Trustees have independent control over, and legal responsibility for, a charity’s management and administration. They play a very important role, almost always unpaid, in a sector that contributes significantly to the character and wellbeing of the country.

GOV.UK

The role of the trustee is vital to a charity. From acting as a guiding light in decision making processes to ensuring that the charity acts within the law and complies with its governing documents, trustees form the backbone of a charitable organisation. The decision to become a trustee is therefore not one that should be taken lightly.

Trustees are volunteers – individuals with knowledge and expertise that is invaluable to the organisations they work with. Their experience is often wide-ranging: some work in or have worked in business and have experience of finance or accounting; others work in marketing or human resources. Some have spent their working lives immersed in the kind of provision the charity engages in. Others have lived experience and want to help people dealing with the same situation that they themselves have been through.

All such experience is both vital, and deeply welcome.

Our Tanzanian Trustees, clockwise from top left: Mr. Fidelis Kambanga (Chair), Fidea Namadengwa, Sister Yosefa, Mr Hazzam Nambunga (Headteacher of Msijute Primary School) and Madam Zaituni Mkang'umba (Headteacher of Mailikumi Primary School)

Their motivations vary and can often be deeply personal. From the bereaved who wish to help prevent others from going through the same thing in the future to the retiree with time on their hands, all are valid and, again, all are welcome.

It helps to be passionate about the cause you serve. Being a trustee does take up your precious free time. It does occupy your thoughts and energies. It will push you out of your comfort zone from time to time. You'll sign up to contribute your knowledge of employment law and before you know it, you’re in a crowd waiting to cross the start line of your first marathon or sat in a bath of baked beans watching your fundraising total climb.

It's all part of the life of a charity trustee.

UK Chair of Trustees, Tim Varney, at the recent Great Vending Get Together

And yet, the work of trustees often gets overlooked by the general public. Essential though they are, trustee meetings and Zoom calls aren’t exciting enough to feature in newsletters or social media posts. It’s a role that’s understated, despite its significance.

Which is why we wanted to take the opportunity this #TrusteesWeek to highlight the work of our own fantastic trustees, who are based both in the UK and in Tanzania. So, we sat down with them for a chat about their roles with EdUKaid and what they get out of volunteering.

Elise Perraud is a new trustee to EdUKaid, and she shared with us her motivation for applying to become a trustee and what she hopes the future will bring. 

Tim Varney will be a familiar name to many for, as our Chair of Trustees, he’s been part of EdUKaid since its inception. He spoke to use about his experiences and the way they’ve shaped his time with the charity.

If you would like to learn more about our trustees, you can do so here: https://www.edukaid.com/Pages/Category/trustees