The concept of trusteeship is important for three main reasons. First, boards of trustees allow for individual and group participation in creating the common good. Second, they act as filters in determining which issues are important. Last, they provide a system of checks and balances within an organisation. As part of #TrusteesWeek2018, we interviewed one of the trustees of North Herts CVS, Alex Jarosy, about his journey to trusteeship and how he assists the organisation.
Where are you a trustee for and for how long have you been doing it?
I have been a trustee since 2016 for North Herts CVS, and I was also a trustee for the organisation a few years ago. I have over the past twenty years or so been a trustee and volunteer for a number of other charities. These include the Citizens Advice Service, the North Herts Samaritans and more recently a new project involving a Chinese Community Centre in London.
How did you get in to trusteeship and what do you do?
I was attracted to the trustee role from the perspective of wanting to make a difference to the strategic direction of the project (North Herts CVS at present). This role differs significantly from the role of being a volunteer or even project worker. Whilst both are essential and interesting, the trustee role is key for those wishing to have a real say in the direction of the organisation. I originally became involved in the trustee role for North Herts CVS through the Volunteer Centre. The work is varied. I am the lead trustee for Children and Families. This includes the Breakaway project and the Families First Project. These are both familiar areas for me having worked and managed a variety of family related issues in housing and having managed play schemes in Kings Cross.
What do you enjoy about your trustee role, how does it benefit you?
What I enjoy most about the role is the contact with the staff team as a whole, and the great diversity of projects within North Herts CVS. Additionally, it is nice for me (having retired) to offer some of my management and budget experience to the organisation. I think North Herts CVS has played its part in my development, also as some of the projects are new to me and I always enjoy finding out about new initiatives.
What difference are you making by being a trustee?
Others may judge me on this but I hope that I am managing to bring some kind of local accountability to the service and effect specific improvements in how the service is managed both as a CVS and as a direct service provider. These are the two key components of North Herts CVS as I see it.
If someone was interested in finding out more about the organisations you volunteer for, how could they get in touch?
If people want to contact me further, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on North Herts CVS, visit the website.