Tim Morton, chair of b inspired, gives some insights on what it’s like to be a Trustee to a neighbourhood-based charity. 
I think being a trustee brings a listening ear, and another point of view to the table as well as their own life experience to provide support and challenge to the staff team. Any organisation benefits from having local people involved in decision making and it can also help to have folk with particular skills as well. 
I’ve been a trustee for nearly three years with b-inspired and have the privilege of chairing the board meetings. I am continuously impressed by the way the whole team delivers to make a difference in Braunstone. It obviously wasn’t a simple year in lockdown Leicester, but our trading arm kept the Business Box open and assisted many of our commercial tenants to successfully claim Covid grants to stay in business. I’m not sure other managed workspaces would have done that. The residents working on the Power to Change programme found ways to set up their community businesses, a café, a bar and a pre loved shop while our flagship, the Grove opened, closed, opened a bit and is now fully open and thriving. Alongside these more commercial activities, the foodbank has supported many families and individuals, alongside welfare rights advice and well-being support with regular phone calls to many households. 
The team have recently prepared a new Neighbourhood Action Plan following consultation with residents and agencies who work in Braunstone, combined with solid data from a range of sources including the latest census results. This will help to guide our work and, we hope, the work of others to continue to improve life in Braunstone. 
“While I like to think I bring a lot of information and experience with me, I know that there’s always an opportunity to learn something new.” 
I get to hear about all of this through regular catch ups with Angie, our CEO, and Linda, who manages the trading arm. As a result, I feel I have a real grip on what is happening, and they are kind enough to laugh at my jokes. While I like to think I bring a lot of information and experience with me, I know that there’s always an opportunity to learn something new. This might be from a fellow trustee or member of staff, attending a conference or meeting, or accessing a training session. While you give your time for free as a trustee, you get lots of opportunities to develop for free too. 
I’ve spent nearly forty years encouraging others to take responsibility for their neighbourhoods and, I guess, I owe it to them to do the same. 
Tagged as: Trustees
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