Stuart Spandler is Chair of the Board at Locality members the Goodwin Trust, in Hull. He came along to the Locality Trustees Network event on 13 July in Leeds.
“I wish I could claim to have had some sort of Damascene revelation that persuaded me to become a trustee, but it was a far more mundane tap on the shoulder at a neighbourhood forum where I’d been rather vociferous – alright, then, shouting my mouth off as usual!
I must admit, I’d never thought of becoming a trustee – didn’t even know what a trustee was. When I accepted the invitation to go into the Goodwin Development Trust and learn more about it, the thought of becoming a trustee seemed very daunting, but I gave it a go and learned as I went along.
What I learned, in fact, was that the one thing you need more than anything else to be a trustee is passion, passion to make a difference. If that passion’s strong enough, you learn as you go along: you learn how to make that difference within the boundaries which the many financial and legal constraints place on you. In my case I could draw on the expertise of fellow trustees and those staff employed to keep me straight.
As you go along you realise that out there in the big wide world there are others who share your passion to make a difference but in a myriad of different ways – so much more to learn from them; so many new ways to make that difference. For me, that’s where Locality came in – providing opportunities to interact with other trusts, to meet other trustees, to share with them my concerns, my fears and even my aspirations; not only that but through Locality to even lobby Government and hopefully influence decisions made at the very top.
It all sounds rather grand, but essentially that’s what we were doing the other day when we trustees met in Leeds – just ordinary men and women who, like myself, had only one ambition – to make that difference in their communities. Suddenly you realise you are part of the bigger picture, that those politicians who, on that very day were divvying up the top jobs between themselves, keep in touch with what is needed in our communities through people like ourselves when we come together in one national organisation like Locality.
If you include the trustee fringe event at last year’s Locality Convention in Liverpool, this was the fourth time trustees have got together without any of the professionals to discuss matters which concern just trustees. What, I hope, is emerging from this is a Trustees Network to which every trustee of every Locality member can belong and like those of us up in Yorkshire and surrounding areas share our thoughts and directly influence thinking on a national level.
There will be an opportunity to do this at a national level at this year’s Convention in York when trustees will not be on the fringe but have our own dedicated slot in the main programme. I hope as many trustees from all over the country will come to that – if only for the one day – this is an opportunity for us to make this Trustees Network a truly national movement.”
Written by Stuart Spandler
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