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Why be a trustee?

We put some questions to trustee Rebecca Neish about why she became a trustee

What attracted you to the role?

I wanted to become a trustee as I wanted to give something back and do what I could to make a difference to a business, supporting its growth and development. I felt I could bring different ideas, views and perspectives to the ‘board’ table.

It can often feel as if being of a younger generation stands in your way and having less business experience is undesirable. When applying to become a trustee I felt this wasn’t the case, youth was on my side. I was able to see my youth as a positive as it meant I brought fresh ideas and skills and knowledge which other members of the board who may have more business experience than me may not have.

Being a trustee is a fantastic opportunity for shared learning. I have learnt a lot from those on the board who have a different skill set from myself, just as I hope they have also learned a lot from my skills and experience. Everyone can bring something to a board, it is just working out what your unique quality is.

What did you get out of it?

From being a Trustee I have gained a deeper understanding for the Third sector and how a third sector organisation operates and the challenges they face. I have also gained further experience in leadership and strategy at a higher level than I may have been able to gain through my day to day job. It is also very humbling to be a part of a company that does such fantastic work and work collectively to give something back and support the team that are on the group of the business, to make a difference as part of the board is incredible.

Would you recommend it?

I would highly recommend joining a board, especially if you are at the start of your career. It is a highly rewarding role being a guardian of a charities purpose. Admittedly, at times it can feel slightly overwhelming and you can feel a little out of my depth, as I don’t have as much experience as other trustees. But what those moments do give me is the opportunity to learn and develop from my fellow trustees. It is fantastic to feel that you are part of a team who make a difference to a company and is a great way to gain experience and knowledge of leading a business.

Being on a board has helped me to realise that times are changing and organisations are realising that they need a well-balanced board of knowledge, skills and experience in order to be as effective as possible. More boards are looking for young people as they see the potential they hold and young people need to believe in themselves and realise the potential difference they could make through being a trustee.