Liz Thiebe

What it means to be a Trustee

As it’s Trustees’ Week, we caught up with our Chair of Trustees, Liz Thiebe, and asked for her thoughts.

I rather like the idea of a ‘designated week’ each year to notice and consider the work trustees do for the charity sector. It would be interesting to know how these topics get assigned to a specific week, but that’s a subject for another blog!

For now, I want to explore a bit about the trustee role and some reflections on why I am a Warwickshire Vision Support trustee.

It is good to slow down sometimes and take time for reflection and I’m grateful for the opportunity to use Trustees’ Week as a catalyst for this reflection.

So, why do I volunteer?

There is something powerful and almost magical when your interests, expertise and passion are matched to a charity that needs volunteer support.

As trite as it may sound, by giving my time, expertise and support I get so much back.

I feel connected to others, valued and involved – all of those social connections that make our world a better place. This is a deeply personal and rewarding connection for me to my community. 

What about the role?

It is challenging and stimulating!

The charity commission has a wealth of information describing how trustees contribute to the functioning of a charitable organisation, but in a nutshell, we function as guardrails.

We act in the best interest of the charity by holding true to our service mission, our governing rules, and the law.

We act responsibly and with consideration to ensure that our resources are managed well.

As a trustee/chair for the past 5 years, I have found the weight of these responsibilities to be manageable and not daunting, in large part because the burden is shared with a dedicated and diverse group of trustees.

During my term, I’ve learned lots about Warwickshire Vision Support and our community.

I also recognise the importance of having trustees with a visual impairment on our board. There is no doubt that we make better decisions with strong representation from those with a lived experience of visual impairment.  

So for all you trustees out there, or those who are considering this volunteer role, maybe you too can use this week to consider your volunteer work, or where you might fit in.

I cannot imagine my life without a volunteer role like this! 

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