During Volunteers Week, human resources expert Jane Vines and Geoff Lane, a former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), talk about just what it takes to be a trustee for Crossroads Care Richmond and Kingston upon Thames
What motivated you to become a trustee?
Geoff: ‘When I stopped working, I realised that I would need more than playing golf or going fishing to stay happy and healthy. I’ve always had a sense of purpose in my working life and if you took that away from me, I’d find that hard. I volunteered for Crossroads during the pandemic and saw the vital work that they do supporting Carers, so I wanted to stay involved. During my induction as a trustee, I saw the patience and skill the staff need to look after a child living with cerebral palsy, allowing the parents valuable respite time. The family told me that without Crossroads’ support, they would find it very hard to cope.’
Jane: ‘There was an advert at a bus stop for a trustees’ recruitment event across Richmond. It sounded like a great way of giving back to my local community, so I went along. It was set up like speed dating. I talked with Crossroads first and immediately felt that this was a brilliant gem of a charity with a fantastic team of people who it would be a privilege to serve alongside and be inspired by.’
What does being a charity trustee bring to your life?
Geoff: ‘It’s easy to live life just seeing the people that you normally see who are often a bit like you, but this work takes you out of your comfort zone and brings you human connections, ideas and insights that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Social care is such an important issue for all of us and what we’re doing with Crossroads, providing strategic leadership and support, is making a real difference to the lives of Carers and those they care for and the lives of the Care Support Workers.’
Jane: ‘It’s a win-win where I use and develop my skillsets and experience while seeing clearly how the charity makes a positive difference to people’s lives.’
What would you say to anyone thinking of becoming a charity trustee?
Geoff: ‘Think about what you want from the role and what you can give to the organisation. You can’t just do it because you’re being benevolent, you have to be really engaged, committed and passionate about the work to be effective.’
Crossroads Care is currently searching for new trustees, particularly one with marketing experience. For more information on the role, email us or call 020 8943 9421.