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blog • Resource

How can young trustees be involved with the movement?

Megan Raybould

20 August 2020

Find out how young trustees get involved, build their network and be supported in their trustee role.

How can young trustees be involved in the movement?

Diverse perspectives increase a charity’s ability to navigate uncertainty, future proof decisions and reflect the interests of their communities. Diversity of perspectives come from diversity of lived experiences; as a young trustee, you are part of the change that is much needed in the charity sector.

When less than 3% of trustees are under 30, what is normal is not okay. Therefore our aim is to meaningfully double the number of young trustees by 2024.

As a Young Trustee there are many opportunities for you to:

  • Access support so that you can enjoy, thrive and make the most of your trusteeship (in a way that feels safe for you).
  • Champion and lead the movement.

They vary in time commitment and area of interest, so that you can choose from one (or many!) ways that best suit you.

What support can I access?

We have created a digital hub where you can:

  • Connect to a network of young trustees and build your network & community of peers:

    • Via this online space on the digital hub
    • Through online meetup events! Come along and meet other young trustees, share your experiences and ask/give advice on anything you’re currently working on. The next one is on 19th of September. RSVP here.
  • Access resources so that you can thrive in your role. To do this, you need to tell us what you need and, where we can, we’ll work on finding existing resources that can help and creating a resource where there are gaps.

  • Ask for and give advice to other movement members

  • Find other trustee roles you might be interested in.

  • Access private groups. You can get support from smaller, private groups of other young people who have shared experiences or interests as you. We can create space for young trustees from different identity groups. If there is a group of trustees you would like to connect with on the hub get in touch and we can create a virtual space for you.

Register to join the Digital Hub here.

How can I champion the movement?

In many ways – depending on the time you have to give and what you are interested in. As a young trustee you are welcome to choose one (or all of the following opportunities).

Share your story and insights

  • Featured in one of our member spotlight stories – Fill in this form to inspire others.
  • Share a story anonymously – If you have a story that you would like to keep anonymous, but that you think would be useful to share, you can email meg@thescoialchangeagency.org and she’ll publish it anonymously.
  • Share advice and experiences on the digital hub Lots of people post questions on the digital hub. Use the platform to start conversations and offer support to aspiring trustees or other young trustees. It’s a space of community to support your peers.
  • Speaking at events or to boards – Let your regional ambassador know you’d be happy to speak at an event or speak with boards to support them to recruit young trustees (sometimes it takes just meeting a young trustee to change perceptions of what a trustee looks like) . If something comes up in your region you could help with, they’ll be in touch.
  • Mentor aspiring young trustees, We’re looking for trustees to help lead a short course for aspiring young trustees. Get in touch if you’d be interested in leading it.

Shape & lead the movement

Spread the word

  • Share when you have a board meeting and your insights using #Young Trustees and tag us.
  • Share our posts on social media. You can find the Young Trustees Movement on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram. You can share our posts to help other young people find us.
  • Write to employers & boards. In the future we’ll be co-ordinating campaigns to let boards and employers involved. Get in touch with your Ambassador if you might like to help in future.

Who is responsible for making boardrooms more inclusive spaces?

Being a trustee is a really exciting and rewarding opportunity and most trustees really enjoy their time on boards. However, it’s important for us to acknowledge that there can also sometimes be challenges too.

There are lots of boards doing really amazing work, there are also some boards who need to do more work in order to make the space accessible and inclusive to all young people.

In these circumstances it’s important to remember that the burden of change is not on you. As a young person, being on a board may in itself be making waves and change the culture of the boardroom for the better. However, the responsibility to create inclusive and supportive practices is on the board itself.

We exist because charity boards desperately need young people’s perspectives.

However it is important to note that responsibility to create inclusive boardroom cultures, and the practices to enable this, falls on boards collectively – not on the individuals who are most likely to experience exclusion.

When faced with a situation that is not fair, or discriminates against you, what you choose to do is up to you. You might decide that you want to:

  • Campaign to change it e.g. speaking to the Chair of the board.
  • Ask allies to support you e.g. ask other members of the board to support you.
  • Ask for support from other young trustees in this movement.
  • Leave that board – you are not a failure for deciding to walk away.

Any choice you make is valid and up to what feels most comfortable and right for you. Those with power, hold the responsibility to create change.

Whatever you decide to do is valid.

When is it my responsibility to create change?

All young trustees do not have the same experiences, barriers and identities. Therefore we can in one circumstance experience exclusion and inequality, and in another circumstance be the one contributing to it. If we are contributing to it, it is our responsibility to change it.

To change this, is to commit to understanding our own privilege and creating inclusive spaces for others, where we have the power to do so. This is a journey that requires continuous learning and commitment.

(If you are wondering what this means – a great place to start is by understanding intersectionality – see this link for more info).

This movement is made up of its members! Young trustees play such an important role in the movement.

If you have any questions or need support about any of the topics or ideas in this post – get in touch!

Become an ambassador

Young people are at the heart of our movement. Ambassadors act as spokes people for the movement, they take a leading role in creating the strategy and help to facilitate other young people to be involved.

Book a Training Session

Join a 1 hour training session to understand the power of young trustees, have a framework to understand how to approach board diversity and take practical next steps.