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#MeetTheAmbassadors: Joe Stockley

Jasmin Glynne

29 March 2021

Every Monday we will be spotlighting one of our amazing 2021 cohort of Ambassadors! This week we caught up with Joe Stockley to discuss his trusteeship journey, his motivations for becoming an Ambassador and his campaign to get more organisations to offer volunteer leave.

Joe Stockley

SOUTH WALES AMBASSADOR

Young Trustees Movement Ambassador

Joe has been a trustee for 4 years, when he joined the British Youth Council (BYC) board, after representing Wales as a UK Young Ambassador through the BYC's international work. He currently sits on the Wales Council for Voluntary Action board, chairing COVID relief funding activities for Wales. Joe has been writing, speaking, and generally shouting about how important young trustees are for about 9 years - a task he is continuing as he becomes an older 'young' person!"

How did you get involved in trusteeship?

I got involved in trusteeship because I was already involved in an organisation, the British Youth Council (@byclive) and they only have young people (16-25) as trustees. I was the ambassador for Wales in the UK Young Ambassador’s scheme, and I then noticed they were advertising for trustees. I applied, and after a tense election in London in front of a few hundred young people, I was successfully appointed. This meant my first board experience was with a room of other young people. From the start, I knew that young people could exist and thrive in a boardroom setting, because I had been one of them, giving strategic vision, guidance and governance on a charity with a turnover of around a million pounds a year. Since then, in 2016, I have worked for the promotion of young trustees, and the presence of them in charity infrastructure. I was successfully appointed as a trustee for Wales Council for Voluntary Action (@WCVACymru) in 2018, and I have since brought my experience of engaging young people successfully to the fore, helping other organisations to appoint young trustees.

What motivated you to become an Ambassador for the Young Trustees Movement?

I would have never got involved in trusteeship if I didn’t have other exceptional young people around me, trailblazing and showing me how to develop my work ethic, empathise more strongly, and ask questions more wisely. To me, they are the three pillars of good trusteeship – hard work, empathy, and knowing when to keep your mouth shut. I have watched the Young Trustees Movement grow from exciting concept to excellent reality, and supporting them from afar was eventually not enough for me! Working with people toward change is one of the best things to do with your time, in my opinion, and that’s exactly what the Young Trustees Movement is all about. The fact I get to work with such a talented and inspiring group of young people is a wonderful bonus. I think diversity of thought is the essential pillar in good governance, in not engaging young people you are stifling sustainability of the sector – so the Young Trustees Movement is occupying exactly the right space with the work it conducts, and I am excited to be a part of the cohort for the next year, using those connections and the collective wisdom to secure more trustee positions for young people in South Wales.

What is your campaign focus/what do you hope to achieve with your campaign?

I want more organisations to offer volunteering leave to their staff in South Wales. I will support this with case studies from organisations that already offer volunteering leave, and we will hear from people who take volunteering leave in their working week, and how it benefits them. In doing so, I want to convince organisations that it is a positive thing, that volunteering leave can make a change for their employees, and can also give them happier, more fulfilled employees, who are learning new skills while volunteering.

Why are you passionate about your campaign focus?

I care about my campaign focus because without it I would struggle to be a trustee. Like a lot of young people, I work for an organisation where I am not particularly in charge of my own calendar. I am not senior enough to take time out of my day for a passion project, I have previously had to use large chunks of annual leave in order to be a successful trustee. That is an incredibly privileged position to be in – I do not have dependents, I can use my annual leave to volunteer. I know also that volunteering statistically makes people happier. Volunteering also develops new skills – as a trustee for the BYC I supported staff in writing funding bids, as a trustee for WCVA I have chaired the release of over £2.5m of funding to the third sector in Wales. This means in my day job, I am able to write successful funding bids, I know what a grants scheme will be looking for, and I know what a good bid looks like, skills that I would otherwise not have developed. My developed skill in bid-writing has led to financial benefit to the organisation I work for, but these skills have also supported my own mental wellbeing. It is easy to feel powerless as COVID rages around you, volunteering has allowed me to do something about that feeling of powerlessness, and make a change in the communities I work with and for. To summarise, I think my campaign focus will make a genuine, measurable difference to organisations, and it will improve people’s happiness and develop skills that they can use for the future. Stay tuned! I’ll be hosting events and writing up case studies of successful iterations of volunteering leave.

If this is something that interests you...

  • If you’re an employee and you would like to ask for volunteering leave but you don’t know how to draft the email
  • If you’re an employer and you’d like to roll out volunteering leave but you don’t know how to go about writing a volunteering leave policy
  • If you’re an employee or an employer and you already successfully run volunteering leave

I’d love to hear from you. Drop me an email at joestock10@gmail.com and let’s chat.

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