Team Up HR Volunteer Network Breakfast

April 23, 2017

On Thursday 27th April, Frazer Jones were delighted to host the first Team Up HR Volunteer Network Breakfast. Our wonderful panel of experts provided some great insight into their experiences and useful information on becoming a trustee. Our special guests included;

Jin Chin Chair Central London Samaritans and HRBP at BNP Paribas
Graham Hodgkin of Wavelength & former CEO of London’s Air Ambulance & MD of Deutsche Bank
Carla Cornwell @The Katie Piper Foundation.

What does it mean to be a Trustee? Could you provide us with a run through typical Trustee responsibilities

Taking on a Trustee role may be a big decision, how can you tell if a charity or the existing board is the right fit?

Carla you have recently joined a new board at Breadwinners Charity, why do you think they approached you and what do you feel you bring to the charity?

Governance – why is it so important? We hear a lot about good governance, for you what does this look like?

When we are considering a potential Trustee role, how can we tell if a charity is governed well? What kind of questions should we be asking?

So what is the process? How much time are you expected to commit to your role as a trustee, what is a good level of commitment?

What do you think makes a great board from a CEO’s prospective, what are the crucial characteristics/behaviours/experience needed to do the job well?

Is there a typical process to go through when you appoint a Trustee, do you have and an interview and is it similar to securing a paid role?

In terms of your individual experience, what do you think you will gain from being a Trustee on both a personable and professional level?

How do you think you would have utilized some of the HR talent we have in the room today on your board when you first joined London’s Air ambulance?

If any of us are thinking that right now maybe the Trustee route may not be for us right now what can we do?

The Trustees at The Katie Piper Foundation needed L&D support and so it was and is important to them that they have a trustee with that skill set and from my prospective 80% of charity trustees need this L&D support. Could this be an area to offer support as a HR professional?

Q & A
Questions which were put to panel included:

I am a nurse by training and want to work with a charity that is in line with my values. However I work in a pharmaceutical company would it be a problem if my job conflicts with my charity?

Not always can it be a conflict of interest, sometimes it’s useful to have a point of view from a different prospective. As long as you are transparent with your current employment upon the recruitment process it’s unlikely to be a problem. You have to declare your job at the start but as long as you are wearing your charity hat when you’re a trustee and your work hat when at your place of employment then it would be fine.

I have approached charities before and applied for volunteer work and have been told they are not recruiting? Why does this happen?

Charities can be overwhelmed with offers of support and can be worried about the level of experience on offer. Don’t be disheartened some charities may seem like they are completely organised but often they have a lot going on behind the scenes. Continue to apply or via this programme ‘Team Up’ you will be offered the opportunity to do pro-bono work as a way of helping. Jo’s whole initiative with ‘Team Up’ is what will hopefully bridge that gap for those of you just tipping your toe in the water with regards to supporting a charity. Doing pro bono work will allow you to offer your skills and help which will hopefully evolve to becoming a Trustee.