At our public meeting in October, a member asked a question about how to become a trustee.
Now that FOHP is a registered charity, the processes for electing new trustees is rigidly set out on our constitution (available here). See sections 12 and 13.
There can be a maximum of 8 Trustees at FOHP – there are currently 5.
What does being a trustee Involve?
To quote the Government:
“Trustees have overall control of a charity and are responsible for making sure it’s doing what it was set up to do.”
In general, you are required to make decisions in the best interests of the organisation, leading the charity, deciding how it is run and helping it to achieve its aims and objectives. It is a significant investment of time and effort – so not for the faint hearted!
In practice, for FOHP, trustees have to make decisions for the good of the charity and its members in line with the charity’s constitution – there is also a certain amount of paperwork and “housekeeping” that needs to be done to keep the charity running smoothly, as well as meetings, account keeping etc.
Vital to the success of FOHP are the volunteer and fundraising programmes. These are the key link between trustees, members, local residents, and park users. It allows us to find out what park users are concerned about and in return, we can pass on news of the latest developments. It’s also an opportunity to make new connections in the community and recruit new members for the charity. As such, all trustees are heavily involved in these events whether it’s litter picking, volunteering or fundraising.
What skills do I need?
In general, an FOHP trustee should want to make a difference to their local community and be passionate about our local green spaces. Specific skills needed are people skills, organisational skills, and being a good listener.
Trustees are sometimes taken on for their specific skills or knowledge in an area of importance to the Friends, such as engineering skills (with regards to the paddling pool project).
How can I become a Trustee?
If you’re interested in becoming a trustee, we recommend that you get as involved in FOHP activities as possible. This will give you a good understanding of the organisation, its goals, and its active members as well as giving you, as a potential trustee, an idea of the time commitment.
Make yourself known in this way and the current trustees can then nominate you to become a trustee.
We look forward to hearing from any potential trustees!