Trustees' Week: "My background in finance and running my own business helps me to offer particular perspectives."

October 22nd, 2018
Alan Warner
Alan Warner is a trustee for Citizens Advice North Herts, and explains to #TeamHerts Volunteering in an interview for #TrusteesWeek how he came across his role, and the support he was given during his induction. 

Where are you a trustee for and for how long have you been doing it?
 
I am a Trustee for Citizens Advice North Herts (CANH) and have been so since April this year.
 
How did you get in to trusteeship and what do you do?
 
I sold my management training business at the end of last year and entered into retirement from full time paid work. I decided however that I would like to spend a significant portion of my time helping charitable organisations that seemed to be doing good work and where I could hopefully make a contribution. I signed up to a specialist recruitment agency and CANH was one of the organisations that responded. I had an informal meeting with the Chair of the Board, attended a board meeting as an observer and was eventually accepted as a trustee. I have since taken on similar trustee roles with two educational charities. 
 
In a relatively short period at CANH, I have been involved in a number of activities which have been interesting and rewarding. My induction programme included sitting in on client interviews and observing the support given to defendants at Stevenage Magistrates Court. I was very impressed by the way that CANH staff dealt with very challenging scenarios.
 
In addition to attending meetings, I have also taken responsibility for Information Assurance, become chair of the Finance and Risk Committee and helped to organise a survey of Trustee Board Effectiveness. 
  
What do you enjoy about your trustee role, and how does it benefit you?
 
I enjoy working with a very pleasant group of people and feeling that I am contributing towards the objectives of an organisation that is providing real benefit to society. I also enjoy continuing to use my brain and skills which, I fear, would fade away in a quiet retirement. It also benefits my wife who appreciates me being out of the house from time to time!
 
What difference are you making by being a trustee?
 
It is early days yet - and you would really need to ask others about that - but I hope that my efforts are helping to bring about change for the better. My background in finance and running my own business helps me to offer particular perspectives and it is in my nature to challenge the status quo. It is encouraging that the trustees are always looking for ways to improve the service that is offered and the way we work together. 
 
If someone was interested in finding out more about the organisations you volunteer for how could they get in touch?
 
I am available on 07889 166977 or by email on warnera@nhdcab.org.uk. 
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