Become a Trustee
Trustees are volunteers who are vital to the running of ECHO. Trustees help set the direction of ECHO and make sure that the organisation is serving the needs of it’s members. Trustees are responsible for ECHO and guiding how it is run. They tell the Chief Officer direction ECHO should take, and it is the Chief Officers responsibility to decide how that is carried out.
ECHO is really proud that we have trustees who have disabilities on our board. Trustees that represent our membership and understand the issues that our participants experience. Participant Trustees are full trustees and have all the same responsibilities as other members of the board. Our board is stronger for having them with us.
Participant Trustees meet every week with our Participant Involvement Worker to go through any board papers and to discuss important issues. This support ensures that they have the time to understand and discuss topics so they are prepared for any meetings.
If you have a disability and would like to become an ECHO trustee, then please contact Claire Mee for a chat on 01568620307 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘As well as being a trustee I am also on the Rep Group. I have Cerebral Palsy and use an electronic talking aid to communicate.
Being a trustee means I get listened to and that my opinion really matters
I feel proud to be a trustee and be part of ECHO who make a real difference to people with disabilities.’
What skills does a Trustee need?
There aren’t any special skills needed to be a Trustee, other than a commitment to supporting ECHO and it’s running. The strength of Trustees is that they bring a wide range of experience to ECHO to help us run well and develop. New trustees are supported with an induction process and we run training for trustees at least twice a year in different topics.
We are however, especially on the look out for Trustees with financial, HR or legal skills
What Training do Trustees get?
When you become a trustee there is an induction process to tell you everything that you need to know.
At least twice a year we have Trustee awaydays- these are meetings where a particular topic is discussed or training is given in a topic that trustees need to be aware of.
Throughout the year, Trustees can always ask questions about any topic they are not sure of and we will try to find the answers. ECHO also has experts we can call on for legal issues, HR and finance queries.
How much time do trustees need?
Trustees give varying amounts of time depending on their availability. As a minimum we ask that Trustees are available for:
- 4 Board meetings per year (1/2 day each)
- 1 Sub-Group meeting each month (1-2 hours)
- 2 Trustee training days (1/2 day each)
They also need time to read any board papers and occassionally meet outside of meetings if there is a working group or issue that needs to be discussed.
Do I get to visit the ECHO projects?
Many trustees also volunteer or take part in ECHO projects. We also encourage our trustees to visit projects when they can, either to observe the services in action or just to say hello and catch up with staff, volunteers and participants.
Without seeing the projects in action it would be hard for trustees to be able to know what is best for ECHO.
‘Being a trustee of ECHO is a very important and worthwhile way to support a local charity. It’s also really interesting, and a great way to build your own skills and experience.
Above all, it’s enjoyable – ECHO is a very friendly and caring organisation, and trustees can get involved in all sorts of activities!’
What is the board like?
One of the great things about the ECHO board of Trustees is that they are really supportive of each other. People often have different views about topics and these are discussed and if needed voted on. The discussion is as important as the decision as it helps us to ensure we have thought of all the viewpoints.
Want to find out more?
If you would like to know more about becoming an ECHO Trustee then please contact us on the details below:
Joy House (Trustee) email@example.com
Or Call the office on 01568 620 307