#TrusteesWeek starts today, read our interviews with a range of #trustees each day to find out about their experiences, what being a trustee has meant to them & what they would recommend to anyone thinking about getting involved. We interviewed our Trustee (and Vice Chair) Ele Morrissey:
What Charity are you a trustee for?
I am a volunteer Trustee for The Gingerbread Centre, we are a charity supporting homeless families across Stoke-On-Trent. The Charity is 40 years old and already has a fantastic legacy.
Why did you choose this Charity?
I chose Gingerbread as I have worked in the social housing sector for 15 years. I have seen poverty and deprivation at its worst and wanted to use my skills and knowledge to make a difference to a Charity that supports this cause locally.
What do you love about volunteering as a trustee?
Gingerbread is a medium sized charity so in addition to supporting the strategic leadership of the organisation I can also add value at an operational level by supporting with aspects of the people agenda for the Charity. The role is very varied from strategic thinking and looking at diversification options for the Charity to supporting fundraising events and attending specific events at the schemes with the residents.
Above far left: Ele raising money for The Gingerbread Centre whilst taking a personal challenge of walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks
I love working with a varied group of fellow trustees who support the Charity, it’s great to hear other trustees ideas and share experiences, together the diversity of knowledge we all bring adds value to Gingerbread.
How have your skills developed through this role?
I have a better understanding of operating as a charity, my entrepreneurial thinking has developed and I learn by observing other trustees in operation at Board meetings and events.
How do you manage the role alongside a full time role?
We work together as trustees to ensure our meeting times work for us all and we are able to manage other commitments. We meet once a month and hold annual planning events, working with everyone’s availability and competing priorities. We are increasing our efforts in fundraising so that brings additional opportunities to attend events and support the team in raising much needed funds for the centre.
If someone is thinking about coming a trustee what advice would you give them?
Think about what you are passionate about and look for a Charity that supports this, the value you get from supporting a cause close to your heart is fantastic!