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The value of Trustees

Posted November 6th 2020 by Leon

'Celebrating our amazing Trustees #TrusteeWeek2020' blog cover image with photo of our board pre-Covid19

The value of Trustees: different insights and authentic care

Including Trustees and making an impact

Our Outside The Box board members support us in lots of different ways. This year they have each worked closely with our local teams across Scotland, learning even more about the details of our work and getting stuck in.

Given the range of projects we work on – and our flexible participatory approach to addressing issues and enabling support and change at multiple levels – it’s really helpful that our board members have diverse interests. From care to communication, and mental health to multi-generational working, there’s so much to learn from all our Trustees!

Learning from our Trustees

Find out about the other work our Trustees do – there’s so much to learn from. As just a few examples, we’ve benefitted from hearing about Donald Macaskill’s great work at Scottish Care and reading his inspiring blogs. We’ve also been learning lots from Neighbourhood Networks where Heather Calvo shares her passion supporting local networks of mutual and peer support as CEO.

Recently we held an event on evaluations and how communities and Care Homes support each other with Pat Scrutton, who runs the amazing Intergenerational National Network. The network is open to everyone interested in multigenerational practice, and creates space for learning from others’ work, research and experiences.

And our Chair Rosie’s work in Mindwaves is always a source of inspiration for us. Mindwaves’ work is a great example of participatory media creation, and they share lots of critical, positive and new perspectives on mental health and wellbeing.

Our Chair Rosie McIntosh shares her experiences of being on Outside The Box’s board

We wanted to share one of our brilliant board member’s perspectives for Trustees Week. A while back we asked our Chair, Rosie McIntosh, to share her reflections on the benefits of being on the board of Outside The Box…

Why becoming a charity trustee should be your next step

I’ve been a board member at Outside the Box for three years, and I’ve recently become the Chair. It seems like a good time to reflect on what I’ve learned and why I’d encourage other young(ish) people to share their skills in this way.

It takes some time commitment, but it’s flexible

I run a business and a small charity and I have two small children, so I don’t have a lot of spare time. Being a trustee is more flexible than a lot of volunteering opportunities, because it doesn’t require being in a specific place at the same time every week. We have meetings every two months and it’s true that there’s work involved in between, but I can do it at a time that suits me.

It’s a different way to volunteer

A lot of people think about volunteering as clearing up canals or working in a soup kitchen. That kind of thing is great, but it doesn’t suit everyone. Sitting on a board to make sure a charity is meeting its strategic aims can be a much better use of your skills and is a really valuable way to contribute.

I’ve met great interesting people

The Outside the Box Board is made up of some fascinating people from within and outwith the third sector. We have a real mix of skills and experience and I can’t count the number of times that someone has said something that’s given me real pause for thought. We’re also lucky that we have a close relationship with the staff team and we have a chance to get involved and meet people from the communities we support.

It’s helped with my day job

I run a small mental health charity and being part of a Board has helped me understand that from a different perspective. It’s given me the confidence and skills to take on a leadership role and to work in a more strategic way.

It’s been a good use of my skills

Another part of my day job is supporting charities to improve how they communicate. So often, I spend a day training them and then I move on without seeing what happens next. Being on a Board is a great way to have a sustained and consistent impact and learn about what works in real life.

I’ve dealt with change and challenges

Outside the Box has grown from a tiny team to a Scotland-wide charity with a sizeable budget. There have been huge opportunities and challenges that have gone along with that and it’s been really rewarding to be involved in shaping how we navigate those. It’s taught me a lot that I’ve been able to apply in other areas of my life.

I’ve felt involved in the difference the difference the charity has made

I love being part of a charity that is so innovative and take such a participatory approach to making a real difference in communities. As a Board member, I feel really involved in making sure that the work we do is true to our values. It’s been so interesting to see things grow from a proposal to the Board to a successful project that is changing people’s lives.



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