Charity Commission CEO Helen Stephenson gave a speech yesterday on the importance of Trustees in the charity sector. As she highlights her work at the Commission, this is her seventh and last Trustee Week as the Chief Executive, stating the campaign is both a celebration and serious business.

Helen said “Trusteeship is a crucial, yet often undervalued, public service but it matters to all of us. The passion, skill and experience people bring to trusteeship determines not just the success of individual charities but also contributes in great part to the health of our communities and the cohesion of our society.

Trusteeship is rewarding as well as challenging – sometimes delightful, sometimes hard work, requiring energy and imagination in the here and now – and is also, always, an investment in the future.

Trustees, collectively, not only ensure charities deliver on their purposes today, but also sow the seeds for the strong society we want to see tomorrow.”

Yorkshire Children’s Trust has been pleased to work with the Charity Commission on promoting Trustee Week this year, and Helen was pleased to quote the importance of diversity of a Trustee board from Simon Widdop, Founder and Trustee of YCT as follows:

“Simon Widdop is a trustee at a charity based in Yorkshire, which provides emotional and financial support to families in the region with children who have life-limited illnesses and disabilities. Simon is speaking about his experience of trusteeship as part of this year’s Trustees’ Week.

This is what he says about board diversity: It is great being a part of a team of trustees that support each other. Each of the trustees have a different background and this helps to bring in experience and a different perspective to day-to-day decisions. Having a team of trustees brings a wealth of knowledge that will drive the charity forward and support many more children than we could have done otherwise.

This testimony illustrates that talking up diversity is not about talking down those who already serve as trustees”.

And indeed we do celebrate a great board at Yorkshire Children’s Trust:

Simon Widdop has a background in hotel, pub and restaurant management who is also chair of the board and manages the day to day running of the charity. Jamie Ansbro has supported the charity through charity events, bringing not only his fundraising skills from events, but on hand experience of risk assessments with working in fire safety. Sophie Middleton, supports some of the most vulnerable children in the community with her work in a local school and finally, but certainly not least, Tracey Gray has a child who has had cancer not just once, but twice and brings a unique parental perspective to the board which helps to remind us that there is a face and a family behind a name and the support we offer makes a real difference.