Week: "I enjoy being a part of a charity that supports parents and children with downs syndrome."
October 24th, 2018
Up on Downs is a parent run organisation which supports families of children with Down’s syndrome. Lauren Hartley, the Chair, tells #TeamHerts Volunteering about her trustee journey for #TrusteesWeek.
Where are you a trustee for and for how long have you been doing it?
I am a trustee for Up on Downs in Hertfordshire and I have been involved with the charity since 2008.
How did you get in to trusteeship and what do you do?
I was introduced to the charity firstly as a voluntary play leader, after applying through North Herts CVS.
I was then asked by Sande, the Development Manager, if I wanted to join the committee. My first role as a trustee was as Secretary and Safeguarding Officer, and then after some internal changes I was appointed as Chair.
What do you enjoy about your trustee role, how does it benefit you?
I enjoy being a part of a charity that supports parents and children with downs syndrome. Parents are well supported by the services we fund and the support offered by the charity. It also provides a support community for parents who can speak to other parents who have shared similar experiences. I have always been passionate about helping the community and I enjoy being able to be a part of this wonderful charity.
What difference are you making by being a trustee?
The majority of staff and trustees have disabled children and so having someone who has an outside perspective and time to respond efficiently when needed is really helpful. I'm from a recruitment background, which helps with all our hiring and staffing needs and I am the designated Safeguarding Adviser. Although I started as a volunteer on the frontline and got to know the work of the charity through that, I now work solely with the trustees and staff. I support the charity's Manager directly with issues that require higher level decision-making and generally enable the team to get on with delivering a programme that I know directly has a huge impact on the families they work with.
If someone was interested in finding out more about the organisations you volunteer for how could they get in touch?