‘Knowing your input hopefully makes society a better place is deeply satisfying…’

07 November 2022

As Trustees’ Week 2022 gets under way, Charity Intelligence co-founder Guy Davies explains how volunteering as a trustee has enriched his life – and kept him connected to his ‘second family’…

Being a trustee of a charity is a very rewarding role to fulfil, knowing that your actions are benefiting others. I became a trustee to give something back to organisations that I took benefit from earlier in my life and to use my skills to assist them.

I think it is important to volunteer for an organisation that you have empathy with, as your engagement will be more meaningful and results more enjoyable. Having served in the Army, it was an institution that gave me a great start earlier in my life. To some extent it was my second family.

Being selected to be a trustee of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and the Army Central Fund enabled me to give support to a cohort of people I have always felt part of – and I continue to remain deeply involved after 20 years, contributing on many levels. 

One of the great personal benefits of being a trustee is the ability to get considerable experience in running an organisation. I have found working as part of a board or committee is good for developing the ‘soft skills’ that are useful in your career or life, such as communication, teamwork, negotiation, decision-making, goal-setting and leadership.

I have also met many fantastic and inspiring people as a trustee, both those who work within the sector and those who benefit from it. The armed forces charities I have been lucky to be involved with – and the diversity of people and the challenges they face – continue to inspire me to do more to support them.

In my view, being a trustee shouldn’t just be about fulfilling a role. A trustee needs to be able to commit time, energy and emotion to the cause they support and the sector as a whole. This means being willing to go above and beyond your usual daily activities to benefit the charity by being serious about contributing to it.

Being a trustee of Blind Veterans UK – a charity that, after 100 years, is going through considerable change, with an ageing beneficiary base and changes to how it delivers recovery after sight loss – has been demanding on my time. But it is deeply satisfying to help the organisation manage change while maintaining a high level of service to its members. 

As with anything in life, serving as a trustee will bring with it frustrations at times. However, the satisfaction it offers and the value you can give outweighs any of the perceived challenges. Knowing that your input helps others and hopefully makes society a better place is deeply satisfying.

It generally brings a smile to my face whenever I am involved with the many great people who support and benefit from the charity sector. 

Find out more about Trustees’ Week 2022 here and why not search for a trustee vacancy in your area? Visit Reach Volunteering for some of the latest opportunities.

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