We asked our most recent trustee to TOFS, Clare Johns, to tell us about what inspired her in her latest volunteering role…
“Hi, I’m Clare! You may have seen my name and face pop up a few times over the last year or so in Chew articles. I wanted to share an insight into a day in the life of a trustee.
I was elected as a trustee of TOFS in March, 2021 at the AGM – to say this was one of my proudest moments is an understatement. So, what is a trustee and why did I get involved?
Charity trustees are the people who share ultimate responsibility for governing a charity and directing how it is managed. There are a lot of rules and regulations with both the Charity Commission and Companies House that we need to follow to ensure we are running the charity to do what it was set up to do, which is to provide relief to in-need individuals with OA/TOF. A very big responsibility for one person! However, in total there are nine of us, as well as the CEO Diane Stephens and the wonderful team in the office (Jayne, Crystal, Claire & Peter).
As well as the trustee board having a chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary, each trustee leads or attends at least one sub-committee. This is where I came in as a volunteer, which in turn inspired me to enquire about and become a trustee, as my skills and experience would help achieve their aims and objectives.
I joined the fundraising working group when it was created back at the beginning of 2020. From here, I helped research and set up the TOFS lottery, Teddy Toddle (look out for news of our next Teddy Toddle coming soon) and also other exciting opportunities to help raise funds for TOFS.
From working closely with Diane and the treasurer, John, I knew that I wanted to be more involved with the decision-making and directing of TOFS, so I started an intense review of the charity commission guidance and, surprisingly, it didn’t put me off.
Aside from my full-time job, I spend a few hours each week replying to internal emails, helping with members’ enquiries about anything fundraising-related, and also planning and attending the sub-committee meetings that I am part of. It can get full-on at times, for example, when we launched the lottery or following all the wonderful children who completed the Teddy Toddle event last year.
My mind never stops ticking throughout the day and I am forever noting ideas down. I am committed to helping the charity grow and continue to help support all adults and children with OA/TOF, as well as their families.
I get asked what advice I would give anyone considering volunteering for a charity. All I can say is… go for it!
As a volunteer, usually you can be involved in the area that you are interested in. You would have to be reliable (health emergencies are always understood) and not to take on more than you can do. Just drop an email to TOFS or the charity you are interested in volunteering for to let them know that you are interested, how much time you have and what skills you can offer.
The satisfaction of volunteering your own time is second to none!”
To find out more about becoming a TOFS Trustee or our other volunteer roles, please click here.